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. JA

    The sad thing is, she was crying for herself. It was all about "me" and not about the voters or the nation. It would have been one thing had it been an outbreak of emotion or empathy towards the people, but it was a moment of realization that HER quest to the Presidency was in trouble.

    January 10, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. Elizabeth

    It is unfortunate so many feel that a small display of emotion is a sign of weakness. I'm not necessarily a Hillary supporter, but I believe truly strong people don't hide behind a "tough" exterior. Leading is about showing the people in your constituency that you can handle the tough situations, but it's not easy!! It's not like she fell to pieces. You go Hillary, and other candidates, let us see what's in there, for real, not the crap we get in the commercials!!!!!!!

    January 10, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  3. JH

    Now that this charade is over, watch the Clinton secret police start ripping into Obama and dig up every piece of dirt imaginable. That's what the Clinton's do best. Hillary for President? I'd sooner vote Granny for Possum Queen.

    January 10, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  4. Columbus

    "Lewis" – My thoughts exactly! Rudy WILL WIN! I am a staunch Catholic and hated Bill Clinton for his lack of morals and decency – not to mention his liberal crap – and I'm not very happy with Rudy for his behavior, but there is a one difference – Rudy wasn't in the White House and inviting Hollywood celebs to do the nasty in the Lincoln bedroom (Danny DeVito and his wife "tearing up the place"). I know Rudy will do America proud! He did a lot for NYC – which says a lot – crime was down and that says even more for NYC. Obviously the people of NYC loved him – he was a Republican mayor in a democratic city! He handled 9/11 better than anyone else could have handled that situation. Obama has ZILCH experience and Hillary can't use the argument that she's beein in the White House. Chefs have been in the White House, but you don't see them running for president. It's time for Rudy!

    January 10, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. Leigh Bearden

    It's sad to see that American politics has become so pedestrian that entire articles and pages of blogs are dedicated not to what matters – each candidates stance on issues – but rather to insignificant dialogue over a few tears!? I understand that politics, especially in America, is in large part, a popularity contest, but I fear for this nation when voters cast their ballot solely on these superficial factors and not on the issues. As someone trying to choose a candidate who I feel will represent my beliefs and the direction I would like to see this country take, it is hands down Clinton. OK, everyone touts 'Obama for change' but what does that look like? What does that represent besides a catchy campaign slogan? Let's looks at the issues here: for example, Clinton wants to increase the amount of paid leave for new parents, which is something this country is groslly lacking and is the only industrialized country in the world whose government does not provide enough of! The result, America has the highest rate among violence in children! These are the issues that voters need to base their ballot on. Let's prove to the rest of the world that American politics is not just a glorified popularity contest but rather, as a nation, we have the intellect to vote on real issues that actually have substance and meaning.

    January 10, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  6. cathy

    Please note:Cathy with a capitol, that I am a highly educated young woman also.I do not have an unstable personality.I was giving my opinion as I see it with excessive exclamation points.I think bashing me for not using a capitol letter and exclamation points is how to sully our shared name.I can't believe you would bash me for that because I support Hillary.I did not see you bash the person who wrote Obama=hitler.

    January 10, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. Flustered with Bad Media & Susceptible Viewers

    The only reason it may seem she has more luggage is because she had more time to build it up. Now both Edwards and Obama are just as guilty for taking shady campaign contributions. If you look on CNN's website, you will discover that Obama and Clinton have about the same amount in donations and mainly from special interest groups. As far as honesty, well, both Edwards and Obama were busted in the debate when they overstated (i.e., lied) their most significant accomplishment. People get it through your heads...NO ONE RUNNING FOR OFFICE HAS A SQUEAKY CLEAN BACKGROUND!!! NOT Edwards, Clinton, or Obama, or any Republican candidate either, Capece? I will say this, as a lifelong Democrat, in all good faith I cannot leave our country to the hands of an unqualified candidate. Therefore, if Obama wins, I will vote Republican (and have a couple selected already) and am encouraging everyone I know to do the same, because it is irresponsible to give the highest position in our country to the most under qualified candidate. We can't afford it and it is not the time to gamble with someone who will be training on-the-job. Not even McDonald's would do this for their managerial position. Wake up and smell the coffee! Want inspirational poems that will lead you to greatness...READ and get educated on your potential candidates. Stop wasting your time trying to figure out if she made it up or not, everything said about this subject (i.e., her welling eyes) is pure and simple speculation.

    As for the lady who attempted to falsely accuse Hillary of setting up two men to protest her candidacy as a woman yelling, “Iron my shirt!” at her last speech, know that Obama also had 20 anti-abortion protestors yelling, “abortion is an abomination!” in his last speech that evening. Was he setting us up too? OMG!!!! Can't be…he's our hero! Take off the goggles.

    Politicians will always be politicians. Our government by construction will corrupt even the most well-intended individuals (I here this a lot from those in academia). So, until we formally organize and revolt against our government by protesting at the foot of the Congressional Building, like MLK did (it takes a non-Washington linked person from outside to create this change, and Obama isn’t it based on his documented shady record), nothing will happen. One man can’t clean our dirty laundry, it takes a colony and “we (the people)” not Washington will have to organize it. So what I am saying is that, when you have those weekends off, organize people and get involved so that we can stop wasting our time complaining and start doing something about – action over rhetoric…it starts at home.

    January 10, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. Rotimi

    America! looking at the facts, Hillary Clinton is what we need now. She and her Husband had done it before let them do it again. Do not be blind folded with words of mouth; let us give her chance. Don't be stupid and waste that vote. Wake up America!!!

    January 10, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. Ron of Okalhoma

    We should elect a President who will best serve this country even if they are a man, woman, black or white but not because they are a man, woman, black, or white. I was very disappointed in Hillary and more so in the people who voted for her because of her display of emotion. Would she of had the same emotion for the same question if she had won in Iowa? What if a leader from Russia, North Korea, China, or Venezuela had ask Hillary the same question would she become teary eyed? Teary eyed will not get us very far in a world full of terrorism.

    January 10, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. Truth seeker

    I find it odd that she shed tears over a question that was planted and none when Bill was caught cheating. Crocodile tears will bite her in her butt.

    January 10, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. dennis

    The lady that ask the question was smart enough not to fall to false tears, women have emotions we all know, even when the husband almost destroyed their marriage in white house, she never blink an eye, common people; she got good advisers, The told her and she listens , and it works, good job.

    January 10, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. Cathy

    Lower case cathy: I would think that at some point in your education one of your professors might have explained that multiple exclamation points is not standard English. During a debate, the way you present and frame your argument is more important in many cases than the words you say by themselves. Alas, our failed education system at work again.

    But I digress - the person who compared Obama to Hilter violated one of the most ancient of Internet laws, known as Godwin's Law. At that point it became obvious that this entire thread had descended into wankery and they had ceased to be debating and merely became a troll. No further commentary was necessary on my part, because you should never feed the trolls.

    I really don't hate Hillary. Really, I don't. She's a strong woman, which is a rare and fine thing in society. I do however take offense to the way she has adjusted her campaign to match the message people want to hear, rather than the message she really represents. Obama has been about changing Washington since the day he set foot in the capitol. The former FLOTUS doesn't want to change anything, she wants to return to the glory days of the nineties. Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time. That's not change, that's rebound. It is not what America needs, and it is not what will be in the best interest of the country. A good friend of mine recently said he is supporting Hillary because she will be able to assemble an administration within a week of returning to the Capitol. (Since when do we elect our leaders based on their ability to pick an administration? Although if we had had foresight for Bush & Co. back in 2000 we might have picked differently.)

    Anyway, your post servers to remind that allowing myself to denigrate to petty insults on a message board is not what Obama wants from his campaign. He asked his supports and his advisors to never sink to the levels that Clinton and her cohorts always stoop - to confuse the personal with the important. In the end, my opinion, your opinion, and the opinion of everyone on the ticker is not important. Only our vote is. Bashing Hillary won't make people vote for Obama, and bashing Obama won't make people vote for Hillary.

    Hillary wants to crush the Republican party. Obama wants to work with them.

    In the end that is the reason I support Obama.

    January 10, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. colin bowers

    A reply to Ms. Reinhardt a few comments below:

    I hope you see the irony of your comment about the replaying over and over of a brief snippet of video having perhaps turned the results in Clinton's favor: is this not paradigmatic of how politics has worked for the past 20 years in the United States? Sound bites, brief shows of emotion and candidness, repetition of poignant moments that tug people's heartstrings? (Incidentally, to the other commenter below who made the 'hearts vs. minds' distinction, we should not go back to an Enlightenment rationalism where only Reason determines who should be the best candidate; if that were the case, Ralph Nader would have been elected years ago, for he is the most Reasonable candidate to have run for president since FDR...but I'll leave you to decide whether he would have made a great president).

    The thought of being critical at THIS point in US political history of 'one clip' turning a tide is laughable and sad simultaneously. Ms. Reinhardt, do you recall the words "national security", "national tragedy", "never letting this happen to Americans again", "war on Iraq", "with us or against us", "you did a great job, Brownie", and millions of others that I don't have time or heart to post, repeated millions of times to the point where it makes us all want to barf? I say, if the Democrats can finally figure out how to make the "sound-bite" work for them, then more power to 'em cuz it's the only way to win an election in the post-caring, hyper-individualist, "be nice to fellow Americans on the street solely because you don't know which of them is packing heat" political culture (if you can even call it that) 21-century carnival that is America. The divide in America for 90% of the population isn't over religion/politics, southern/northern culture, pulling out of/staying in Iraq, the national debt, universal health care, or any of the other issues the media harps on daily. It boils down to two alternatives: do I get to drive carefree to work daily in my SUV with my Starbucks coffee sitting in the cup-holder while I watch my investments grow so I don't have to worry about my kids not being able to afford to get into the University of Michigan so they can have the exact same life we worked to give them (fill in the blanks with your own personal version of the same story) or do I care that the planet will likely not support life in 150 years if I keep focusing on these same stupid, unimportant, and blatantly selfish concerns?

    January 10, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Jack K.

    So who cares!!

    I have to give to Hillary though–an Academy Award for most appropriately timed tearful reaction to stress in theatre!!

    January 10, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. NB

    who cares, who this woman picked

    January 10, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Danielle

    She wasn't crying!!! She was showing alittle emotion but she nevered cried. Someone needs to be crying about the thought of Obama winning and making us suffer even worse than we already are. And if you are convienced that they are tears, I would rather have a woman cry when she is upset, than a man that goes to pointless war...

    January 10, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. JK

    It's sad to see the rampant bashing that's infested this thread. It appears that most of us are Dems, so why can't we work together to determine who is best for our party? This is the very thinking that has polluted our political process for the past 20 years. It's as if we are looking for any opportunity to bash someone for supporting one candidate vs. another, then spewing regurgitated soundbytes in a feable attempt to sound "smarter" or "more informed". Think for yourself, truly research ALL of the candidates "experience" in making "change".
    I am an undecided voter, but I can see the obvious slant in bias towards Senator Obama, by CNN, leading up to New Hampshire. Although, ever since the instance Senator Clinton got "emotional", she has completely dominated all news networks. I did find it odd though, that no news site talked about Bill Clinton crying in New Hampshire shortly after Hillary gave her victory speech. For those of you that haven't seen it, you can find it on You Tube. I just find it strange that we use the time that Senator Clinton crying to springboard this procession line of "feeling". I mean, if we're going to cover it so much, let's not leave out former President Clinton's "emotion" too.
    I am leaning towards Senator Obama I must admit, even though I do believe Senator Clinton is a fine candidate. I not only believe that he can work with Dems & Repubs alike, but have read about his ability to do so in his short tenure in the Senate. Though Senator Clinton is a great woman, I have not seen such an ability from her record in the Senate thus far. This shows me that Senator Obama has a certain ability to work with both parties to serve a common goal.
    Additionally, Senator Obama has a rather impressive level of experience thus far in the Senate. He is involved with more Committees than Senator Clinton and has displayed a greater ability to be more involved while in his position of Senator. He is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee along with 3 of it's subcommittees. So to those that doubt his foreign policy experience, take notice. On the other hand, Senator Clinton is not any any of these committees although she is on the Armed Services Committee.
    Further, he as well as Senator Clinton are on the Committee for Health, Labor & Pensions so they are both directly involved with deciding on issues heavily impacting our economy and healthcare. Please, I urge all voters to read up on each of the candidates and not succumb to soundbytes and TV anchors spoonfeeding us with their biased viewpoints. I realize that we all work, most of us have families to look after, etc., but we cannot allow ourselves to be swept away with these talking points and dirty politics. Our votes are too important to be undermined like this. They underestimate our intelligence. Though, the argument can be made that some of the candidates do too. I think we can change the way the media and government view us and attempt to exploit our vote. We are better than this...

    January 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. loetha

    I am a 60yr old female, Who for one don't want to see a crying leader. To me she make herself look like a wimp. If your going to play in the big boys game , come with your game face on.

    January 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Mary Ann

    As the mother of an active duty soldier; I would ask Mr. Obama...."your participation in the 2007 Senate investigation of Ft. Carson and the care or lack thereof given to returning combat soldiers.....why has this not been mentioned during the campaign? If you are so supportive of these soldiers and their rights...it seems that would be a key issue....unless the participation was just a posturing event and not from a true sense of caring".

    This country needs to ask the question.....define...change!!! What EXACTLY in your platform represents change!

    January 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Dog Girl

    What I find so surprising is the comment that Barrack does not have the experience to lead our country but our current President never held a real job other than Gov of Texas which is basically a figure head postion. He was a complete failure in all businesses he was involved in before running for President. His first business venture was with the Bin Ladin family. Ironic? I think not. So obviously voters do not really look at the experience of a person when electing them to the most important office in the free world. I really can't see how any Democrat could do any worse w/this country than what has been done to us under the Bush adminstration. We are in a war that has put our country in debt to China. A war built totally on lies and more lies. A war we will never win and that has cost billions of our tax dollars and countless lives of our young service men. We need to all unite v. divide if we want to get back on track and be the strongest country in the world. Bush has done everything in his power to alienate other nations and destroy any relationships we did have. So as I see it the Republicans have had their 8 years to allow the rich to get richer and the middle class to get poorer. Its time for some balance and for the corporations to get out of the White House and oil companies to stop running our policies. Barrack has a vision for a better America so why not give him a chance to show us what he has.

    January 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Greg

    Barack will win the nomination, it is time for change in America, the Clinton era is gone, if you want change stand up for the one who represents such. Hillary owes a lot to a lot of people and so does Bill, if she wins the nomination and ultimately the Presidency, nothing will change. We tend to forget the problems that occurred during the Clinton era and the scandal as he was leaving office. Barack is a breathe of fresh air for America something we so desperately need.

    If you believe those tears were real, you are living in a dream!!!!

    January 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. jay

    whaaaa....whaaaa....whaaaaa. Cry me a river. We have a president that can not speak the english language now and now you want a cry baby in office. People really need to get a grip. What is Clinton really gonna do if voted in? Both sides of the isle can't stand her. You really think she can 'accomplish' anything. Pahhhhleeze.

    Don't be surprised if you see McCain win the Repub's and ask Lieberman to run with him against the Dem's. If you have Obama and/or Hillary running against that...well........throw your vote in the river.

    I am an angry Dem that is sick of my own any more.....all I hear is talk...talk...talk.

    I am sick that Obama and Hillary is the best we can come up with. 'I am the candidate for change!'.......blah...blah...blah....blah! Change what? Anybody have a clue? Do they really think they will accomplish much...being the most 'partisan' that we had to offer? Need some Repub' votes to get stuff done.

    Grow up.

    Find me a real leader.

    January 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. MuShoo

    I don't see the tears. Have you watched the video? Does anyone honestly see more than an exhausted woman who, yes, answers a question a bit emotionally - but honestly, tears? Weeping? Give me a break. This has been embellished and overreported to the point of making everyone look like a fool. I would rather a person's voice break when they voice love and concern for their country than see their fist pump and blood boil in their face. Watch the video and evaluate it for yourself.

    January 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Brittany

    Leigh Bearden~ i couldn't put it better myself.
    What happened to us? We're American's and this is our future! We seem to be doing nothing but feeding our own hunger for drama instead of focusing on what really matters. Our behavior as a nation has lead us down a path of rapid self-destruction. When is enough enough?

    January 10, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Samone

    Where was Bill's experience in 1992,

    If Hillary was that experienced, why did she vote yes for a war? Her experience as first lady should have told her no.

    “ Of course late 2006, she was quoted as saying President Bush was very charismatic” I guess that won her vote both times.

    Hillary's politics is close to Bush's. We would have more of the same polarizing administrative policies.

    She has blamed everything on republicans. Obama is in her cross hairs

    Dems Loyalty will possibly be split this year and GOP will win again.

    During her time at the W.H. Hillary talked about GOP and them out to get her and Bill. Even with all the scandal after scandal, she showed little emotion, as long as the blame others game was played.

    If that is what our country needs. Bush approval would be higher.

    Bill and Obama have an ability to connect with people of all backgrounds. This is reflective of their upbringing. Hillary has had a problem making that connection, even as U.S. Senator.

    All the Democrats could do well to lead us in the right direction. However, Obama offers the greatest flexibility to work with both parties on new ideas. Hillary knew the war in Iraq was not worth the cost. However, in 2007, she turns around and gives Bush another authorization to fight Iran.

    With experience, we have change. Where was the change here?

    A president -- The Success of a president is tied to his administration. Bill had great support for furthering his agenda. Many things they failed at in his first administration. Second admin. he hired knew people who thought outside the box.

    One person cannot know it all – that's with any good administration!

    What Bill said about experience in 1992, is perfectly important today concerning Obama augment for change

    Quote: Bill Clinton responded to Bush's claim “that experience means everything:”
    Bill Clinton once said "the same old experience is not relevant"

    The same discussion is going on today. We need Change Bill Brought then and Obama will bring it now.

    Sometime you have to change the dice, when fixed to roll a certain way all the time.

    Fear of change, is allowing more of the same.


    La'Kitgum, Concorde, NH January 9, 2008 4:13 pm ET

    Americans are beginning to understand that Hillary stands for what the President of the USA should be and not Obama with his empty promises. Obama's leadership leaves a lot more questions to be answered but foremost, how can he be an agent of change without experience? How can he change what he does not know? How can he change what he does not have? Experience in economy, healthcare and security are all in Hillary's bag and Hillary can change them for the good of all America. Obama has a bag of experience but it is empty. He has nothing to change.

    My prayers and Best wishes to Hillary and I urge all Americans (black, white, oriental, hispanic) to support Clinton because they will never regret their votes. We did it in NH. NH understands that it is issues, not body language, which stands out in this campaign and Hillary is all about issues. Listen to her carefully instead of cheering at her and you will understand just like the people of NH did – the issues matter,

    January 10, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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