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. Daniel

    I can just hear Tom Hanks from a "League of There Own" saying "Theres no crying in politics!"

    February 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. D.L.

    She just had a proud moment!
    Give me a break.
    Grow up people.
    Cnn can we just focus on the issues? And, maybe equal fair coverage?
    People who try and make a big deal out of this look petty at best.

    February 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. concerned citizen

    Is she going to cry when Obama attacks us again, or is she going to take care of business?

    She's been crying quite a bit lately.

    February 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Margaret

    Hilary is the real one, she is warm, caring and she takes her time to shake hand with the people who go see her. On Saturday , I went to see Obama in Minneapolis, he was arrogant, nice talker but made no sense, on the other hand, Sunday I meet Hilary Clinton and she shook hands with me, she was very warm and caring. Before I meet both candidates I was undecided , but now it is clear to me that Hillary Clinton is the one who I am going to vote for. GO HILLARY.

    February 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Tlc

    Thinking Democrats will, I hop, see this for what it is, a ploy by Senator Clinton to gain sympathy among the electorate. It worked in New Hampshire, where exit polls made it clear that her tears swayed certain voters. I very much hope that voters will not be swayed by such an obviously false attempt to manipulate them.

    February 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. cheryl Arizona

    I am so sick of these attacks on Hillary from all the Obama supporters. Even the people who endorse him act like he is the savior. he is in the senate and what has he done. The more they beat up on her the more I will drum up votes for her. I have never seen such a mob mentality going after one person. He just keeps bringing out his endorsements to get media coverage and they fall for it. God bless her and give her strength against all this trash.

    February 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Gary

    We are either nailing Hillary for being too tough and callous, or implying she's somehow flawed if she shows signs softness or vulnerability. I think we need to cut her much more slack. She is a human being and not a robot .........thankfully!

    February 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Right on Day1

    J Miller, Obama includes you when he says we. That's the whole message. It's not a race thing. Nice try though. If Bill Clinton can't play the race card neither can you.

    And as Annette said above, she's been a rock for 35 years, you think suddenly she's no longer a robot?

    All the strong women I know, can make me cry before they will. If she didn't want us to see her cry, it wouldn't have happened.

    It doesn't make her weak, because it's a con job.

    February 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. junebug

    She didn't cry, people. She had someone she cared about say something nice . . . there were no tears at all.

    Once again, the media has made a story out of something very benign and you folks who hate this woman for no reason are helping make it into something it wasn't. Are you going to continue to let the media tell you who to vote for? They have hand-picked the nominees this year. They shoved their selections in front of you at ever turn and, some of you, are following along in lock-step. Hillary isn't my first choice or even my second choice, but I refuse to vote for a Republican and Obama has NO substance at this time. He has pretty speeches, but he is not experienced enough to handle cleaning up the mess that the LAST inexperienced, unqualified person will be leaving.

    This isn't a popularity contest, folks, it's our COUNTRY.

    February 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Will Sarr

    Why do so many HATE Hillary?

    February 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. CAROLE


    February 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. Linda

    There are two reasons I'm supporting Obama for president in '08:

    1. I want an end to dynasties. This country is not a monarchy and I'm sick of seeing the leadership handed from father to son or husband to wife. Enough already. Neither son (John Q. Adams or George W. Bush) was a great president, though Adams beat Bush by a long shot. What makes you think that sixteen years of any family in the White House is a good way to promote democracy?

    2. When you look at Barack Obama, look past the hype. I just finished reading his first book (Dreams From My Father) and will start soon on the second (The Audacity of Hope). There is a great deal of substance to this man that can't be captured in the stump speech or the 5-second sound byte. Go to his website and read where he stands before you dismiss him.

    I've been to Hillary's website. I choose Obama.

    February 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. SC Tyler

    TO PAUL: I can't agree with you more. I'm an Hillary Clinton supporter that lives in SC. If Obama wins the nomination I WILL VOTE FOR MCCAIN.


    HILLARY 2008.....

    February 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Pro-Lifer

    How can Hillary be for the rights of children and yet she supports abortions?????The poor child victims of abortion do not even have a voice and yet Hillary will not stand up for their rights. You cannot support abortion and be an advocate for children.

    February 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Dave

    Uh, is Clinton going to get teary eyes everytime congress/senate oppose her – if she become president when she didnt get something ?

    February 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I can understand Hillary's tears. For one thing, she - and the other candidates - are simply exhausted from all the campaigning. It is ridiculous how long this campaign has lasted. . .and this is just the beginning.

    From what I've read, Senator Clinton believed that her nomination was a sure thing, and now months later she is realizing the American people just don't buy all that she is trying to sell.

    Nonetheless, I will not make fun of her feeling emotional and I don't care for hateful comments that she is doing this for sympathy. Though her tears will not compel me to vote for her tomorrow or ever, I do feel some sympathy for her situation.

    If all goes well, the American people will vote at caucuses and perhaps Senator Obama will feel some sympathy for her, as well, and ask her to be his VP.

    Go OBAMA!!

    February 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Gaurang

    It is interesting that Hilary gets teary eyed everytime ONLY the day before a crucial primary – give me a break with all this emotional stuff. She is blatantly trying to get our votes.

    February 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Can I EVER get posted?!

    I agree with Rena and other reasonable comments. By posting this, CNN was basically throwing fresh meat to rabid rhetoric. Please stick to the real issues CNN and people- please be informed voters!!!!! (Read today's NY Times re: the differences btwn Hillary's and Obama's health care plans!! Hint: Hillary's plan is superior if you truly want universal health care)

    February 4, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Kongur

    American voters....can you please look into things before coming off with obsurd opinons ...and with such venom...that are actually about NOTHING important!
    Look at both candidates. What do they want to accomplish? How does each say they will try to accompish? These are the topics you need to vote on. Thomas Jefferson said (and boy is it STILL true) "American cannot have a democracy with an under-educated populace."

    February 4, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. Tisha Garcia

    I was going to vote for her but, based on the stats, she will do anything to win.

    February 4, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. The Truth

    Wow, I mean can we get a nomination for the best liar and deciever award? Ok you Hillary supporters, here it goes: Ok so she cried or teared up or said she won't tear up great. Some of you say it doesn't matter and she has the right to get a little emotional. Fine. I will give her that. I understand it is a tough election year and she probably is tired. But, look at it like this: All over the world, we have nations who pride themselves on not being American. We have nations who also have women heads of state. Trust me, they are extremely tough. Merkel in Germany and others would have to back up and ask HRC, what the heck. These women heads of state handle extremely tough issues everyday. Condi Rice deals with tough issues every day. But the difference between them and Hillary is that they take it like a woman and get the job done no matter how much emotion they have. These women understand the importance of not showing weakness. they understand that at any moment, they can be viewed as weak. The USA is unlike any other country and that is why I love this country. But, lets not be fooled. Outside of the USA, it is a totally different world. A world where people have no sympathy for women, have no sympathy for weakness in any form. In the middle east where they really have no respect for women it will be rough. In order to deal with other countries you have to have a poker face and even emotion showed when one is given a compliment is considered weak around the globe. I read a story about a woman body guard in Russia who was recently killed. Now that was a real woman. She was tough, smart and didn't cry. the point is, HRC will get nowhere in the oval office. Bill will be running the show and going to places where she can't go. Do we really want this? The rest of the world will wlak all over her. You think life is hard in the USA but you haven't seen anything yet. Remember, in the political business, emotion is a weakness

    February 4, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Enough!!

    Once again, the Clintons (Bill) didn't not inject race into the campaign. It was the media. Ex. 1 – when Sen. Obama won IA,they mentioned thatI A is 90+% white, 2. t they mentioned the black vote being 50% in SC, 3. they (Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough,etc.) mentioned Sen. Obama being African American, and that he is not like other black candidates (Jackson, Sharpton), 4 they mentioned that whites didn't vote for him in NH. , etc., etc., etc. So how can the Clintons be the guility party? Are we, Sen. Obama's supporters, so stupid that we can't see this? Stop letting the media off the hook.

    BTW, I saw Hillary's Yale clip and she was not crying, just touched and rightfully so. SO as an Obama supporter, I want to ask my fellow OBama supporters to stop being so mean spirited – Sen. Obama wants to include and bring people together, so your nasty attacks go against that. Lead by example.

    February 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. Intellectuals

    For those who say "She's got a heart"....why does it only swell before a crucial primay day?

    Hillary....you had your days of glory....now sit back and witness HISTORY

    February 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |

    Please don't let these tears sway your votes. It's all a well thought out tactic.

    Bill can't be nasty anymore, but she can turn on the water works the eve before Super Tuesday.

    Vote Obama. A clear, honest, intelligent and real candidate!


    February 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  25. Joe

    I'm sorry. DID ANYONE ACTUALLY WATCH THIS!!! Here or at CNN????

    CNN needs to get a clue. She didn't cry . . . she cracked a joke about crying.

    Give me a break.

    February 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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