February 4th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton holds emotional meeting at Yale


Watch Clinton get emotional at a campaign stop.

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (CNN) - Hillary Clinton became teary-eyed during an event at Yale University Monday - a moment that harkened back to her much talked-about display of emotion on the eve of the New Hampshire Primary.

Holding a campaign meeting at the Yale Child Study Center, the New York senator welled up as she was introduced by Penn Rhodeen, a public interest lawyer who worked with Clinton when she was in college.

Rhodeen praised Clinton's efforts as a college student and said, "Here is the abiding truth we know - you have always been a champion for children. Welcome home, dear friend. We are so proud of you."

Though it is difficult to see her reaction in footage of the event (see her reaction by clicking the play button on the right), Clinton's eyes appeared to grow misty during the introduction, according to CNN producer Sasha Johnson. When it was the senator's turn to speak she said, "Well, I said I would not tear up; already we're not exactly on the path."

Clinton's last teary moment on the trail occurred after an undecided voter asked how she was holding up. The moment instantly became the most-covered event on the campaign trail on the day before the critical New Hampshire primary, drawing both praise from some who said Clinton had finally bared her true self to voters, and criticism from those who thought the moment was calculated.

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- CNN Producers Alexander Mooney and Sasha Johnson

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (1,203 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Hilary has been in the public eye for decades. Yet the only two times she has been caught teary eyed has been right before major elections. Coincidence? Statistically speaking – no.

    Before this season began, I was hoping she would win the Democratic nomination. I would have voted for her. But after seeing her cold, calculating behavior I'd have to vote for the Republican candidate if she's the Democratic nominee. I'd rather have a person with principles, even if I disagree with some policies, than a person who is untrustworthy.

    February 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. roxanna

    Hillary will do what ever she thinks she needs to do to get votes. Maybe Kleenex will be able to endorse Hillary. The first time she teared up I fell for it, not so quick to believe her this time. Better keep the tissue close to her tomorrow.

    February 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. John, Las Vegas, NV

    I just did a Google search and can't find anything about Hillary crying in public before New Hampshire. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

    February 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Young Liberal

    Okay I could believe it the first time but this has to be calculated!

    February 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Matthew

    First of all, anyone who was given the amount of praise that Clinton was given by her former professor would TEAR UP. Second, PLEASE NOTE THIS:

    Almost ALL of the negative comments about her tearing up are coming from the MALE gender. I think women need to UNITE around their candidate!

    Sexism is ALIVE and well!

    February 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. undecided ohioan

    to Anna, IL: make no mistake, it's anything BUT the lack of control... One doesn't get to where she is otherwise... she is either feeling it's OK to do this or she is purposely doing it... If she did not want to tear up she would not ... and as/if a president I believe she would behave appropriately :-)))

    February 4, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. joseph

    what a sleeze ball, exatly what she did in New Hampshire before the vote

    February 4, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Smile

    Bill Clinton should be hitting the Ticker soon with his wagging finger and setting people straight. She is unbelievable.......

    February 4, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Laura Thompson

    You're not human or for that matter have a heart if you haven't cryed! So tired of the media harping on this emotion shame on you and those who are so critical.

    February 4, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. JohnS

    CRY BABY. This woman wants this JOB for herself and Bill so much that she is ready to sacrifice her soul. I only wish that she and Bill did not have sooo much "baggage" to lean up!!!!

    Unfortunately, the SOUL of the Dem party is bigger than any single individual need. Maybe, after cleaning up the past, the Clintons can make another come back during the Chelsea years!!!!

    February 4, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. David, Silver Spring MD

    I can't criticize HRC on this. I sometimes get teary-eyed listening to Barack Obama speak and thinking about how much better off the country would be with him as our president.

    February 4, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Mike

    THIS undecided voter just decided after seeing this cheap attempt at garnering sympathy.

    I have decided on OBAMA when I vote in California tomorrow!

    February 4, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Derek

    You fool nobody Hillary.

    February 4, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. Terri White

    Hillary is the candidate with the highest negative rating in this entire race for the White House. Only reason the media has been soft on her is because to tell the truth about her means that the media would have to tell the truth about Bill. If they were to do that, then they would directly have to besmirch the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT.

    February 4, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Benjamin

    What the heck?! I'm watching the video and I don't see her crying, she just looks touched.

    I wish the media would stop making such a huge fuss any time she shows any emotion whatsoever. It's sexist frankly. McCain almost choked up at the last debate talking about our troops, why wasn't that widely covered? Why wasn't that blamed on him trying to win votes?

    Everyone I know is so sick of this. CNN pays more attention to what she's wearing and if her eyes look misty than her policy stances. It's absurd, sexist, idiotic, and dumbs down the American public.

    I swear we are the only country in the world when during a serious and critical election the voters know more about what a canidate's eyes are doing than the issues. Thanks CNN! oy gevalt!


    February 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. Charleston, SC

    Is this a joke? The only people who should be crying are all of her supporters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina who she BETRAYED! Do we really want this in the White House? A lying, do-anything-to-get-elected scoundrel?

    February 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |


    February 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. douglas m

    love or hate their politics, a more calculating couple has never come to politics that rival Bill and Hilary. adding the "I wasn't going to cry" right after the facial moisture--clearly a cue card. Not that any candidate doesn't have emotional twinges–but she clearly identifies them in advance and works to bring them into the day's political script. and she knows its fairly transparent. just as Bill's attemtps to marginalize Obama due to race was bound to be transparent. But with South Carolina looming as a disaster, Bill had to take the gamble. So to with the polls and momentum crashing around her on the weekend before Super Tuesday-she has nothing to lose. She is going for broke.

    February 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Mirta

    I would tear up if an old friend introduced me the same way. For those of you who are shouting "Here we go again!"...Did you actually view the video?

    CNN must be thrilled to be able to post all of these anti-Clinton comments. I have a hard time believing that the overwhelming majority of comments are negative about this story.

    I find it so interesting that the Obama supporters are so NASTY in nature. For a man who has the message of unity and bringing people together, his supporters are full of sour grapes. I think this is a sign of things to come if Obama gets the nomination.

    I don't plan on having this comment posted....most of my posts are not allowed. I don't find them particularly controversial or nasty...just pro-Clinton.

    February 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Stop the presses, another fabricated Clinton moment.

    Tears or not, Team Clinton knows that Obama has ALL the momentum and they are just trying to hold on for dear life.

    Obama is on fire and if he is somehow able to pull out California, the ballgame would be all but over.

    February 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Matthew Jade

    This really needs to stop. The timing of these emotional events cannot be placed on coincidence. She is obviously doing this as to attract the female vote. Obama gains ground, Clinton plays her emotional hand. If this country elects based on pity then it is safe to say we've failed as a intelligent democracy.

    February 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. brooks

    pllllleeeeeeeaaase! I am so glad I have already filled out my absantee with Obama checked.

    February 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. JohnS

    The Brits, the Pakistinians, and other nations that have had WOMEN leaders may now start to laugh at us!!! When did Thatcher ever CRY during the campaign or in-office?

    Is this what we should expect when the Republicans release their attack dogs soon? What a "sissy" nation!!! The excuse that

    "women should be allowed to express emotions, but men should not" raise questions about the fight for gender equality. I guess we can now let African Americans express themselves in ways that they know BEST.

    If Hillary is going to continue to do this, her supporters might as well be ready to join her shed more and more tears (I do not care if you call it teary-eyes, expecially for someone with tauted EXPERIENCE) when the Republicans open the Clinton Archieves that they have and continue to push for!!!!

    February 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Amers

    Whatever, running for President is stressful. Who cares. Let's focus on some REAL issues, not this crap!

    February 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Anthony

    Cry us a river, build us a bridge, and get over her.

    Staged right before the big super tuesday, just like NH.

    Very weak, and sad.

    February 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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