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. Fred

    I knew you wouldn't post this because its true and a lot of people feel the press is playing favorites and the race card !!!!!! (Obama for Preisdent..I think not !!! After seeing first hand what he has done here in Illinois I would never vote for this man who does a lot avoiding the issues and makes a lot of false promises he NEVER lives up to. Seeing the HATE of some of the Obama people on this forum and how immature it is, if this is the change Obama would bring,who would want it. America would then be another third world contry full of hate and crime. Obama for this change..NO WAY. CNN,MSNBC you both are so biased it not even funny. Obama has made a lot of mistakes here in IL and you people are afraid to say anything. Either you are in Obamas pocket or he is in yours. You must think you are running or own agendas and think you can make our decisions on who we will vote for by thinking you have brain washed us all. We are not all that weak minded and see your lack of true reporting and will vote as WE WANT to and it won't be for Obama. Some of us actually abominate Obama because of your predudicial favoritism. You are so afraid of being titled a racist or being called the next Imus that you won't even do your jobs. Funny when some one says what Obamas people do or Obama says it its Ok but when its the other way around towards Obama then you hear the cry it racist and racial comments. The only thing racial is OBAMA PLAYING THE RACE CARD !!!)

    February 4, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. Charlotte

    Why do hateful whinnings get posted while others do not?

    February 4, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  3. Christopher, DC

    The media coverage on this subject is just plain stupid and biased. I expect this type of reporting from Entertainment Tonight not CNN. I've seen Obama tear up at least three times (with a quiver in his voice) and not one mention of it in the press.

    I seriously miss the days of real journalism – Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings – this pop and spin journalism is disappointing. Talk about desiring a change.

    February 4, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Lilly

    How does this even have any bearing on her qualifications? Honestly, this is just as ridiculous as the whole "snub" fiasco that shed bad light on Obama.

    February 4, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. JohnS

    Hillary should NOT even be on the short list for OBAMA. Indeed, there are other BETTER candidates out there: Edwards, Biden, Richardson… with stronger MORAL virtues. Hillary knows this; so she cannot but keep CRYING—BIG SISSY!!!

    The Brits and other nations that have had women politicians are probably laughing at our CRY BABY!!! I really do not care how people try to explain this away. For someone with such a great experience, this is truely shameful!!!

    February 4, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. enomisa

    Joan S
    Please watch the video and decide for yourself and THEN Opine

    February 4, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. From PA

    Shame on you...for those personally attacking Hillary....

    If you don't agree with her stance on topics, than by all mean vote for whoever you believe will be the best candidate

    DONT VOTE based on media, its the popular thing to do, or celebs!!!

    We all have minds, use it! And treat others the way you would be liked to be treated!!

    For me Obama or Hillary is CHANGE compared to the republicans

    Lets be civilized and united!!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. independent

    you're absolutely correct, harriet. if she cried for significant things like the funerals of military troops (which she voted to send to Iraq, i might add) then that would be totally appropriate and would be quite touching. and crying at an awards recognition for a family member of friend is appropriate too, but getting emotional when YOU'RE the one being recognized is a little silly and overdramatic, not to mention pathetic. even the most dramatic of my sorority friends reserve their tears for true moments of hysteria, like when their credit cards get overdrawn, their boyfriend dumps them, or they have to resort to drastic measures to pull off a C. but to sen. clinton's credit, she has a great sense of timing.

    February 4, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. Caitlin

    This is so sad. I cannot believe this is news. With two such intelligent, dedicated, and hard working candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, this headline is the one CNN choses to publish. Who cares? Bring us the news.

    One Happy Democrat!!!!!

    February 4, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. Informed Democrat


    HILLARY CLINTON 2008- Vote when your mind is awake- not dreaming!!!!

    February 4, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. Bob

    Why is this load of *** news?

    February 4, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. voter in SC

    How did we come to this point of criticizing someone for showing their emotions in public? We have to remember that these candidates are real people with real lives and real emotions. If Hillary wants to cry or shows some emotion because that's how she REALLY feels, then she should be free to express herself without the fear of being criticized and it ending up being the leading news story of the day. In my opinion the media has made a big deal of this and many other issues in this campaign! What is really important here? Is it whether someone cries or not or is it the direction that we want our country to go in? Should we be criticizing someone for showing a little emotion or worrying about how to stop the war in Iraq? We need to be looking at the real issues that will affect this election. And to those who say that showing some emotion is a sign of weakness......come on!! Is it considered weak when we see a movie star cry during an award acceptance speech? Or is it weak when we see a football player cry because he just won the super bowl? Showing emotion should not be considered weak. It's part of being human. I know there are a lot of Hillary haters out there, but she is a real person just like everyone else and has real feelings. And to the Obama supporters who write some nasty stuff about her, how do you expect to bring the country together or to have a unified Democratic party when you are bashing Hillary and all her supporters. When I hear all the bashing by everyone, it makes me want to pull for Hillary even more and I'm to the point where I don't know if I would even want to vote for Obama if he is our nominee. I have supported Hillary since the beginning, but I actually liked Obama as well and would have been happy to have him as our nominee, but all this negativity and anti-Hillary mess has changed my mind. Let's get back to the issues and stop with the negativity!

    February 4, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. Kris

    CNN, why do you keep me in moderation forever? Maybe I should log into my Cision account and email all of my contacts?

    Please Obama supporters. You want the truth. You're voting for speeches, not policies. That's fine if you like generalities. I vote on issues and policy. The fact is in Obama's short time he has voted present more than 100 times, pushed the wrong button 6 times, was in bed with Rezko, bought his house $300,000 under the market price during a housing boom, lied to Iowa voters about his Exelon deal, etc. Now, why don't any of you mention that?

    Go ahead CNN, keep me in moderation.

    February 4, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. frank

    Boo hoo...what's she going to do........
    She is as phony as a wooden nickel.
    Her actions is not even newsworthy...
    She is as artificial as they come....
    maybe she should take acting lessons.
    Give us a break with this phony baloney.

    February 4, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. Rex, Ohio

    once again, CNN has not published my comment. What I said and what the so called "moderator" decided not to publish is this: This is the last straw for me.
    As a Ron Paul supporter, I can only wish him the best, however I must make my vote count for America. That is why, here on the Ticker that I frequent many times a day, I am saying my vote is for Obama. I must do my small part to help America by not allowing the criminal Hillary Clinton into the White House. As much as it seems strange to say it, I declare: Obama '08

    CNN really needs to stop censoring us. I see comments posted that don't even make sense, and yet articulate comments are trashed. CNN, allow us, your bread and butter, your readers and viewers to speak without censorship.

    February 4, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. Edward Russell

    You guys give her way too much credit.
    First she didnt cry in NH, her voice cracked.
    Next her friend was saying how proud she was of her!!! That inspires emotion.

    I dont think Hillary is that great an actor. Everyday she talks about her vision and the plans she has for this country. But no talk about that

    Instead we have 578 comments on an emotional moment. People this is whats wrong with america

    February 4, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  17. Douadavid Vang

    I never love an unknown and enseen woman before but I love hillary as much as my wife , mom , and sisters, She will bring the best future for this nation as her her husband. I love Bill and Hillary as my brother and sister. Go Hillary.

    February 4, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  18. Jim

    Hillary Clinton is in for a BIG surprise , She is going to have something to cry about soon.

    February 4, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. Allison

    CNN has no answers for their coverage. They dwell on the silliest things. Our country is in turmoil and this is what they cover what a disgrace. Wolf Blitzer is a man who is afraid a woman can take his job. Wolf watch out it just might happen one day. Lets see if CNN post this or it sits in waiting for moderation.

    February 4, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  20. Karen, Jersey City

    Just got off the phone with the IRS and cried my eyes out.... it didn't work for them and it won't work for Hillary. Save your tears Broom Hillary, that house is flying right in your direction.

    February 4, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  21. James

    We should only want someone who can be touched this way. Even Bush as bad as he is has feelings occasionally.

    February 4, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  22. Robert

    I hope she doesn't start crying in the Situation Room when we're under attack. Do you think having a president who is seen as weak will project the strength to deter terrorism? I liked her better when she was a ball buster.

    February 4, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  23. Debra

    I hope all the people who are letting the media blow this up. Will think again when we get someone in the White House who can't keep a hold of those important documents. Who needs some one to take care of him. If you look at Clinton youcan tell she needs no one to take care of her. I want to see Obama's record. Yes he can give a good speech and he can look you in the eye a make all those promises I just don't think he can keep them. Hey all you girls out there what are you doing. Just one more thing do you think Oprah can make decisions for us she runs a talk show ,not the largest country in the world and the most powerful. I think she should concentrate on her show and her school that had so many problems. Hillary gets my vote.

    February 4, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. sk


    February 4, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. Marcelo

    As an very strong Obama supporter, I'm ashamed of the negative comments against Hillary. We are trying to run a positive campaign here folks. If we continue the negative remarks, then we're really not for change in our politics are we?

    That said, I think Hillary chose a very coincidental time to display emotion. It also looks suspicious that her friend had to read his comments off a piece of paper. But I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

    What I don't believe is that anyone who takes this news and decides their vote based on it is acting in an intelligent way. Please consider the issues (Obama's are more practical and thought out), the electibility of the candidate (polls show he would win over McCain and Hillary wouldn't), and what her nomination would mean for american politics (she has shown us that she can resort to very dirty tactics when challenged on the issues [i.e. questioning third grade essays, implying drug dealing] and she always points at the 90's for proof of how she will run the country), and in the process of surviving/winning the campaign against some extremely hateful republicans, she will only serve to divide this country even further.

    We need someone that can unite us. Barack Obama is decent, honest, rises above the dirty campaigning tactics the republicans resort to, can unite those tired of the fighting, and can provide us an intelligent and well thought out solutions to our most perilous problems (i.e. the economy, the environement, terrorism, etc). And just as another fact, most of the world is pulling for a Barack Obama to become our nation's leader.

    February 4, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
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