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. Ann

    Obviously, this gal is genuine, and so was the moment.

    The press often tries to make a bigger deal out of such situations. I thought this woman was great.

    She still went with the "Obamamania" fever.

    That's NH voters!

    January 9, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Stella

    Just like CNN! You will only print what YOU want to be seen in print. And it is usually derogatory comments towards someone that is fundamentally sound. Shame on you!

    January 9, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Cali Girl

    While the hipocrites are bad mouthing Hillary, Bush Jr. is planning to go to war with Iran. The future is now people. November is a long time away if we no longer exist.

    We need the Clinton's back in office. We need some experienced individuals who know a little about the barter system to run this country. Crying is not something to crucify someone for. Maybe if our current president had a heart, we wouldn't need saving.

    I don't doubt that Obama wouldn't make a great Vice-President, but we need the 8 yrs. of White House experience that Hillary has in order to bring us out of the turmoil that we call our Country. We listen to what people say and take their words at face value, then when they get our vote they bite us on the rear, but at least we know how the Clinton's run the country and we know what to expect with Hillary as President. Bill did a great job running the country. Our economic and social status was at an all time high. Why not let his wife who stood by his side for all these years have her turn.

    After all, "Never Send a Man to do a Woman's Job"

    January 9, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Jon

    So, HC has been entrenched in politics for 16 years, and this is the ONLY time she has shown emotion? It sounds a little too convenient to me that she emotes when her lead is in jeopardy. She knows what she's doing, and she can play people well. Regardless, all of this discussion does reinforce the theory that she is a divider, not at pulling America together. I'm not sure why any thinking Democrat would give her a second thought, when she leeds the polls of candidates voters would vote AGAINST. Obama would have a much better chance against Republicans.

    January 9, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Ozair Kazi (15 yrs old)

    sniff* please vote for me. boo hoo hoo.
    thats exactly what I heard clinton say when she teared up. I think it might have even been staged. So she could get the sympathetic vote of the women voters.

    January 9, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Denise

    Most of the above comments seem to be based on personal opinion rather than true study of the candidates, their beliefs and knowledge. If most people believe Obama or Edwards are good for change, they are fools. As in all cases of politics and major governments we need a person that is well educated and does have the contacts that can help change the present administrations damage to our country. Crying is not being soft, it is being human which Pres. Bush, his cohorts and most republicans have stopped doing.

    January 9, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. mike kaplan

    C'mon, people, enough about the tears. It is a NON-STORY (which seems to be the specialty of CNN this year). Personally, I don't doubt that it was a genuine moment- crying on purpose is actually not so easy, you know. But more to the point, we've got more important things to base our decisions on than speculating about a slightly teary moment on the campaign trail.

    And most importantly, I would gladly take either Hillary or Obama over ANYONE on the Republican side.

    January 9, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. KB

    Did anyone see Hillary on Letterman last week? She's NOT a very convincing actress. I'm amazed people think she's good enough to fake tears. If any other candidate had teared up would people be attacking?

    I would think Hillary was a bit mortified that she showed a softness. She's never resorted to this 'tactic' in the last 35 years – so why would she decide to pull that card now?

    It just doesn't make sense that she would use this as a 'tactic' knowing it would be ridiculed as being cliche. Is it so hard to believe Hillary might be a human being?

    January 9, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. JW

    I think that everyone needs to research the candidates thoroughly before voting for anyone. The news media does not tell the public all that we need to know. In my opinion the next president of this country is going to need the experience behind him/her to resolve all the crises that have plagued us. Personally, I have not decided whom I will vote for but I will tell you this....that person will have been thoroughly researched by me! This is way too important. Just because someone makes you cry or shows signs of weakness is not a reason to vote for anyone!! Get real people!!

    January 9, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Rush

    Clinton bashing is strong here.

    January 9, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Pete

    The people have spoken in NH, the pundits, the big media and the rigged pollsters that can easy manipulate people opinion all of then LOST! The incredible biased media in favor of Obama, the outrageous biased against Clinton and the total write off of Edwards. Their manipulative tactics lost. the people won. Now the same pundits, media should focus in the issues instead and we'll have a campaign; but they never learn the lesson.
    And what of the Obama wave? That wave crested and has turned. His candidate will have more scrutiny and he should be held to the same standards than any other politician running for the Presidency.
    Good night for democracy in the US. Shame on CNN's Blitzer among others, MSNBC starting with Chris Mathews, ah...and Tapper from ABC. They should learn to be real unbiased journalist!

    January 9, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Polly Saikia

    Iam an engineer by professin and WOMEN. In my field I always have to fight for my right becacause I am women. I am supporting Hillary Clinton not because she is an women but I think she cares for people. She was emotional on Monday night that is ok she is a Human . I hope she will be our President in 2009.

    January 9, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Oh Really Now

    I don't believe the lady in this story at all. I just hope nobody ask Hilliary how she's holding up again....she may have a complete breakdown...

    January 9, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Maria

    President Reagan had often cracked in his voice with emotion but never put to such scrutiny. Lincoln was known to be suicidal, bipolar and cried even as a young politcian in Illinois. Why the scrutiny when a female candidate briefly shows some emotion? Truely there is such a double standard. I am an independent voter and the more I hear Clinton and Obama the more I feel that both are much better than the Republicans. Both sides should not tear each other apart.

    January 9, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Gregg Gant

    This article is enough to make me stop reading and watching CNN... this isn't reporting on the news or any type of acceptable journalism. It's tragic sensationalism.

    January 9, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Jason

    When I think about Hillary as President, I get all choked up...

    I think I am going to cry...it is tough, you know, voting for president....how's my hair??? why doesn't everybody else think I am as special as I think I am????

    I only ever cared about people........can't go on........vote for me....

    January 9, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Jimmy Sanborn

    I still think Barack Obama is a life long plant from Kenya. On the news last night CNN talk about how he was mentoring between the two Presidents. Obama was born right before the current regime took control. A small nation like Kenya able to penatrate the United States Politiacl system like that. We had better be careful when people are wanting to Elect someone like Obama. He may be a nice guy and a good speaker. Being a good speaker is enough to get lots of votes. Look at Obama. As well as he did against Senator Clinton who has substane behind her.. Obama has done nothing as a U.S. Senator, and very little for Illinios when he was a state senator.

    January 9, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Steve Wesong

    I am an African American from New York.
    True, Obama has that gift of a "good speaker". as a teacher, ofcourse he must have taken some classes in public speaking. in my humble opinion, being a sweet talker doesn't necessarily translate into a good leader. i think he might end up being a looser this time around and for good.
    let's face it, this man is not ready and his rush to claim the presidence just because he gave a remarkable speech at the democratic convetion tells us alot about his ego, thirst for power and poor judgement. how dare he call Bill clinton a "crook" $70.00 million couldn't establish that, but how could Mbarack Hussein the orator do it in one sentence?
    i have no kind words for Edwards neither. together with Obama, they thought ganging up and attacking Hillary would win them favor from the right wing media, hence, receive favorable poll numbers. yes, they got favorable poll numbers until election night.

    January 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    I dont think the race between Clinton and Obama will be very close. If anyone is paying attention to the numbers nationwide, Clinton beats Obama handily everywhere but South Carolina. The talking heads would have you believe that Obama is walking away with the race. Of course, the first African American President would make a much better story than the first woman President. Dont get caught up in the hype. Obama makes a great speech, tells nice rosy tales about the future. Takes positions on the issues. But when he is asked to come up with specifics on things, his answers always come up short. He is the George W. Bush of the Democratic Party (with even less experience than Bush had.) He is an inexperienced, arrogant, empty suit with really nothing to offer, but a speech about hope and change. Put empty words about hope and change onto an empty dinner plate and you still have empty words on a dinner plate. Its action that counts. Obama cant even show up for a Senate vote. Hows that for action?

    January 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Dom

    Is it just me but is Hilary copying Obama's catch phrases – Obama talksof change – she latches on ; Obama speaks of the invisible people – she uses the same word later; Obama states he warned against giving Bush a blank cheque on Iraq – Hilary today uses the same word....

    Just who is the "experienced" leader here.

    And the fact that the questioner in the coffee shop ended up voting for Obama just shows how strong Obama is.

    This statesman Obama is destined to be one of the greatest presidents of this wonderful (and sadly, divided) nation. He will unite us all about that I have no doubt.

    God speed and good luck to the Obama campaign

    January 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. virginia nielsen

    Hillary is going to divide more this nation because people like me, if she is the nominee, I will vote blank !!! I don't like her since, because of her ambitions, she tolerated Bill's cheating, only thinking in what she could get ahead,of course, based on his performance that I think was good. She is not him!!! Go OBAMA!!!

    January 9, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Dee

    John Doe, you don't have to listen at all, close your ears up. We are not in the 1990's and people need to wake up and smell the coffee. We all are a few steps away from the soup line at the rate this country is going and Bill and Hillary will go to no ends to get what they want as you can see. Anybody, but Hillary !!!!!

    January 9, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. jocelinne

    Well as touching as it all seemed i don't think we would do very well with a president that CRIES under PRESSURE....just think about it......... ; /

    January 9, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Ann

    Gregg.......the entire press corp has a lot to answer about regarding the NH "upset."

    You know who was truly upset?

    The Press!

    This is what the American media has achieved to date. The "yellow journalism" streak embarassed them, as it should.

    It's not entirely the fault of lazy reporters. It's the fault of the management, who sends everyone out to get the same picture and the same soundbite while not paying for true journalism.

    My sympathies to good journalists. You're in a sucky profession right now.

    My hat is off to some truly excellent bloggers. You've found a niche that most definitely needed filling.

    And the message board system?

    This will last only as long as we don't have a decent alternative.

    January 9, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Maggie

    I'm praying that all these women voters are not picking Mrs. Slick simply because they want a woman as President. Hell, if that's the case, a female monkey would do just as good. PLEASE, women, wake up!! Vote for someone who will not keep us as we are now nor take us back to Mr. Slick's era. Change means change for the country – not change in gender. If you stick to a "woman for a woman" vote, you will definitely be sorry in the long run.

    January 9, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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