January 8th, 2008
10:45 AM ET
9 years ago

Clinton: 'I actually have emotions'

Watch Obama react to Bhutto's death

Watch Clinton discuss her emotional moment on the campaign trail.

(CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton talked to CNN's John Roberts about tearing up on the campaign trail Monday, saying the incident proves she has emotions.

"Well you know, I actually have emotions - I know there are some people who doubt that, but you know, I really am so touched by what I hear from people," said the New York senator. "It's usually about their problems.

“It's usually a mother who throws arm around me and says thank you for the Children's Health Care insurance program, or a man who drove here all the way here from New York to say I'd saved jobs in New York. That's really moving to me. That's how I judge the job I'm doing."

"So when this woman, this really kind woman, said to me, 'Well, how are you doing?' it was so touching to me," she said. "I'm so other-oriented. You know I'm not good about talking about myself. I don't get up and think about how I'm going to present myself. I think about, 'What am I going to do today to actually make a difference in someone's life?'"

The comments are in reference to Clinton's visible display of emotion at a campaign event in Portsmouth Monday morning, following a undecided voter's question about how the New York senator is dealing with the rigors of a presidential campaign.

"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," Clinton said, her voice breaking a bit.

"You know, I have so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards," she added, while 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 - just put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (695 Responses)
  1. hughvic

    What more can the outfit the Los Angeles Times calls, on its front page, the Corrupt News Network do for Hillary Rodham Clinton in her hour of need? That, my friends, is the question.

    Can you, say, get Hillary's oppo people to place some breeder stories with Bloomberg so that you can promulgate defamations of Obama in good conscience while hiding your traces? Can you pretend, for example, that there was ever any doubt as to Hillary's being a person of emotion, as in the emotions of anger, rage, resentment, jealousy, spite, vengefulness, fear, aggression, hurt, insecurity, indignation? How can you play the race card against the gender card and get away with it?

    Are your overpaid sophomores equal to the challenge, or will they fail their liege when she needs them most? Gird yourselves, men and women of Ted's benighted former Fourth Estate, for this is a time for adults, and you've much growing up to do.

    CNN. Give me a break!

    January 8, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  2. helfselp

    anyone that says Hillary is faking it or acting or whatever should really try to look at their own judgments on themselves. It's a big deal to be a candidate for the commander in chief and i can only imagine how hard it is for everyone on the campaign trail. (families included)
    let's try not to look at the negative and lets embrace the nugget of compassion that we all have inside us for other humans. cause at the end of the day, that's what we ALL are.
    It's very easy to sit behind a computer and throw stones.

    Maybe she was acting. Maybe she was genuine. Maybe,maybe, maybe. you simply don't know. just let it BE instead of making yourself bitter over a display of emotion from someone you might not agree with politically.
    Those that feel the need to lash out are thinking from an opinion based on fear and distrust of others and most likely themselves.

    try compassion. it's a better choice than bitter.

    January 8, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I do think her tears were genuine but not in the sense that she was upset about the state of America. What she is upset about is the fact that she now has a great chance of losing.

    January 8, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  4. Cindy

    As a woman who was high school valedictorian, a summa cum laude college graduate and earned a master's degree with a 4.0 GPA, I have another comment to add:

    First, I'd like to see the GPA and vita of the narrow-minded guys who responded on this board.

    Second, Narrow-mindedness and woman-bashing comments make my temper itch. Good grief, get a life and realize that women are intelligent and they don't need to be "ironing" to be accomplished successful American citizens. Apparently some mindsets haven't changed since the days of Susan B. Anthony.

    I also want to address the minister-bashing comment. I'm certainly not a Huckabee fan. When he ousted Gov. Jim Guy Tucker with a takeover of the state capitol building when he was Lt. Gov. of our great state, he was put on my list of politicians with questionable motives. However, it does not matter what we think about the messenger, just don't mess with the Message. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a fairytale. It is a simple yet powerful message.

    January 8, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. hughvic

    Who's bitter? And who cares whether she was faking? What a dumb red herring that is, and how typical of CNN and therefore of the Hillary campaign. If CNN really cared whether she was feigning emotion, they'd tell us whose footage it is. They're just spinning our wheels. Don't indulge compassion when choosing the next person to occupy the most powerful office in world history. Don't indulge in emotive decision-making at all, in fact. Be idealistic and patriotic, but by all means be ruthless. The Chinese goverment is.

    January 8, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. Bryan

    Two possibilities:

    1) Clinton is showing genuine emotion. Do you see other candidates crying? DO YOU WANT A PRESIDENT WHO IS GOING TO CRACK UNDER PRESSURE LIKE THIS?

    2) This is a fake and calculated move to hide what she actually is, which is stiff and unlikeable.

    Neither is acceptable from a potential President.

    January 8, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. Mel

    It is impossible be a female politician and not attract criticism for each and every smallest act – from both directions simultaneously. Too tough. Too weak. Too emotional. Too robotic. When what they really mean is: too female. Male politicians are raked over the coals for their actions and comments, but at least they are given a modicum of latitude to have a personality, or not have much of a personality as the case may be. The standard for Senator Clinton seems to be "fulfill my every fantasy for what a flawless leader/mother/friend could possibly be, but if you disappoint me in some small way, well I knew this job was too tough for a woman." We've got to admit that this election is indeed partly about whether the country is ready for a woman to lead it. Because really, how much difference do you think there really is in their positions? Sure there are minor differences, but when you ask the candidates what they would do about the war, about poverty, about the environment, they are not different enough to argue over. We are choosing the leader we want. It would be such an incredible gift to every American girl to elect our first woman president. Even if nothing else changes at all, the country would never be the same. When all is said and done, can we not at least have made an impact on every young girl who worries about being thin enough instead of smart enough; who thinks being sexually precocious is going to help her somehow; and who doesn't raise her hand in class to keep from competing with the boys?

    January 8, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  8. hughvic

    Cindy, the power mad Mike Huckabee long ago sold out the Gospel in order to accept what the Nazarene refused: the offer of ultimate worldly political power. To Huckabee the Gospel is now reduceable to helping the poor. Summatively. Seriously. Look up the Florida "debate" sponsored by the same folks sponsoring this blog.

    January 8, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  9. Tinfoilhatlady

    Hilary Clinton is evil. Do some research on Cathy O'Brien.

    January 9, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Someone Intelligent

    If Hillary really "cares" about you or America then why in every speech she gives does she keep saying "I, I, me, I, me, I, me, when I, I, I , me"?

    All the while Obama is saying "us, we, we, we, you and I, Americans". For once, just once, we have a presidential candidate who cares more about the American dream than himself! But all of you are too blind and dumb to notice (only the Hillary fans!). Open your ears and listen to the two closing speeches last night you will clearly hear a different tone in Mr. Obama's voice!

    Shut you mouths and open your ears and eyes when she speaks again, you'll see what I mean.

    You people make me sick, believing what she and Bill and her slimy campaign manager (did that guy freak anyone else out in those interviews with him....can he give a definite answer on anything..."I am not sure who will be on her campaign team in the future, after all I am only her campaign manager" and some of you people buy that?

    She (and Bill) will do, or say ANYTHING to win! Because they have a life to keep going and its a lavish one! If you can't see that...then you are truly blind!

    January 9, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Jdd

    Well, Hillary sure did get the sympathy votes she needed to pull this off. You women need to wake up ....she is too far out of touch for speaking of the middle class and for the concerns of women. And she surely doesn't even come close to represent me as concerned female voter. She' s learned quite well from her husband how to tell the people what they want to hear to get all the votes she will try to capture. Remember the record of Clintons to be repeatedly dishonest. Also, what experience of 35 years qualifies her to say she has more experience over her candidates. For one thing we don't need an attorney running our office and not another 8 years of Clintons. It's the Clinton's Presidential Career Dream to run the office again and try to run the American people. How I wish this could be another female running instead - Be wise, as we really need to clean up bad politics.

    January 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. doris

    Tears,Tears,Tears, That is all everyone mentions. Hillary did not shed any tears, Hillary did not shed any tears, get it, Her voice faltered, but she did not shed one tear, watch the reruns. She was emotional, yes, but not one tear slid down her face. It becomes so useless to try to impress everyone she did not cry. I've seen Bush get emotional numerous times, I saw his father shed real tears, he had to stop speaking 2 or 3 times he was sobbing so hard. I heard sympathy for him. A lady shows emotion & the world comes to a halt. Emotions are a human trait. When the world gets to the place that a "tear" makes so many people upset, we are really in trouble

    January 11, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  13. Brenda

    Instead of giving Hillary a hard way yo go you need to be checking out OBMAM background. If you knew some of the things about him you would not vote for him. Do not be fooled. We need a good President to clean up the BUSH era. Hillary is the only one qualified to do this. VOTE HILLARY 2008

    January 12, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  14. Brenda

    All of you people that are coming down on Hillary are crazy. She is enduring all of this becasue she loves our COUNTRY and wants to clean up the mess BUSH will be leaving. You condem her if she is not warm and caring, then when she shows emotions you condem her also. I personally think she reacted this way becasue she was touched by someone knowing what she was having to go thru. She will make a wonderful President ,but she is human too. She didn't cry but I think the lady that asked about her and how she was doing made Hillary stop and think about herself for a change. She is so busy trying to explain her record adn get to know everone else, she doesn't take the time she needs for herself. This is the true Hillary. Caring, responsible and qualified. She is by far the BEST choice for the job. If you would check out the background of OBMAMA you would not be happy with the true facts you would find out about him. He is not what people think but what they want to thnk. Check it out. He also has no record to prove what he is promising.
    This election is to important to throw it away again. Look what happens when you put someone in office that doesn't have the qualifications to become President.

    January 12, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  15. hughvic

    Aren't four hours of "awaiting moderation" enough?

    January 12, 2008 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  16. doris

    hughvic: Boy you should be in movies editing. Or maybe at the boxing matches so you can narrate every detail. How do you know just every minute that she supposedly was ushered away from everyone. Your imagination cooly reflects that you should be in monitoring. You act as if you were holding the chair so she could sit. It is so unrealistic that people can make up details to their own likings. Unless you were there at the moment when this happened you have no idea what happened & who staged & who shot it.

    January 14, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. hughvic


    You're right to be skeptical, only just here it seems to me that you are not skeptical enough. I take the gist of your refutation to be: unless one were there at the moment, one could not know what happened or who staged or shot the footage.

    Look, please: CNN was not there, and did not shoot it. It's available on this site. Please view it. It shows most of what I assert. CNN knows who shot it, because they know from whom they received it. It's just that they'd rather cover that fact with the squid's ink of riddling us about whether her tears were authentic, as though that matters one whit compared to actual electioneering and destruction of our press freedoms through corruption of the media. Yet you say that it would be impossible to know the provenance of the footage unless you'd been there. Come on.

    Other reports throughout the day prior to the vote, from this network and the others, had it that their reporters were not allowed interviews with Hillary, and that she was not responding to, for example, questions shouted on the fly. If you're experienced in journalism, as I and millions of others are, then you'll know that this is a common strategy on the eve of elections, and that reporters usually take it in stride, as they did that day. On this site you will find further footage, CNN footage, to that effect. Likewise for CNBC, Fox, and the broadcast networks. I knnow. I checked. Please do so yourself.

    Finally, my resume should not be relevant here - should not be needed by you or required of me - but I worked for those people for 20 years. It's not as though I suddenly went incommunicado with the DNC shop, if you see what I mean. No grudge there, doris, but let me just presume to advise you as a fellow voter that if you defend politicians for being politicians it's best to be prepared for disappointment. I was disappointed as a consultant, many times, by candidates of both parties. I happen not to be jaded, as some of those here are naive enough to wish to pretend to be without really even knowing how to feign it, but I'm as wary of politicians as Jefferson was, bless him.

    So by all means don't take my word for it. But try asking the questions I ask here instead of the questions CNN wants you to ask. Try asking my questions of CNN. Search their site for any instance of their having asked any of these most obvious, first-year J-School questions. See what you get. Caveat emptor.

    January 14, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Brenda

    CNN would like nothing better than to keep all this bickering going on and on. We want to see the difference in these canadid's. I hope you people that work in CNN will ask some tough questions on the debate on the background to OBMAM. Are you afraid of what you might find out. Come on we the public need to know more about this man that you seem to be protecting. Be fair. Ask him about his faith, background, coming from Kenya, how he plans to bring the troops home without jeperdizing the others that have helped us. You are letting him just glide right in and you want this man to become our President. It is up to you to investigate and find out about this man. How many cells do we have here in the US now that are undercover? What does he plan to do about them? Come on ask him the hard questions so we can decide how we want to vote. Give us something to look at instead of keep on hashing the race issue. Forget about the polls we don't need to know these because they were wrong last time. Stick to the issues at stake here. The economey, the jos, healthcare adn ending the war.

    January 14, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  19. hughvic

    Go Brenda! You are the best! It occurs to me that your insistence, your forthright demands as a sovereign citizen to make YOUR government and YOUR press and YOUR society bend to your will, is exactly - exactly - what the real radicals who founded this country must have wanted in a citizen-voter-ruler. You go, Brenda. Make them hesitate for a moment, and reflect on who's really the boss here. Sit them down in the hot seat, Brenda, because you're right: this is the most important job interview in world history, and you are the interviewer and so am I. And we and the others here have got to look the horse in the mouth or kick the tires or whatever and hire and fire as we see fit, because that is our duty and our right, without which there would be no nation to have a Chief whose office we hire someone to fill. Remind them that they serve at OUR pleasure at all times, and will promote them or discipline them or fire them as we see fit. They have no tenure, no labor protections, no right to do anything in our name of which we in the main do not approve. We honor only their offices, and not them. And they will honor our wishes, or vacate their offices. The press also, including CNN, hold the chartered office of the Fourth Estate, and they too serve at our pleasure at all times. They too will be promoted or disciplined or else fired and their office revoked. They are not above the Law, and in this country the Law is the People. Not the mob; the free-born sovereign People of a democracy. The Boss.

    Thank you Brenda. Jefferson would court you.

    January 15, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  20. Brenda

    I think after reading several of these post that we all need to look at the qualifications and record of these canadid's running for our highest office. Many of you seem to be juding Hillary for Bill's mistakes. Well all I can say is Bill might have something's in his backgound that is not worth rehashing as the media has already had a field day with it for years. On the other side as there are always 2 sides to ever story. Look at the accomplishments of Bill Clinton as Presidnet. he had a surplus when he left office which Bush spent the first year and has continued to get us deeper in debt each year. It was better with Bill in office that BUSH. I would gladly go back to the Clinton years as we had lower gas, no war , a surplus, and I could go on and on. But you narrow minded people only want to remember one thing about Bill Clinton. Give me a break!!!! First I don't approve of the scandle about him, but he is not the first or the last President to do something of this nature. Look at Kennedy.

    Now that being said. Bill is not running it is Hillary and she will make a BETTER Presidnet that Bill ever did. Stop and think about the mess we are in right now. Who would want to take over these hard times????? That is where EXPERIENCE comes in. Hillary has been tested in ALL fields of her life and I admire her for getting into this race. She is a stong, intellegent, qualified person that will be ready on day one. Don't think for a minute that the terrorist are not watching this election. They saw what a mess the last election turned out and knew we had someone in office that was not qualified. That is the reason we were attacked. We will be attacked again in the years ahead as they are not going to give up. That is just a fact not a scare. They are getting America right where they want us. Broke and have many of our men away from America. We need to STOP this war and get back on the right track. Yes it will take years, but hey BUSH has spent for 7 years and we can not clean it up in one or two year. Elect Hillary the ONLY way to start the recovery from the messy BUSH erra.

    Republicans say Democrats spent give me a break...that is a fairytale!!!! Democrats are the conserative ones in spending. The only reson that the congress has not accomplished more since taking control is BUSH stubborness and veto pin. Now McCain has been saying he would use his veto pen if elected. We do not need another REPUBLICAN President in office. It has been a disaster.

    THE ONLY ONE QUALIFIED IS Hillary!!!!!!!!! VOTE Hillary 2008

    January 17, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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