January 7th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton gets emotional at New Hampshire stop

Watch Obama react to Bhutto's death

Watch Clinton get emotional at a New Hampshire stop Monday.

PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire (CNN) - Hillary Clinton became visibly emotional at a New Hampshire campaign event today after a friendly question from a voter.

At the close of a Portsmouth campaign stop, Marianne Pernold-Young, 64, asked Clinton: "How do you do it? How do you keep up... and who does your hair?"

Clinton began noting that she had help with her hair on "special days," and that she drew criticism on the days she did not. Then she added: "It's not easy, and I couldn't do it if I just didn't, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do.

"You know, I have so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards," she said, her voice breaking a bit. The audience applauded.

"This is very personal for me, it's not just political, it's [that] I see what's happening, we have to reverse it," she said emotionally, adding that some "just put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds.

"But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us ready and some of us are not. Some of us know what we will do on day one, and some of us really haven't thought that through enough...

"So as tired as I am - and I am. And as difficult as it is to try and keep up what I try to do on the road, like occasionally exercise and try to eat right - it's tough when the easiest food is pizza - I just believe so strongly in who we are as a nation. So I'm gonna do everything I can and make my case and you know the voters get to decide."

The New York senator is under pressure after some weekend surveys showed opponent Barack Obama with a sudden double-digit edge, with less than a day to go until the New Hampshire primary.

At a New Hampshire campaign event, presidential rival John Edwards told reporters he was unaware of Clinton's emotional reaction and would not respond to it, but added, according to CNN's Dugald McDonnell: "I think what we need in a commander in chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are a tough business, but being President of the United States is also a very tough business. And the President of the United States is faced with very, very difficult challenges every single day, difficult judgments every single day."

- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • New Hampshire
soundoff (926 Responses)
  1. dave

    booo hooo I just want people to like me

    January 8, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  2. Jose Card - Independent

    If Hillary can use her tears to solve our national problems, that would be wonderful. But crying on the day before the primary is a bit more than calculating. She can cry after the primary.

    January 8, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  3. OJA

    I'm not a Hillary Supporter, but to Hillary Haters - nothing she can do will change their minds. If she's strong - then she's "manly" or a cold, calculating "ice queen." If she shows any signs of emotion, then she's too soft or unfit to be President.

    Republicans are not only lock-step locusts, but are also very predictable.

    January 8, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  4. OBAMA MAMA Twin Cities, MN

    I love how HRC says she's vetted and tested and the only one strong enough to stand up to the Rep attack but she can't even lose in Iowa without crying about it in NH. Make up your mind! I used to want Hillary but I can see she is just bitter and a divider. The Rep are foaming at the mouth to see her as the Dem nominee because they know they could beat her. However, they are quaking in their boots at the thought of Obama as the nominee (they are even starting to steal his slogan). HRC is even resorting to dirty tricks (as usual). They are afraid of Obama and they should be. He will unite us and that scares the crap out of washington dc.

    Obama 08

    January 8, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  5. Bob - Florida

    "Looking back at all these years and my 11 years with John F. Kennedy ... I realized that the single most important quality in a president is not their position on any particular issue, it's not their promises for this and that, which are too easily made and forgotten," Sorensen said. "What matters most is the quality of the person and the quality of their judgment." - "The principles, the values Obama and Kennedy are enunciating are not five-point plans for new health care programmes, which is more Hillary's style." Ted Sorensen, JFK's chief speechwriter.

    "Senior-level leadership is the art of direct and indirect influence and the skill of creating the conditions for sustained organizational success to achieve the desired result. But, above all, it is the art of taking a vision of what must be done, communicating it in a way that the intent is clearly understood, and then being tough enough to ensure its execution." FM 22-103, Leadership and Command at Senior Levels, 21 Jun 1987, p. 6, signed by Gen John A. Wickham, Jr., Chief of Staff

    Go Barack Go!

    January 8, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  6. Jill Koerner

    I have nothing against her personally, but come on....If she thinks this has been tough, what is she going to do when it really gets tough if elected to be the Comander and Chief of this Great Nation. She will be seconded guessed, crucified by the media, and have to make decisions that will affect a nation, not just herself. Emotions and our society and the basic nature of the sexes makes it essencial for the position of The United States Of America leader, to appear, strong, in control, and emotionally stable 24/7. Bottomline it is not whether a female is capable or not, that is not the question. More important, it is how our President appears to other countries and is respected. I think we can all admit that regardless of democrat or republican, President Regan brought back to our Nation the appearance of strength, and that any nation that stood against us would fall. Maybe it was the actor in him but he made everyone believe it including our enemies. We as a nation, especially now can not appear weak. The best leader for the job is the one who can pull that off. After all politics is esencially decided by the congress, not the one President.

    January 8, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  7. Richard

    Hilary is calculated and doesn't have an honest bone in her body. I believe the question was planted and she gave her well rehearsed performance. Come on...haven't your experts been around politics and these people long enough to not be taken in.

    January 8, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  8. dv

    James – Your comment was well done – so well done, I copied and pasted it again. Thank you for your well thought out words.

    I hope voters actually wake up and realize that Obama is not going to lead this great land to change. What has he actually changed as a senator? Oh wait, he'd actually have to show up and vote to change anything. Also, do you not find it ironic that the biggest support for Obama has come from the female crowd in the 18-50 year old range. Oh, and let's not forget that would be the same crowd who watch Oprah and since Oprah decided to jump on the Obama wagon then he must be right because Oprah only touches things that turn to gold.

    It is amazing how people do not really look at the issues and what has happened but base it on the garbage reporters throw around and whether a candidate "welled up with tears" or "looked tired" or any other line that a reporter uses to try and sell their article.

    Bottom line, neither Edwards or Obama have the practical experience to do much of anything as president and sending either of those as the Democratic nominee will only help the Republican nominee win the presidency for another 4 years. God help us all if that happens. I don't know about the rest of you, but this country has went to hell in the last 8 years and I hope you all are bright enough to make the right vote to change that.

    My final comments to add, Obama does NOT have enough experience – Hillary has at least a decade more – and I don't care how well you speak or write or whatever, experience is necessary but no one ever realizes that until the have it. Hillary showed a little passion – it wasn't like she turned into an inconsolable wreck that had to be carted off to a mental institute – I am not even sure if she had to wipe her eyes! her voice cracked and she expressed some emotion over believing in America and she did this without even bringing religion into it.

    January 8, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  9. Bob

    Josh from Miami why don't you mention Clinton, Carter and by your token about Pres. killing innoncence people, wasn't there a Pres by the name of Kennedy that many people were killed in the Vietnam war under him. Oh that's right there's Democrats can do no wrong.

    January 8, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  10. Tim

    Josh from Miami if you want to impeach the Pres than Carter, Kennedy and Clinton should also been impeached. Why is it alright for the Republicans be impeached but not the Democrats? Sounds to me like double standard.

    January 8, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  11. YKM

    I'm amazed at the vitriol that is being directed at Hillary Clinton. Seems like the problem is not with her, but with some of the posters who betray their insecurities and fears by their 'comments'. What are you really afraid of? Afraid that a smart, strong woman might actually become President? Uncomfortable with the notion that she is as human as you and me, but way more qualified to actually lead this nation of ours? Have you never gotten emotional before? Do you not cry? Why are we expecting our leaders to be made of stone? As for Mr. Edwards' dig about leaders being strong, here is a man in the dying stages of a bankrupt campaign, clutching at straws. Did you see him talk like he had won the election the other day, after coming in *second* in Iowa? Iowa and New Hampshire do not a Presidential election make. Nobody gave her a chance in New York in the Senate race, yet she won – twice. This is not over yet, despite what the soundbite-loving media will have you think.

    As for Mr. Obama, it has become quite fashionable to say you support him. The only color that I'm concerned about as far as Mr. Obama goes is neither black nor white, but green – as in inexperienced. Yes, there is that I-word again. All that the Democrats are setting themselves up for is handing over the Presidency on a platter to the GOP by backing Mr. Obama. This election is for the Dems to lose. The Republicans would be delirious if Mr. Obama were to win the Democratic nomination. Hillary is the only one who can take it to the GOP and the GOP knows it. I've nothing against Mr. Obama, but I don't think his time has come yet.

    January 8, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  12. WP, Phoenix, AZ

    Desperation, but pretty good political tactic. A woman crying turns on our natural, sympathetic response. One day before the primary and she all of a sudden decides to cry? In retrospect, the question was actually pretty stupid for a candidate of the presidency. Anyone else notice the guy who was kicked out during one of her speeches for yelling w/a sign that talked about Hillary ironing his shirt? Even the most sexist of men wouldn't do something so stupid. Attacking Obama failed during the weekend, so her campaign decided to make it look like the entire country (except you of course) is attacking her. I'm a little worried that it may just work.

    January 8, 2008 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  13. Marie

    You are all idiots, she wasn't crying about her hair, you dummies.

    I've noticed the cruelest comments during this race come from men and are directed at HRC.

    Some men just resent the fact that women can fill every single role available on the planet, from stay at home moms to world leaders, there is not one profession that we haven't cultivated or won't soon. Men, in their limited emotional and hormonal capacity....CANNOT.

    Sorry fellas.

    January 8, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  14. julia p.

    Oscar Wilde said, "Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes" (the play "Lady Windermere's Fan" III) Something to think about when a candidate is bragging about "experience."

    January 8, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  15. ernie del rosario

    Calling Al Gore ! Rescue America first before Earth ! Another Republican in the White House ? For God's sake ! America, wake up ! If only the world at large can impeach Bush, he could have been a long time ago !

    January 8, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  16. Chris LaBossiere

    I have a hard time with this one, and didn't want to touch it, but let's think about this list of thugs, tyrants and pundits.


    January 8, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  17. AW in Santo Domingo

    Hillary comes off very Machiavellian – politically expedient. Those looked liked wide-eyed crocodile tears – forced. And, notice how she co-opted the phrase, "this is personal" – a line from the debate by John Edwards – right after her misty moment. (Edwards, I buy, Hillary, I question her motives). Hillary has too too many political debts to pay to be an 'agent of change'. EVERYTHING Rosenberg and the NDN are about is incrimental approaches to divide and conquer constitutencies and get enough delegates to win. That's how we got "soccer moms" and "technology park dads." Nothing about the Clinton's has been 'big idea' after Hillary failed with Health Care the first time with Bill and Newt beat them in the first mid-term election with the "Contract for America" or "How to dismantle the New Deal and Great Society by calling it something different". (And now we've got GW who has spent his way out of New Deal and Great Society with debt and war). How is Hillary going to be any different now? We need BIG IDEAS, big heart, and the will and vision to get the job done. She should have run before Bill, if she truly wanted to make a difference.

    January 8, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  18. Roxanne

    It really must be frustrating for Hillary. It seems like deja vu all over again. It seems like voters would never learn! We must...in fact it is our duty to go beyond the rhetoric to fully vet a candidate before comitting to him. I would urge the Hil to stay in the race and leave that meany-nasty Edwards no chance to dance in there when American will have woken up to the fact that they are about to put a rookie into the White House.

    First it was 'I'm a Uniter, not a Divider!" and 'Compassionate Conservative!" and now it is "Change, we can trust!'

    I am a Black woman hoping that the Hil stays in the race at least until Feb 5, when we can all get to go to the polls and demonstrate to Iowa, New Hampshire and whichever else state that would have fallen for Obama's Com-by-ya, la-de-da, One-love-let's-get-together-and-feel-alright, finally, how to use that tissue mass below our hairline! This is truly a demonstration why we do not need these two states picking our president, because the last one they sent us, turned out to be a disaster!

    January 8, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  19. George

    Wow, I sometimes want to cry myself when I read comments on blogs such as some of these. What is the wrong with a little emotion? I would fear any Candidate who couldn't show a passion, a drive, and a determination for their beliefs. This is a strong woman, a public person who has dedicated her life to public service with a long record of good solid public works. There is a record, there is an agenda, there is a commitment to America. Finally, she has walked the walk, she comes with eight years of experience/internship (call it what you want) in White House. She has seen the difficulites, the trails and tribulations, the successes and failures of the office of president first hand (and she still wants to run for president). I like this Candidate. I didn't see tears/voice of frustration I only saw a Patriotic American concerned for her country who deeply believes she can lead this country in the right direction. And thats all I got to say about that.

    January 8, 2008 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  20. Marisol

    Ignorance is bliss, and that is why everyone supporting Barack Obama is so excited about him, but they don't know why, except for his rhetoric and charm that moves the soul...sounds like a sermon and the crowds look like worshipers. If you go to his webpage, he even places a white cloud/aura around him like an angel sent from heaven above. Sounds like a ploy to portray himself as our savior. Be conscious of the messages that are being subliminally delivered to you both by his campaign and the media. He has been trying so hard to repeat his Iowa speech that after the hype passed and all the chips settled, I realized his message is void of substance. Please tell me something substantial that he's done or something specific that he plans to do in detail? Something concrete and based on fact that supports your nomination for him as president, because he had the opportunity to do it in many debates and has failed every time for this reason – no plan, except to get to the White House.

    January 8, 2008 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  21. M Rodgers

    Understand....Bill Clinton is not running for president. Hillary is a fine woman and she rates among the top seven candidates that I would vote for and Ron Paul is ahead of her. In my opinion, the CHANGE independent minded people are referring is NO MORE BUSH and NO MORE CLINTON in the White House. Even, Chelsea Clinton don't a chance of getting in the White House.

    Furthermore, I would like to know the profile of the invited lady who asked the question to Hillary that so-called made her CRY. I am starting to believe this was a staged event because the same individual was at an Barack Obama rally (on stage, clearly seen on TV), was the last person to ask Hillary the emotional question, and somehow was on TV after the Hillary Q&A with a news reporter convinced that the tears changed her mind and she would vote for Clinton because of the emotional speech. SPIN comes to mind....The Clintons are very good politicians. 35 years of many games to play to get elected!

    The Clintons have tried to make gender and race apart of this campaign and I hope the American people do not fall for the dirty tricks. Remember, Ophra Winfrey endorsed Barack Obama and we all know if you are not a kid or a good book she will not do this. Also, people forget Barack Obama's mother is white. Obama is beyond the color line.

    Thank you Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and others for your tireless service. It is clear that Barack Obama is genuine and very capable of being elected to the highest office in our land and many Americans can attest to this fact. Obama 08!

    January 8, 2008 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  22. Tommy

    It`s interesting watching has the events unfold in this Election. The Clintons are world class, highly respected all over the world, the question however is who can be trusted, to me it`s all about trust. Change and Hope are good things to pursue but how can you make these things happen when you rely heavily on lobbyist money for campaign. To be honesty Obama and Edward are in better position to make these things happen.

    January 8, 2008 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  23. martin stevens

    My biggest fear is that Obama captures the dreams of many Americans because he is unelectable at this time in our countries history and therefore we face another 4 years of a Republican

    January 8, 2008 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  24. Ann Aloha, PA

    Wow after all the media beating...I guess the candidate they chose(Obama), is in trouble.
    Now watch how the meidia turns on Senator Obama and start revealing negative stories to create more sensationalism. All those stories they hated to report will surface and the media again will be licking their chops.
    Glad to be and Independent...I'd say....hehehe

    Pollster John Zogby:
    Democrats NH Tracking





    January 8, 2008 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  25. Phil, Philadelphia

    Linda Hemmingsen Please stay in Canada and mind your own business.... This page with all these comment were meant to comment on Clinton and her teary eyed moment.... Wake up!!!!!!! Do you think we want to see this great country fall? We want someone who can change this country from what it suffered during the last eight years. That change is Obama.

    January 8, 2008 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38