January 9th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Voter who made Clinton teary picked Obama

The CNN Ticker

Marianne Pernold Young looks on Monday after asking a question that led Hillary Clinton to tears.

(CNN) - Many political observers are crediting Democrat Hillary Clinton's surprise win in New Hampshire to the New York senator's rare display of emotion at a Portsmouth Coffee shop Monday morning.

But Clinton's tearful moment failed to win at least one Granite State voter - the very woman who prompted her response in the first place.

Marianne Pernold-Young told CNN Wednesday she ultimately picked Barack Obama in Tuesday night's primary because of the Illinois senator's performance at a recent rally she attended.

"I was moved to tears. Not once, but twice," she said. "And he has this enormous electricity. And I was just taken aback. And I just had to go with my feelings." (Video: Young speaks on American Morning)

On Monday, Young asked Clinton how she was holding up under the rigors of a presidential campaign - an inquiry that cause the presidential candidate's eyes to well up and voice to tremble.

"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," a teary Clinton said. "You know, I have so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards." (Video: Clinton gets emotional)

The moment instantly became the most-covered event on the campaign trail on the day before the critical New Hampshire primary, drawing praise from some who said Clinton had finally bared her true self to voters. The next day, Clinton won among voters who said a candidate who "cares about people" is most important (a category John Edwards won in Iowa.)

Young told CNN she herself was touched by the event, though it was not enough to convince her to support Clinton.

"I was very touched and I was totally in awe that she would open up to us, all of us there," Young said. "But it was a delicate matter."

On CNN's American Morning, Clinton wouldn't speculate whether the moment had put her over the top in the Granite State the night before, but said, "I'm really glad that I had a chance to say what I believe with all of my heart, that politics isn't a game, it's not a horse race. It's about people's lives." (Video: Hillary Clinton on American Morning)

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (816 Responses)
  1. Kathie in Arkansas

    After reading the comments here it is painfully obvious why women still get stopped by that glass ceiling and why we probably will not have a woman president. If Hillary doeesn't wear her heart on her sleeve as Bill did then she's a cold, calculating b***h. If she allows herself to be human and show emotion she's hysterical, manipulative, and again calculating. Women just cannot win. I'd like to know why people are not asking themselves what qaulifies Obama to be president, is looking good and speaking well really the only criteria now?

    Hillary has a very respectable track record in the Senate, not mention her life-long work before coming to Washington. Grow up America, for all our sakes.

    January 9, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Wayne Brown

    Wayne, Breckenridge, CO

    Now that we will be seeing more of Bill out on the stump for Hillary, is there really any doubt but that HE wouldl be her real VP. Or is it really Bill that is running for President?

    January 9, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Jeanine G

    From all accounts Obama's extended family are proud of his achievements, say his father would be proud and have been very polite, and diplomatic in their views of his competition...they don't act deprived by him.

    January 9, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Denni Simms, Atlanta, GA

    I did not perceive Clinton's tears to be more than an extremely tired candidate that was disappointed with the Iowa results.

    Her 2-point lead in New Hampshire does not shake my confidence and belief that Obama will be our next President.

    He is an electrifying, powerful speaker, a brilliant and accomplished man. We need intelligent leadership!

    Yes we can!

    January 9, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. erin

    I think it's awful that you are emphasizing that Hillary Clinton "cried". She didn't cry. She was clearly moved and the question touched a nerve, but to state that she cried is false. I think it's irresponsible jornalism for you to mischaracterize what took place and focus on what many consider to be a female vulnerability: emotion.

    January 9, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Jr., California

    If you just want a woman president folks why not: Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleeza Rice, ..... etc. It just seems that the women who support Hillary SIMPLY want a "woman" for prez and nothing else. So she cried, big deal. You voted for her for that! This is bigger than just making history. And this isn't about partisan loyalty. I am torn between Ron Paul, Obama, Edwards, Mitt, and Huckabee. This is about doing a job. I don't feel that Hillary is our man .... hee hee

    January 9, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Bobby, Arlington, VA.

    Nice performance Hillary.

    January 9, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Linda Feldman

    Senator Clinton's explanation about politics being about people's lives rings hollow. Her failure to accomplish healthcare reform during her time as First Lady had the greatest impact on people's lives and she has never shed a tear about that. It's all about her not people.

    January 9, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Erik

    I think I know why she changed her vote,
    Must I remind the world that the collapse in the econmony (deficit) and the planning for the 911 attacks took place when the Clintons were in the White House? You have to be pretty special to drive the economy into the ground pre "War on Terrorism". No matter how you look at it, when Bush took over, he was left with the largest mess in US History. I don't see a problem with sending the empeached couple back to the oval office.

    January 9, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Fritz

    I cannot believe the dirt you people are kicking up. The things you try and make relevant are offensive. Anything to undermine someone you do not favor. Is this reporting? Is this good writing? Is this anything beyond cheap?

    I am disgusted by the cowardly acts performed by the media.

    United States of Tragedy...

    January 9, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. darrellj

    Hillary got emotional because she was losing and felt rejected by the American people. Today, Obama got the 60,000 people union in Nevada and raised $500,000 dollars since midnight last night. Obama will bounce back.

    A quick message to all you Hillary supporters. Don't you think it's fair that if someone is going to boast about their 35 years experience, they should have ALL of the documents in the national archive with their name on it released?

    It seems really naive to just take someone's word that they have all this experience, but really have nothing substantial to show for it.

    January 9, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. The First is Squashed

    CNN is so biased! Hillary won last night and you report this story as a headline on your main page??? Where are the reports of her endorsements she received today?? You only report Husseins,,,why?? You are turning into FAUX news. At least they skewer both Hillary and Barack so I might have to turn the channel!

    January 9, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Shaena R.

    I'm not sure why some people feel Hilary "faked it" with the dropping of a tear. Do we all not carry a lot on our shoulders? Do we all not have something we feel passionate about? Are we human? So she got a bit choked up. She is either letting us in to know the real her, or trying out for next year's academy awards. I am choosing the first assumption. Second, what I find very odd is that the news stations (including CNN) are NOT reporting objectively at all. Clearly, all anchors and reporters seem to support Obama and that was made even more clear byt them stating "we are not yet ready to make a projection..." had the numbers been in reverse, the Democratice race in NH would've been called at 12% like the Republican side. More attention has be drawn to politics and I couldn't be more elated. I feel this election is definitely going to be a tough and interesting battle... at least until " Super Tuesday", I am currently a Democratic (as you might have guessed by now) HOWEVER, if the candidate I want is not the decided presidential candidate, I may have to vote Republican. Hummm, there you go CNN! Ask this question to all.... How many registered voters would SWITCH parties due to their pick for the next Presidential candidate NOT being the one they supported???

    Shaena R.

    January 9, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. [D]-Sen. Duronville

    I think we should all give a round of applause to this year's breakthrough Actress in a Comedy. . . .Hillary Clinton!!!

    Seriously, Like many people on this forum, I find it extremely hard to understand why CNN and many other media pundits can't seem to see through this shallow facade. Throughout Sen. Clinton's campaign, she's been accused of being machine-like, cold, and impersonal. Wasn't this "rare display of emotion" an obvious and calculated ploy that the her team set up?! C'mon people, lets get real, when have we as the american people ever seen Hillary Clinton emotional and then on the day preceding an important election where she was already being counted out she "coincidentally" has a show of emotion? Right.

    This is a prime example of the type of politics that the Clinton is playing and although many thought Bill was great ( I among them) its time to realize that Hillary in '08 isn't a reincarnation of Clinton '92.

    January 9, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. Jim

    [I keep hearing that Obama's supporters want change – but they sure sound like good old fashion mud-slingers to me.]

    Yea if there is a vote needed for most HorseS@&t, Obama Wins hands down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 9, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. enwhysee

    I still feel she got emotional because of the pressure and it had nothing to do with the question. She is crying? What is she going to do if she is president? God help US!

    January 9, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. John Seattle, WA

    If this isn't a textbook case of irony, I don't know what is. Give Hillary credit, she cried when she needed to cry and it helped her in NH. I'm hoping she and Bill do a little jig when they come out to NV. That is, if we can tear Bill away from the Glitter Gulch Girls.

    Hillary is a shrewd politician–only time will tell how far it gets her in this election.

    January 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. CalGal

    It is interesting that the Republicans' Polls were right on the money and were reflected in the primary vote. The Democrats polls were not even remotely reflected in the primary vote.

    The "Clinton Politcal Machine" is back in full gear and read to roll over all of her & Bill's opponents. It can manipulate an voting forum. Interesting.

    January 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. Matt McGinnis, Houston TX

    Are you kidding me? Clinton cries and gets more votes? I don't think her tears will sway Putin or the President of Iran. You people are simply foolish. You are putting everyone in danger with your emotional votes. Hillary's record is pathetic, she can't run a household, she can't even stand up for herself. What do you think this woman will bring? Really? What do you think she'll bring? More than half the country hates her and world leaders will walk all over her. You people don't know your own history, you dont know Middle East history, you don't even know Clinton history. This is what I base my vote on, I read and I read and I read. You people vote based upon hating Bush and Clinton tears. Someone promises change and you're ready to follow them off a cliff. It's a change alright.

    January 9, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Kimdoan

    If Hilary can not take pressure during the campain and was in tear, how she can
    take pressures from all sources, inside and outside if she ever becomes president?
    She shows me that she is not strong enough to be my president.

    January 9, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Smart Voter who chose Obama over the 'Fake Crocodile Tears of Hillary'.....Hillary should win an Oscar! The tears were Not real, but from Hillary's inner focus on her potential loss, personal frustration, and the stretch of a last ditch effort to try and get the vote from Obama. Remember, she said, 'This is personal for me?' It was 'all about feeling sorry for herself,' not this country! Give me a break!
    Guess it worked on some unrealistic females. We, once again, were given a front row seat to the Clinton desperation and duplicitous nature of Hillary. All she's after is 'Power.' John Edwards stands to win BIG... if the split between Obama and Clinton continues to grow. Edwards is certainly Not an 'empty suit' as Obama has been called, nor is Edwards a fake, duplicitious, power-mad female. Edwards stands on his own merit and experience and would be a natural choice for a Democratic President Only one problem: A Republican will be the Next President 2008! Romney has the BEST POSITION on the Problem of Illegal Aliens and how to Enforce U.S. Federal Rule of Law.

    January 9, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Alex G.

    This is ridiculous. She has completely lost my vote. I dont want a president that cries under pressure. Stop crying about the current state of our country and do something about it.

    January 9, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Maggie

    CNN did not repot the whole story about this woman. Here's the rest of it and it tells you one of the many reasons that people like me are voting for Obama:

    Marianne Pernold Young, 64, a freelance photographer from Portsmouth, N.H., told ABC News that while she was moved by Clinton's emotional moment, she was turned off by how quickly the New York senator regained her "political posture."

    "I went to see Hillary. I was undecided and I was moved by her response to me," Pernold Young said in a telephone interview with ABC News. "We saw ten seconds of Hillary, the caring woman."

    "But then when she turned away from me, I noticed that she stiffened up and took on that political posture again," she said. "And the woman that I noticed for ten seconds was gone."

    January 9, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Mary Ann

    I don't think people should down play the affect that Hillary Clinton's emotions may have had on voters. Women aren't the same as men and to pretend otherwise is folly for her campaigners. The voters are looking for differences; not how much alike the candidates are and right now, I think Hillary showing her passion and emotion had an affect on what people think about her. We all know that when a man is tough he's a fierce competitor and when a woman is tough, she's a *itch. I think people have been waiting to see another side to Hillary, and as much as we might not like to admit it, that she also meets their expectations of what a woman is (or should be). What I think will probably get her elected, is that she can portray both and get away with it; be both a tough competitor and leader and an emotional, carrying woman. Obama's mistake will be to try and make her emotions seem like a weakness...it'll p*ss most women off. Just my humble opinion.

    January 9, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Ind

    This past year I have become an Obama supporter, and can't believe this reputation the Hillary campaign has manufactured that she's so "experienced" and brings some kind of "knowhow" superior to everyone else. She's been in the Senate for exactly one more term than Obama, with few (if any) legislative successes to point to by my count. Compare the Senate voting records of Hillary and Obama over the past 2-3 years and the differences are microscopic (except for the her initial support for the war and his opposition, which Obama famously touts). I don't doubt that Hillary is a seasoned politico and trained under the most savvy and strategic politician maybe in the past 40 years. But real "experience"?? Dems should have went with Biden or Dodd if legislative experience is what matters, or Richardson if we really care about executive experience. (and recall that Bill famously downplayed his own lack of "experience" in 1992, which just goes to show you how the Clinton's positions change as needed to win the election)

    And being First Lady during Bill's years, while certainly giving her a very close seat to watch the show, also does not amount to "Presidential experience." Take a look at the typical daily agenda of the president's spouse and you'll see that none of it had to do with making executive-type decisions. In fact, the one part of Bill's agenda she actually was entrusted with – health care – failed miserably in partisan bickering with the Republicans (which, as you may recall, she continued to engage in throughout Bill's 8 years and contributed quite a bit to the distate many on both sides have for her today). I fear that's a better indicator of what to expect from her as President, rather than her somehow magically resurrecting the economic expansion post-1994 (which really had nothing to do with Bill's policies and everything to do with a surging stock market and the rise of the Internet and tech companies fueling the economy from below).

    The real point, of course, is that Hillary is very good at being whatever you want her to be. Want me to be experienced? I'm that! Want me to be a change agent? Oh yeah, I'm that too! And strong and vulnerable and steely and emotional and partisan and bipartisan and tall and short and black and white and any other thing you need me to be in order to get your vote! Even Bill lamented that, sadly, there were just some things he couldn't make her. That speaks volumes to me – the Clinton strategy has never been to inspire you or persuade you on the subtantive issues, but simply to do or say whatever it takes (e.g., campaign slogans, clever "planted" questions, criticizing an insipirational message as "false hope," and the now-famous "tears") to get the candidate in the White House. I find it quite a cynical way of looking at the electorate.

    Bottom line: both Clinton and Obama are campiagning with words, speeches and messages; "action" is possible only after you win. Clinton is no more "experienced" as President than Obama is, but the message of the Obama campaign is one of hope, optimism and bipartisanship, while she appears to be stumping for "experience" and more of the same Washington gridlock. This is already an historic election, and what I have seen from Obama is inspirational in a way we haven't seen since Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The older so-called "traditional" Dems who have been in Hillary's camp ought to think about that for a minute and realize that we now have a chance to elect a once-in-a-generation candidate who embodies those principles. Hillary may be an "experienced" politician, but it's Obama who can lead a nation.

    January 9, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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