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. TD

    If she cannot control her emotions during the campaign how will she endure the stress and pressure presidency? Strength and stability is a necessity, emotional displays have no place in the business world no less the White House.

    January 10, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  2. Mark - Atlanta, GA

    Is she going to cry in the White House? Or – is it all for show? The big CON!

    But, if a OBAMA, McCain or Huckabee was asked the same question – and started to cry – the "Not Fit" for the job would be everywhere!!!! Double standard?????

    January 10, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  3. jack, ny, ny

    There are lot ov Obama Volunters on this board who are posting negative comments about HIllary. Some of them are repeating same crap over and over again. Because they know CNN reads this. CNN is stupid enough to make their opinion base on this. That is why they were so confident that Obama will win NH. When results came in then real voters spoke........all of you OBAMA volunter get a life.

    January 10, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |

    The USA media is putting the corrupt news media in the developing countries into shame. The emphasis are on the trivia like Hillary's 'teary eyed' almost comical to its oblivious attempt to manipulate the public. Just as ardently during the IOWA caucuses, this time I listened to both Obama's and Hillary's speeches to see what caught Iowan’s in frenzy over his speech and why practically the media has ignored even to sight some of what Hillary was hammering about that she did since she stepped up on the political plate with her husband.

    Obama's speech before the New Hampshire electors was a repeat of his speech in IOWA. He did not send them into frenzy like the IOWANS. Hillary, on the other hand, talked of factual progress she had achieved through her collaborations with republican senators from North Carolina and South Carolina, thus passing bills that benefited children who formerly could not get insurance benefits. She also prevented the Bush Jr. Administration attempt to cut short the benefits he promised the returning veterans from Iraq. The news reporters are not emphasizing these achievements of Hillary, instead are focusing on trivia used to maligned and denigrated women in general.

    To me, and I am sure to millions of Americans, Hillary Clinton embodies women of substance, intelligence, competence and education. She is an empowered woman of vision and aspirations to help solve the problems of this country.


    Change is achieved brick by brick, not overnight. Hillary and her husband, two wonderful citizens of this country have long started laying out those bricks. We should not forget what they have done, what they had suffered in the hands of their political enemies.

    The day New Hampshire nominated Hillary against the prediction of CNN pundits and anchormen, (the only television channel I thought is still believable but I am seriously in doubt about that now) is the day my faith is restored about the intelligence and the fairness of the American people.

    Sumi Cue

    January 10, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  5. cyrille


    People can u tell me what experience Hillary Clinton has? 35 years i heard her say...so how old is she? so u mean to tell americans that u have been trying to bring change in the U.S for 35 years and with no success.That makes me to think that ur concepts weren´t working...in that case try something else!!! try the Obama method.

    So being a presidents wife is what u add to ur credentials as being experience? i need proof of experience!!!

    Let me tell u a little bit about Obama´s experience.After Havard where he was the first black president of theHavard law review ( People we all know Havard is predominantly white) he chose to settle in South Chicago to help and serve the needy rather than a well furnished, AC conditioned office....That´s the field experience that the future president of the United states need...not the experience gathered in lobby parties and etc.

    I was in Germany during Bush last visit here...it wasn´t advice to be recognised as american.That´s the image of america out there.People have got enough of the establishment.They want something new;and accross the world Voices are rising to support Obama candidature.That´s the new image that America will gain by electing Obama as president.He is higly appreciated in and out of the U.S.

    Take time to learn for urself.visit his web site.it´s just a mouse click away.

    Get over ur fears,race,comfort zone and DO THE RIGHT THING


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


    January 10, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  7. Dee

    I sure hope she doesn't start crying when a foreign affairs meeting gets rigorous.

    January 10, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  8. John

    in 100 years when people look back at the presidents during a 24 or 28 year period, they will see: BUSH-CLINTON-BUSH-CLINTON. this wouldn't be surprising if this were an developing country corruptly run by a few families, but in AMERICA?? i just believe that the country needs fresh ideas

    January 10, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  9. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    Two simple points –

    1. Hillary did not cry. Being slightly emotional, is not crying.

    2. If anyone thinks the Republicans will play nice if Obama is the nominee, they are drinking or smoking something that is clouding their thought process.

    January 10, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  10. KM

    Let me say this...... it was an act! HIllary does not empathize with ordinary women but sees herself as better than that. I love Bill and Hillary. I voted for Bill. BUT, as time passes, I see them both as opportunists. Both of them have an undying "love" for each other that is directly correlated to their ambition and their scathing remarks about Obama's lack of "experience" are a bit of hogwash..... Yes, he isn't as old as Hillary but we have had many young Presidents and leaders who changed this country for the better by their example and boldness. I'm offended by the Clintons' smug attitude that they somehow DESERVE to win. The arrogance of it all makes me sick. This is what makes me a little worried about liberals.... I've seen it in my prior career as a banker and now in my life as a stay-home mom....they don't have a problem giving a few token positions to Black people but aren't yet interested in letting Blacks run the show. Many older and poorer Blacks in the Democratic party are used to this different kind of slavery and it is so much a part of their psych that they can't shake it. "Second-best" suits them just fine as they don't want to see too many successful Blacks (with real power). That would require them to evalute their own shortcomings and to take more responsibility for the Black community's problems. The sad truth is..... the purveyors of the old rhetoric who show up at Black churchs and cry might prevail to the nomination......

    January 10, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  11. jack, ny, ny

    It is even more interesting to hear some of Obama supporters reasons to support him...HE ELECTRIIFIES THEM.....oh really...attend TONY ROBINS seminar....you will be even more electrify than by OBAMA.....you guys are so pathetic...almost like 5 year old in a candy store.

    January 10, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  12. MG

    It's amazing the almost cult-like following people have for Obama, that he has practically brain-washed his followers into thinking that he can do no wrong, that he can "mesmerize" people with his speeches, to the point that they refuse to recognize his flaws, which are many, not to mention his very unimpressive record. If you were hiring someone to protect your family, to ensure their safety, would you go for the person who gives the most "electric" speech, giving you hope and joy, or would you go with experience???? It's ridiculous.

    Clinton's moment was real, you couldn't script that situation even if you wanted to. And if you accuse her of being an "actor", then what the heck do you call Obama???? Every speech, every appearance of this man, is a PERFORMANCE, he is portraying himself as a reasonable candidate for President, and he derserves an Oscar, as he is so convincing that there are many who believe his performance. Hopefully for the sake of the safety of your family and mine, and the security of our country, the voters of the US will realize that Obama is an Actor, and a fake, and Hillary is the REAL THING, who will save our country. Clinton is Change, Clinton is Hope, Clinton will save America.

    January 10, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  13. Joe Miami

    Ok, Im sorry but Im going to say it, I dont want a UNIFIER. This is what Democrats try to do every time they get into office, they try to unite the country. Havent you all realized that unity is impossible in America and the only reason Democrats have not been successful at any policy objectives ie Universal Health Care etc is because they always want to be friends. I want a president who will fight for what my party believes in and if some Americans dont agree with it (ie Republicans) then to hell with them. They had their turn and now it is ours. Ok yeah you might call me some evil bastation of the devil but when Republicans are in charge do you ever hear of unity with other parties NO and that is why America is run by big business and people can not get basic health care. Yeah Yeah unity blah blah blah. Look if Obama wins the party nomination he will lose the presidency, I dont care who the Republican running mate is they will tear him to shreds particularily on the issue of experience. Clinton at least can keep up with the rest of them and get something accomplished that will be in line with our Democratic ideals.

    January 10, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  14. chris

    So if Bill cries, he's empathetic but if Hillary tears up, she's weak/manipulative. Some double standards never die, do they?

    January 10, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  15. Sally

    I don't believe you people. You say Hillary is made of stone – a cold fish. Then when she shows some emotion you say it's fake and contrite. Make up your mind.
    Obama is a very charismatic speaker but that qualification is not necessarily the most important qualification for the President of the United States. And the backing of Oprah is even less important – unless he's written a book.

    January 10, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  16. Madelyne

    I have seen her emotional before and I don,t think she was putting on

    January 10, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  17. Simon

    Mark Steel in the Independent summed it up very well for me:

    What a magnificent speech by Hillary Clinton, where she broke down in tears and spluttered, "Lots of people think elections are about who's up and who's down, but this is very personal for me. I've had such opportunities from this country."

    At first glance it makes so little sense I thought if you chucked in a perpendicular and a polyunsaturate it could be one of Neil Kinnock's. But when you look again it's the scream of an articulate four-year-old. She's saying "Let ME be President because I WANT to. LET me LET me it's not FAIR." Maybe there's a bit they didn't show, where she said "And furthermore I say to Mr. Obama 'Hnnnng, yaaaaaaa go AWAY," and tips up a camera, and then Bill arrives to say "Now stop this at ONCE or you can't even be senator, do you understand?"

    Most people seem to think this was a deliberate act, to win popularity by appearing human and vulnerable. Maybe at her next press conference she'll come on with a puppy. And her speech will be "This is Rosie." Then, fighting back tears she'll say "And this afternoon she's got to be put down. God bless America." And then the hall will fill up with balloons. Then, during a televised debate she'll respond to a question about energy policy with a botched suicide attempt.

    But there may be other reasons why her campaign's slipped, which is she claims to be the best candidate to bring about "Change" from the days of Bush, but she's supported almost everything he's done, including the invasion of Iraq. Now she says she'll "Bring the troops home" so presumably her statement will be "When the war was popular I supported it. Then when it was unpopular I opposed it. So I am the only candidate who's consistently voted with the American people."

    She supported the bombing of Lebanon, and her only criticism of Bush while he was planning to bomb Iran was that he "downplayed their threats". She also urged him to categorise the entire Iranian army as a "terrorist organisation". So she must be the only person in the world who thinks "We need a change – because Bush hasn't bombed enough places or called enough people terrorists."

    If she ends up getting the Democrat nomination, she and the Republicans could get in a fascinating battle to see who can call most people terrorists. The CNN debate will involve the two of them stood there all evening taking turns to shout "Cubans" – "Syrians" – "Anyone who supports Chavez", until they get to Eskimos and the disabled.

    This may be why, of all the candidates for either party, Hillary has received more donations from arms companies than any other. Because at last she might bring the change that's needed, and be a president prepared to take care of the impoverished arms companies. The Bush era has been lean hungry years for those poor souls. It's been their version of the dustbowl, weapons manufacturers forced to traipse across Oklahoma begging for someone to buy their withered laser-guided Tomahawk missiles so they can feed their children for another night.

    But Hillary's prepared for change. Which is why the person she's suggested would be her Secretary for State is Richard Holbrooke, who first came to prominence when he helped organise the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. So the only change would be the return of people who fronted atrocities 20 years ago. It would be like if someone took over the BBC with the slogan "It's time for change" and brought back Noel's House Party.

    Hillary's other slogan involves her "experience", proving she'd be "ready from day one". But her main experience as "First Lady" involved her plan to provide health care. After eight years in the job there was no plan, because the health companies objected it would dent their profits, and less people had health care than before. So by that logic Steve McLaren should ring the FA and demand his old job back, complaining, "This new manager can't be trusted, as unlike me he's not got any experiencing of buggering everything up."

    There's a myth about the Clintons' rule, shaped by the times that followed them, that it was a period of peace and friendship, with occasional fun in the Oval Office. But the Clintons were crucial figures in shaping the idea that big business was not only the best way to run the world, it was the only way. Under their rule, the poor became poorer while the rich became super-rich.

    Possibly the greatest hope for America lies not with Hillary, or Obama, but from the opposition to the war in Iraq, without which it's possible they'd have already bombed Iran, as suggested by Hillary.

    And if her tearful act does rescue her campaign, Gordon Brown might try a similar tactic. In which case he'll splutter, "Lots of people think, ahem, economies are about (sniff) what's up and down, (pause) but (sniff) this is a deeply felt re-evaluation of fiscal indicators tending towards declining global growth requiring sustainable prudence within a homogenised market, and that's deeply personal for me (howl, splutter, sniff)."

    January 10, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  18. Joe

    Her Health Care plan failed because it doesnt WORK. Works nice in theory but in reality it doesnt cut it. (Hey! Just like communism!)

    Forget the idea of ANY Democratic president..
    If Obama, OR Clinton ( heck, even a couple of the rep's too) win then we can kiss our freedoms and constitutions goodbye completley, as they will be more eroded than they already are...

    Pretty soon we will be as helpless as the U.K.... Or France...

    Political correctness becomes an infringement upon the first amendment, these crazy whacky "gun bans" and other stupid laws that dont prevent criminals from ANYTHING dont work, the patriot act, YOU NAME IT!

    Anyone else here been pulled over and had their vehicle searched for no reason other than "The patriot act says I can?"

    Cmon people, please realize that our rights are only one election, one vote away from being taken away.. I love this country but if we keep losing our freedoms, we may as well move to Cuba... Healthcare, food, you name it, its provided, but there are no freedoms... Just sheep in s herd....

    That isnt the picture painted in my mind of MY America...

    January 10, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  19. Megalodonbite

    Is it just me....or does anyone else agree that CNN is totally anti-Clinton?? Of course Obama makes excellent speeches, he's trying to become President. That doesnt mean he has the experience to run this country.

    January 10, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  20. dave

    Do we really want a president that cries when things get tough. I think this electoral process helps to weed out the weak ones, yet this time it seems showing weakness helped her.

    January 10, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  21. Jimmy

    Believe me, Obama is the candidate to watch out. He's the President people of America so much desire and not another crying woman of a particularly dynasty/bloc.

    January 10, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  22. Mike

    I don't understand why all the venom against Hillary about this. I don't know if I'll vote for her or not, but this wasn't about her being President. It was a personal (and human) response to a personal question. Whether it was genuine or not – what do I care? Am I to assume every deed committed or word spoken by a candidate (or current President) is genuine? The answer to that should be clear. And in spite of that, as a concerned and informed voter, I need to figure out who will make the best President. And I would hope that he or she cries sometimes, because there's plenty to cry about.

    As far as her immediate mudslinging which followed – so what. Mud is flying in every direction in this campaign, and it's equally shared by all the candidates. Are Hillary's actions calculated in this campaign? They better be if she wants to be President. Show me a President whose actions weren't calculated. Lots of failed candidates maybe, but no Presidents.

    January 10, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  23. David

    I don't understand why this is deemed a significant news story. Why should we care about who a specific person voted for just because they asked a question of a candidate?! The coverage and spin sure seem to be intentionally anti-Clinton. I hope the media prejudice will continue to backfire.

    January 10, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  24. Anita

    How is it possible that a woman has held the highest political position in a Muslim country but not in the U.S.? Maybe a woman's perspective could help us sort out some of our long standing domestic issues, education, health care, focus on family. Not in the lie like a politician way which we have grown so accustomed to!

    Very tired of a male dominated press telling us what is important. (CNN finally started to cover the horrible rapes in Saudi – the country where women have NO freedom of movement at all)

    Am sick of reading and seeing in the press the lack of women around the world not given freedom of movement in some countries, being mutilated, raped and all manner of atrocities and yes, want to see a woman pres! Dems or Repubs, whoever gives that to me first is going to get my vote. Don’t give me any more of this too much, too little emotion crap. We are passionate about we believe in. We express ourselves differently from men and from each other.

    Got it?

    January 10, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  25. Jennifer Flowers

    OMG....what is WRONG with all of you. All these 'media' opportunities that have everyone 'thinking' about who should do what and how they should vote is INSANE! You must be crazy to think that all of these people are planted and staged by the candidate or their competition....right?

    If any of you are smart, you best review the history of each candidate and how they have conducted themselves in public office. Sure Clinton has got a couple more years of actual service on capitol hill, but how can this be a rational way to determine if Obama or Hillary get a vote?

    Look at their histories and NOT who is capable of orchestrating an 'emotional' event for the camera.

    Unfortunately, neither one of them have much foreign policy experience, nor have been very successful with such affairs. So...if world affairs being 'corrected' or being improved is something you are concerned with, maybe you should look at these credentials and not if someone can 'fake-a-tear'.

    Another reason why I sometimes think there should be a litmacy test for anyone to vote! Although...I am not entirely serious......but do you get my point???

    The MEDIA is responsible for unecessary and irresponsible reporting on the whole Obama 'thing' as well. Never have I seen such ridiculous behavior. The media is getting bolder and more biased than ever before these days. THANK YOU 24 HOUR NEWS. 95% of the time we are listening to someone's 'opinion' rather than facts. They have some much time on their hands to fill air space, they stick anyone and their camera to spout incredulous things from their collective mouths. HOW ABOUT reporting voting histories of candidates, what things they have supported before thier campaigns, and how they have changed since???

    Any takers?

    Lets face it America, until lobbyists are not deciding our next president...we will just have to guess the lesser of two evils.

    Get off the bandwagons and use your brains!!! Do your research.

    God help us

    January 10, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
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