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. Mark

    What we need as a country is not someone who chokes up because it is "hard" or "tiresome". Our country has a projected $53 TRILLION dollar national debt. Yes, $53 TRILLION!! What are any of the candidates saying about that?! This is much more important than "how are you holding up?" Clinton is full of it, and everyone knows it. She's a lawyer trained to convince a jury of a clients point, not whether the client is truthful or lying. She will NOT work for the average American, she will work for whatever special interest helps (god help us all) get her elected.
    Obama 08!


    January 10, 2008 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  2. Nancy

    People.....she did NOT cry. She became emotional, expressed it and answered a question from the peanut gallery as genuinely as she could. Before you go bashing what could be the best thing that's ever happened to this country, ask yourselves if you could endure the tremendous amount of pressure and commitment that it takes to run for public office. Seems to me if Hillary were a man, she wouldn't be taking such a public beating.
    All the sour grapes should pipe down...she won in NH, 'nuff said.

    January 10, 2008 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  3. Kola

    Did Bill Clinton raise racial issues against blacks? NO. Did Hillary cry? NO. In the individual choice of candidates to back, objectivity counts. That is the only thing that benefits a nation.

    January 10, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  4. Joe, Wilmington DE

    I guess she wasn't buying the "spontaneous" display of emotion. I would like to believe that Sen. Clinton was genuine but she and her husband have done too many things on the knife-edge of shady that I cannot. Plus, given the convenient timing my immediate reaction was a groan of disgust and a hope that voters would not fall for it.

    I am all for a female President but she must be honest, genuine and without a checkered past.

    Voters: please, please do not fall for the teary, well-timed acts of desperation. These people are well known for doing and saying anything to get votes - honestly or not.

    The Democratic party has a rare opportunity to put forth an incredibly intelligent, highly ethical, honest and decent candidate who is also gifted with a high degree of practical decision-making, management skill and a steep learning curve.

    Let's not screw-up this opportunity. Please vote for Sen. Obama.

    January 10, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  5. MissKayM

    I am so sick of the gang bashing of Hillary.
    Let her run.
    Let Obama run
    Let all the candidates run and forget the negativitiy.
    Most people are so tired of it all from both parties, but the Democratic
    Party has been the worse.
    All the Democrats want the same thing, the old America back. The good America.
    Obama is using his new voice to win over some.
    Do not vote on emotions from the heart, but use your head and think.
    Hillary is a real person, not what the news have told people to believe.
    Every living person has emotions.
    People voted for Hillary because she is a tough individual.
    No mention of Romney's tears during the campaign.
    Hillary has been attacked so much she has to be tough on the outside.
    Good for her , good for America.
    We need experience and brains in the White House, not good old back slapper types.

    January 10, 2008 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  6. Ann

    Hillary Clinton has always come across to me as very arrogant. I think the reason she was moved to tears is because her ego could not stand to be losing – as she was in the polls days before the New Hampshire primary and after a stunning setback in Iowa. I don't think it had anything to do with her caring about the country. It was her deeply wounded pride.

    January 10, 2008 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  7. Margaret Ann Schaaf

    I think that her tears were primarily because she realized that people were seeing through the superficial mask she always wears. She's a politician. She is an ambitious woman who was calculating enough to stay with her husband through his "lack of integrity" scandal, to serve her own agenda. He owes her and now she has called it in... having him go out and do her dirty work attacking Obama (who Bill Clinton has always claimed to have a "deep respect" for) the last few days before the New Hampshire vote. I say, if you want to be president... act like a President (Obama could teach her how) and quit sitting around crying with a bunch of women and go out and do your own dirty work. What world leaders are going to take her seriously? None that I know of. If she gets elected, it will be a shock to me. She keeps talking about experience, but has been in the Senate about the same time as Obama. She is running on her husband's popularity, not her own. I am a woman, but I refuse to elect a woman president unless she is a woman of integrity and substance and vision. I have not seen evidence of that. I have seen evidence that she is a politician who has devoted her life to politics and bieng successful in that arena. Furthermore, credible surveys say that over half of Americans have said that they will NEVER vote for Hillary Clinton. She is as hated by Conservatives as Bush is by Liberals, and I think that Obama has gotten as many votes as he has because people realize that electing her would just cause more gridlock in Washington. I have always been registered as an independent, but voted Republican. The exception has been this primary season, when I voted for Obama. Most of my Independent and Republican friends have done the same and I think that says more than a few tears and sending your husband on the attack in your place. Enough, already.

    January 10, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  8. Dom

    She was plain exhausted from all the campaigning. Looks like if she becomes president we'll have one tearful president – it aint a tough job and if she can't handle a few weeks on the campaign trail what will 4 years do to her?

    January 10, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  9. gwen

    I can't believe how much you people are arguing over clinton's tears. Who cares how or why or if she even cried. If you don't like her don't vote for her. Anyway anyone with half a brain in their head would see that Obama and Edwards are the only realistic candidates on the democratic side. Clinton has too much luggage. It is tempting to vote for her, as a woman, for obvious reasons. But she is not a good candidate to go up against whatever idiot is representing the GOP. This country, our reputation, economy, etc. is in shambles and needs to be fixed!!!!!!!


    January 10, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  10. Cody

    If hillary wins shes gonna take away our guns. and wthout guns whats gonna stop someone from invaded

    Go Edwards

    January 10, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  11. Bob B., Louisville, Ky.

    Its sad, but Hillarys award winning acting and the endless press coverage, carried the primary for her. Maybe next time we can get both Hillary and Bill to cry on cue–that would be memorable. And the press would never stop covering it.

    January 10, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  12. Dave in NC

    It really worries me how many people choose a candidate based on personal qualities rather than their ability to do the job. It's not like the president is going to be coming to their house every week for a backyard barbecue so I really don't see why most personal qualities matter. When selecting a president, we should be choosing the person who will best run the country. I don't care whether or not I'd want them to be my best friend because they're not going to be! Choosing someone you'd like to have at a party over someone who can steer the country in the right direction is a recipe for disaster. Exhibit A: In 2000, Americans chose the folksy, personable candidate over the stiff intellectual one and look where that got us.

    January 10, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  13. TONY - Austin, TX

    This is a good glimpse into the heart and soul of a Democratic voter in this country – voting on emotion and feeling, rather than logic and intellect. It seems like every election comes down to that – a choice between the heart and the head. I think it was Winston Churchill who said, "If a man is conservative before the age of 30, he has no heart; if he is a liberal after 30, he has no head".

    January 10, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  14. Jacob Anderson

    The turning point for me was the sterling performance of Senator Clinton during the debate last week. She pointed out the 'work done' by her as opposed to the mere rhetoric of her opponents. She is sincere in her beliefs and is capable.In addition she is a she and this should be a cause for all decent men and women to appreciate and applaud.

    January 10, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  15. Becky

    Randal, I'm sorry to tell you, but the being President of the United States is NOT the most important job on this planet.

    January 10, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  16. JB Boston MA

    All of you Hilliots out there complaining that people are swayed by Obama's ability to speak. YES, speaking is important. It is why your beloved Bill Clinton was elected. It was why Ronald Reagan got elected and why JFK got elected. Communication skills are important. Have been, always will. So don't start beating up Barack because he is eloquent!!!

    January 10, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  17. cyrille

    PEOPLE:::PEOPLE:::::Take a deep breath...take a brake....stop shooting.

    Please let me hold your weapon for some minutes while u visit this

    website:www.barackobama.com come one take a chance and read something

    about the guy.At least he deserves it before u start shooting at him.

    January 10, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  18. Griffin T. Murphey, D.D.S., Fort Worth, Texas

    Reading your comments as you Obamans and Clintonians hack away at each other just makes me proud to be a Republican.

    January 10, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  19. JB Boston MA

    In addition all of the Clintonista's keep claiming experience. BS. What experience? You are all liars!!! If expereience was what you were looking for, you would have voted for Biden who has way more experience than anyone else.

    Also, be careful with those claims to experience. It could get you in trouble when you end up running against McCain, a man with real experience!!!

    January 10, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  20. CB

    I remember the nineties when Clinton was in office and they were much better times than either Bush era. I think 95 % of politicians are corrupted or just bad for the average citizen, but I believe that some of them are worse. Either way, Hillary or Obama would be relief from the last 7+ years.

    January 10, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  21. Bill W - PA

    I don't think tears had anythng to do with it – the DIEBOLD fix is back.

    January 10, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  22. jack, ny, ny

    According lot of people who attend Obama's rally, HE makes them cry....really...how about Michael Jackson...did he made lot of people cry during his performances....what happen....so are we looking for president who can get thinks done or someone who is phony playing with peoples emotions......what a bunch a crock

    January 10, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  23. Rosemarie Lee

    Just because a woman shows her human side, some people take it as weakness. How stupid. I was glad to see her be real. It has to be pretty hard to face all those men on that panel giving her a run for her money. I have alot of respect for her.

    January 10, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  24. Joe Boyer

    As an independent, I will vote for Obama in general elections if he gets the nomination. I will never vote for Hillary. Rather, I will vote for any Republican candidate. We cannot stand another 4-8 years of strict Partisan politics with Clintons. Republicans hate them. Half of Democrats cannot stand them. Many voters find them only polarizing. Not to mention, they know how to look in the eye, lie and lie!! Remember: Father Bush vice presidency 8 years+Father Bush presidency 4 years+Clintons 8 years+ GWBush 8 years. Now another 8 years with Clintons. Well, America should do better. Though, Clintons (I include Bill as well) will possibly get the nomination causing lots of blood bath within the Democratic party. However, Republicans will get the presidency. None of the top runners in Republicans seem to have strict partisan agenda like GWBush and Clintons. We need both parties and all Americans get together. Issues will never be solved if a president is incapable if reaching the both side of the aisle. Well, all will be decided by Democrats. Ironically, Democrats will decide whether the next president will be a Republican or a Democrat!

    January 10, 2008 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  25. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Wonder what the pay off was for that woman. That felt very much like it was staged. Clinton represents corruption and a continuation of what we presently have in our country. I don't want another four or eight years of what we already have.

    January 10, 2008 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
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