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. Proud Democrat

    A personal moment between Hillary and her old professor is not "news". I am in awe at the unbelievable bias in favor of Obama. He can literally do no wrong in your eyes...Let the voters decide tomorrow who they want. By the way; why no reporting on the campaigning of Robert Kennedy Jr on behalf of Hillary? Oh well, a little to hopeful I guess.

    February 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. John Adkisson

    Not again.

    Even accepting the tears are genuine, the media's coverage of this on the day before Super Tuesday is insulting to the intelligence of voters.

    Of course it is ok to well up - but it is irrelevant. On the other hand, reporters know that emotion drives some voters and it is their manipulation of the images, not the fact of the event, that foreseeably alters impressions.

    Given the timing of this story, the coverage is also demeaning to women by playing to an outdated stereotype that women are either: (1) to be pitied when under pressure; or (2) to be demonized for perceived weakness. Neither is a stereotype that holds up - but this kind of over the top coverage feeds into the stereotypes and has the potential (see New Hampshire) of changing election results.

    This brand of journalism (which is not limited to CNN, but is widespread) is bad enough when applied to celebrity news. But when applied to important public affairs stories it is really out of hand.

    February 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. seektruth

    It is nice to see her do it again , this unfortunatly remind me of a acting set up! but Do you see any comader in chief in the world get so fragile? and fears and tears of her misled us into war and disaster?

    we are electing a leader with good judgement in the crises of the war on terror, and ablity to unite this country to get job done(health reform and econemy plan etc.
    she is smart and work hard but we are choose a leader for our future our childer' children! as a women I choose Obama for our children' future ! he can offer nex generation a safer and stronger America and in the the world !
    Obama 08!

    February 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. dmw

    No matter how hard the media and the Obama campaign try to paint Hillary as some monster, divider, polarizer, she has fought for Children for all of her adult career. She is an advocate for people. She will and has always brought great change to those in need.

    I do hope that the media will be more fair with her. And I do hope that America in general will say, although Obama is a good speaker, orator, and does encourage us; Hillary does as well and she has proven results.

    She is the best option for our country right now to deal with all of our issues. I am so sick and tired of the media and Obama supporters, and Obama himself being so arrogant and disrespectful of the work Hillary has done.

    If she does not get the nomination, then I know this country is blindly lead. Experience DOES count. At least for people like myself who have worked hard and grew up knowing that if you work hard, you will be rewarded.

    Hillary is a good woman.

    February 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Lightning


    I'm sure that Osama bin Laden and all the other terrorists are laughing at us right now that we might pick a President who cries during the election. If she can't handle the rigors of the election, how set is she to handle the most powerful position in the world?

    February 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Hope08

    How nice! Any other candidate trying to cry would be smashed... She just gets more votes, 'cause she is "emotional". Oh... I forgot... this race is not about gender...

    Staying with Bill after the scandal for career reasons, fighting unions at Wal-Mart, supporting Iraq war... and now she wants us to believe that she is sensitive as an innocent baby. Well, she is really EXPERIENCED in lying and faking.

    February 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Captain

    Looks like she's looking for lightening to strike in the same place twice!!! I will be stunned if voters fall for this. A recent Gallop article shows that her support from women is being lost to Obama. Add yesterday's Oprah event to the picture and we get a desperate Hillary trying to work the same magic she pulled off in New Hampshire, where polls showed her female support being lost to Obama.

    Its sad and pathertic really. And no, I am not criticizing because she is a woman. i am criticizing because SHE IS PHONY AS BOLOGNA.

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Marti, San Diego CA

    Oh boy. Does anyone else see the pattern here? She was getting smashed in NH and then comes along a "teary moment". In recent days she has slipped considerably in the polls–including among *women*–and here we go with another manipulative "teary moment".

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Rence

    This is the real Hillary. Hillary is a candidate that able to solve complicated issues. Obama is just full of hopes but no solid plans. Ill vote for Hillary...

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Eric

    It is human to feel emotion and campaigns must be incredibly demanding. While I want to think the best of Hillary, it is her perfect timing that gives me pause...

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Joyce memphis, tn

    Don't cry Hillary. We know you have done extrordinary things for EQUAL RIGHTS for those who don't have a voice..like children, underpaid/overworked mothers, and all those who are struggling to make ends meet. As a 25yr old single black mother, I thank you for your commitment. Only YOU can truly change America. You have my vote.

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. T.O

    Again!!?? That says it all

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. NSM

    Wow, she deserves an Oscar for Best Actress after this campaign is over.

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. Curious Voter

    Ah, I see...whenever Barack Obama looks like he's pulling ahead in the polls, just shed some tears in a women-dominated meet-the-voters event and pull the woman vote away the next day. Smooth move, Hillary...

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Todd, Grove City, Ohio

    And one day before people vote.....AGAIN?

    This kind of political pandering is the reason people hate politics.

    Put away the crocodile tears.

    February 4, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. John in Charlotte

    Is this going to happen every time she starts dropping in the polls?

    February 4, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Trokon

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    CNN.com, I do not want you to show such a shameful cry of inexperience on either the Tv or internet. As Hillary Clinton declear herself to be an experience woman with a good eigth year of her husband presidency and her 35 years jobs, She must not be asking for mercy or sympathy. It is not her first time. She not capable to lead the World Supper Power, and I request her to conceed to Barack Obama, the next president of America. Is this how she will be crying at World leaders meetings, at the UN or in the state house of other leaders? It is a disgrace for the Clitons. Barack, yes we can!! Go Brack!! "Barack Obama- Barck Obbama-!!

    February 4, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. seanmahair

    Good to know that when a crisis looms our future president will get all weepy and shed a tear. I'm sure the terrorists and America haters will back right off.

    February 4, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Jamil, IL

    Okay... after NH – who didn't see this coming? I don't hate Hillary but if she is going to make this a pattern the day before a VERY close race (or an anticipated blowout, like NH), then it only reinforces people's perception of her calculation.

    The "women voting bloc" may jump on this once – but Hill can only shed tears no many times before the expiration dates on people's empathy with her emotions to win her some votes.

    February 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. colorblind

    oh brother.... more tears....... i hope this isn't going to be a habit for her..... "whenever i have a fear of losing i cry"

    even Bill would say "give me a break"

    February 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Mr. T

    Another stunt by Clinton as national poll numbers show she is losing her big lead.

    February 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. dina

    oh no..not again crying baby.....

    February 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Paul, Atlanta

    Go Hillary! We love you, You'll make the best President!

    February 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. charlotte

    God bless you Hillary for your tireless efforts on behalf of the smallest of us. Your dedication to the less fortunate will always be your most enduring quality. Some people want to deny your service from your youth through the present. I pray you will be given the opportunity to serve us at the highest level of Government, The Presidency of the United States of America.
    Hillary 08

    February 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. AJ, IL

    Let's see...A recap of the past week's political news...

    Caroline Kennedy and Ted Kennedy endorses Obama
    SEIU-California, NY Post and LA Times endorse Obama
    Oprah stumps for Obama in California
    Obama rallies pulling in 8,000 to 30,000 people per event
    Maria Shiver endorses Obama in surprise appearance

    Bill Clinton stumps in "black churches"
    Hillary cries in Connecticut

    Wow! Hillary's is going to try a "New Hampshire cry me a river scene" prior the Feb. 5th primaries and caucauses. How weak. Go Obama!

    Obama in '08!

    February 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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