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. Mani : North Jersey

    People really need to get it straight and then get over it especially the media. Hillary just got a little emotional. She is human by the way and has feelings. One would think she had tears streaming down her face which was not the case. If that woman could stand amongst all those men, hold her own, and not shed 1 tear than I think that makes her pretty strong. Did we forget how Obama and Edwards ganged up on her at the last debate and I sure did not see a cry baby. I, along with the rest of America saw a confident and feisty candidate who was not going to allow a bunch of pigheaded men step all over her.
    Apparently, the majority of New Hampshire voters are more sensible than Iowa and are not taken in by Barack Obama who thinks of himself as a preacher. I could go to church and get the same message he delivers. However, we all should want a President that is going to lead this country with compassion and action. It was obvious she is very passionate about this country and really cares about its people who happen to be you and me!!!! If those tears did anything, they showed me this woman has a heart as opposed to being made of stone.

    January 9, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Anna, Cleveland, OH

    She's been a a robot all her life including when her husband cheated on her. Why cry now? Her political life is not going to last forever, her husband will.

    January 9, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Ken Harris

    Hey La'Kitgum, Concorde, NH: Give me just one issue that Hillary is more qualified to address when compared to Barack and then please tell me which part of her experience makes that so...

    January 9, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Spencer

    Remember folks, Hitler was a great speaker as well. He also came in at a time when Germany was down on itself, and made them "feel" better. Look what he did for his country. Back to Obama, he grew up surrounded by Muslim teachings, and can't even pledge allegiance to our flag due to "un-negotiable allegiance to Kenya." Does anyone else notice this? Come on America... "Give me a break!"

    January 9, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Tamara Peterson

    Tears, schmeres! Get real. Is Clinton going to cry when faced with a crisis? And to all of the people voting for Clinton because she's a woman need to remember how emotion and hormone racing effects a woman's ability to make decisions!

    January 9, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Jay Graham, Dallas, TX

    I totally agree what La'Kitgum of Concorde, NH stated in her comments. She has summed up the correct characterization of Hillary as NH residents have firsthand experience in judging the candidates so closely. Thank you for your sincere comments.

    January 9, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. nic

    I am SO TIRED of encountering the sentiment that Obama's great skills as an orator somehow constitute a liability. A lot of people seem to think he's "all talk and no action," and they say things like, "it takes more than a great speech to be a president."

    Of course it does. And Obama HAS outlined specific plans regarding health care, foreign policy, etc. in ADDITTION to his ability to inspire millions of different people. I believe he has been as specific about his intentions as anyone else, including Clinton. Her rhetoric is growing increasingly similar to his, because she can see that it works....she just can't do it as well.

    A vote for Obama is a vote for HOPE vs. the status quo. It's a vote for a better world.

    January 9, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Santosh-Phila

    The press can feed us so much baloney it amazes me. Clinton's "crying" had very little, if anything at all to do with her winning.

    The answer is simple: it was expected that 67-70% of independents would vote in the Dem primary, which would help Obama but instead only 60% of them did and that hurt Obama. That combined with the fact that some of the voters who said they'd support Edwards or Richardson in the polls voted instead for Clinton, feeling she actually had a shot. Do the math and that's how the polls were off by 10 points.

    But does the press ever discuss these empirical matters...of course not!! It's math; it's boring, right??

    And people wonder why people in this country are struggling to compete with the Indians and the Chinese. They are afraid of simple math.

    January 9, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. BienAime

    As I analyzed the results of the New Hampshire primary I noticed that everyone is giving Bill and Hillary Clinton a free pass on the tearful statement she made before the primary. These statements were made to attract and convert those voters who would vote for Obama but were 100% comfortable with him. I have been observing the Clinton campaign since the beginning and have been quietly telling the white American voters not tot vote for a black man.
    Ford in SC has to apologized for saying that white will not vote for black candidate for POTUS
    We all know that the “inexperienced” adjective was assigned to Obama by the Clinton campaign. As we all know Obama has more elected office experience than Hillary Clinton and John Edwards but Edwards was never called inexperienced.
    Billy Shaheen Clinton’s campaign manager in NH had to step down after associating Obama with drug dealing.
    All of these obvious racial and condescending remarks seem like footnotes initially. When Hillary herself made these statements I had it with her. And I think it is about time that the Obama campaign starts addressing this problem. Let’s analyze these tearful statements: "I have had so many opportunities from this country; I just don't want us to fall back.” Her voice dropped to a whisper as she continued: "This is very personal for me... it is not just political... I see what's happening... we have to reverse it.
    "Some people think elections are a game. It is about our country, it is about our kids' futures."
    In there Hillary is implying that an Obama presidency will harm the country: "I have had so many opportunities from this country; I just don't want us to fall back.”. To put more emphasis and dramatize the meaning of her message, her voice dropped to a whisper as she continued: "This is very personal for me... it is not just political... I see what's happening... we have to reverse it”. This is a woman that has been described to be much disciplined always on message. The tearing was not about fatigue or campaign pressure that was her way to put more emphasis on her message, why I say that, we need to go back to Billy Shaheen statement in early December to find some clues in the strategy that will be used in NH to scare voters leaning toward Obama. "This is very personal for me... it is not just political... I see what's happening... we have to reverse it”, as a Former First Lady, we know that her words still carry a lot of weight with a lot of voters. When an undecided voter is wrestling with that final decision, he/she is more likely to hear those statements and tears. “I see what’s happening… we have to reverse it”: to mean that the country is being taken over by blacks. I could not see anything myself, except that there is an election and a black man is in the lead. I don’t know if any of you remember that over the summer there was some false accusation made about Obama canvassers not being polite and were undisciplined. So this how the Hillary Clinton Campaign has been playing the race card to quietly undermine Obama and yesterday we saw the result.

    January 9, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Dwayne, Los Angeles, CA

    CNN is soooo slanted toward Obama that its ridiculous. Its almost as (un)fair and (un)balanced as Fox News is. CNN will run EVERY seemingly negative story regarding Bill and Hill for as long as they possibly can but EVERY thing they report on regarging Barack Hussein Obama is glowing and hope filled. I am really beginning to think there is no accurate reporting in America.

    SHAME ON CNN. Where is your journalistic integrity?

    On a personal note, Obama needs to go away, gain some expericence and come back and try to run after President Hillary Clinton completes her 2 terms. Maybe he can go smoke some more pot, deal some more drugs, study more of his muslim/islamic roots, flip/flop on another half dozen issues, expands his anti-Isreali beliefs...well...i could just go on and on. Most of you glassy eyed robots see him as a saviour when he isnt nothing of the sort.

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!

    January 9, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Enny

    It is scary to hear White America (you can tell from the racist comments), is still scared of a strong African American man. It is also sad if White America has to answer the question who do we like less "a woman or a African American in the White House". America needs to wake up and realize their horns are showing (again)

    January 9, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. nic

    JOhn, how did Obama's campaign turn negative?!

    January 9, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Larry Carder

    It takes a woman to clean the house, WHITE House!

    January 9, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. chris

    CNN seems to be picking on Hillary. CNN called the voter, the voter didn't call in. Sounds a little fishy to me. Seems to me the voter herself was surprised CNN was making such a big deal out of it. I was just a simple question.

    CNN should be concerned with world news instead of nitpicking on Hillary.
    Is it Oprah, Obama and CNN running for President of the US?

    January 9, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. mbgoldie

    Anybody can be moved to tears "twice" by an uplifting speech. It doesn't mean squat. What matters is Hillary won because of experience, which 71% of New Hampshire people thought was important and is why Hillary won there. I can't believe people can be so ignorant to vote for someone with only two years in the senate! I was so happy that Obama won that senate seat, but I'm not ready for him to run a country. Give him a few more years.

    January 9, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Larry

    I watched the clip with Hillary in the dinner as she took to contrived emotions
    to conjure up votes. It was way to obvious that she staged the emotional side
    as her adviser had been telling her to. This is way insulting to "American
    Women" in particular and "Women" generally. They have for years, rightly tried to establish the sincerity of their emotions. I think Clinton has done an injustice to Women.

    If voters can't see through this pretense, we deserve Hillary for President.


    January 9, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Bob January 9, 2008 4:27 pm ET

    Look what we have for a President now.
    The guy can't pass a 5th grade I.Q. test.

    Do you know what George W. Bush got on his IQ test?

    Drool. 🙂

    January 9, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Carl

    As a white male, I'm 100% for diversity and who really cares what color of skin, sex, hair color, how long your toe nails are, etc....

    All I care about is who is best fit to lead, and I think a woman leader would be a great fit for this nation.... but not Hillary.

    It's time to elect someone NOT named Clinton or Bush... I'm really sick of it...

    January 9, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. NewPatriot-Arizona

    I never voted for Bill and never will for Hillary

    January 9, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. NewPatriot-Arizona

    Its liking smelling a fish farm in spring!

    January 9, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Ken Harris

    Hey Hope: Congrats on your "tears" of Joy... While I would agree that the Obama camp's own arrogance hurt them, particulalry in choosing to ignore the king of all pandering blowhards as he misrepresented Barack's record/words, I simply can't reconcile your statement regarding HRC being a person of action. We've been hearing this a lot lately, but nobody ever expounds. So please, by all means, el=nlighten me and elaborate on some of this "action"...

    January 9, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. corky

    Congrats!!! Hillary

    Well deserved the media ripped you apart, wrote you off after one caucus and you still stood your ground. Glad to see America got it right, we need someone in the White House who can help this country not a motvaional speaker. The economy is on the verge of a recession, war in Iraq, Jobs, educations, bringing the troops home. The media CNN gave all coverage to Obama and Edwards and acted like you didn"t exist.Wake-up time we are not voting for a Rock Star or A popularity contest. We are voting for President. I do believe you would make an excellent Presiedent. You are to to stay focused on the issues at hand and donot pay attention to the media and their nonsense after all they need a story at your expense. All My Best Corky

    January 9, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. NewPatriot-Arizona

    or maybe even better a hog farm.

    January 9, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Walter Mason

    See Barack Obama Run!

    I think the one thing everyone forgets is that this young black senator from Illinois has single handedly changed the political landscape for republicans and democrats. Weather you like him or not. Our weather you think he has enough experience or not. Every American owes Barrack Obama a debt of gratitude. He going against all odds just stop and think about it. His skin color, his Muslim Grandmother, multi racial background, experience, and he was raced by a single mom, also his willingness to fight for economic equality for all people. I really admire him to put his reputation his family and yes his life on the line. I only wish him God speed and good will. Barrack has really forced all the candidates to bring there A game and get in touch with the people. They can know longer feed the public a bunch of lies and spin. I am so proud of him and I think every Americans should stop and think what would the presidential race would be like with out him. God Bless you all and Barrack and his family. He is a great American that embodies the true American sprit. See Barrack Obama Run!

    Walter Mason
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    January 9, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Jack Jett

    So the women ended up getting what she needed was her 15 minutes at the expense of someone who has done more to help the woman's movement than anyone else.

    This woman should hang her head in shame after the media discards her for their next Obama lap dog movement.

    January 9, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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