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. Jeff

    Congratulations Hillary,

    I have tried SO hard to not be cynical of you the past 6 months. I never understood why so many people didn't like the Clintons.

    The past six months, you and your husband running mate have done a fantastic job of showing me exactly why people have it out for you. I'll give you and the N.O.W. people a hint – it's not because you're a woman.

    You and your running mate husband are sleazy, greedy, divisive, and completely shameless. And you just put the final kibosh on your chances at the nomination...thank goodness.

    Shame on you. Go home.

    February 5, 2008 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  2. CNN CA

    If Obama does not get the nomination and Hillary does, I will volunteer/vote Republican.

    GO Hillray!!!

    February 5, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  3. Think before you vote

    "Ron, TX February 4, 2008 1:50 pm ET

    Let's put it in perspective CNN. The last time it happened (and the ONLY time it's happened), Obama was surging in the polls, and she was losing.

    This time, guess what? Obama is surging in the polls, and she is losing."

    She's only level (not losing) according to some rigged CNN pro-Obama polls – 500 people – give me a break.

    February 5, 2008 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  4. Rachelle, Arizonan in Prague

    Americans can't be deceived twice? Er, "Four more years," anyone?

    Anyway, of course Obama isn't crying. He'd be seen as weak if he did. For Clinton, crying is "humanizing." This is called a double standard, and it's being held up quite well here in these comments, and likely will be in the election. Well done.

    I find it hard to believe that it's not calculated, given its amazingly convenient timing. But then, I don't see it as being much different from any other campaign strategy. No, McCain and Romney aren't crying. That's because it would hurt them more than help them to do so. But, Clinton's a woman, so it makes her "sympathetic." It's all down to public perception. It's only new to the game because it probably wouldn't work for male candidates.

    February 5, 2008 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  5. Lani, GA

    Here she goes AGAIN! Do we really want a leader who tears up when she faces defeat! SHE CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS...TO APPEAR STRONG/TOUGH MOST OF THE TIME AND TEAR-UP WHEN SHE FACES DEFEAT!




    OBAMA '08

    February 5, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  6. Michelle N Louisiana

    I had a dream the other night
    When everything was still.
    I dreamt of Madame President
    And her playboy husband, Bill.

    The country was in disarray–
    An atmosphere of hate.
    Republicans fought Democrats
    In every single state.

    "How can this be?" moaned Hillary.
    "We really should be one!"
    "It's all YOUR fault!" said First Guy Bill.
    "I'm having too much fun!"

    "He's right!" said Fang, the First Pit Bull.
    "I hope that you'll confess:
    Iraq, health care, the economy...
    You've created quite a mess."

    "And your nominees are terrible,
    A very poor selection.
    The only thing you want to do
    Is win the next election!"

    Hearing all these horrid words,
    The Prez began to cry.
    "It worked well in New Hampshire–
    It's worth another try!"

    I woke up shaking, frightened.
    "Oh no! What can I do?"
    Then I knew it was a dream.
    "Thank God it wasn't true!"

    I'm voting for Obama.
    And I really think YOU should.
    'Cause Clinton in the White House
    Will make George Bush look good.

    February 5, 2008 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  7. Ted in Chicago

    Near 60 year old male – father of three boys and husband to a great woman
    Believes Hill would be best in 2008
    Would vote for Obama too, easily (but would prefer he become our governor and govern our state for 8 year first – good for us and him to do so)
    Did not see tears in the video

    Did just now read what was said today about her college days
    And want to say – must say – to ALL those 40 (35?) and under – believe me when I say most of us now nearer 60 - thinking back ALL THOSE YEARS to college days – would have misted up to, if we were in her shoes and heard words like that said about us

    "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."

    February 5, 2008 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  8. Hope LV,NV

    Come on Hill you know that as a woman you have to appear strong even when you are feeling weak.But I am getting skeptical here, you only seem to find your tears when Obama surges.. Did you cry in public when Bill cheated on you in front of everybody? no you sucked it up and waved to the people. Hell I was crying for you. I'm still pissed at him for that. But now the night before Super tuesday in an area of the counrty where you once had a strong lead you cry over some good memories.? I think this makes us look weak to men especially in the middle east.

    February 5, 2008 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  9. Holly, Kansas City, MO

    Her well-timed emotion is so pathetic. I hope people see through it this time. I am an emotional woman myself; but this is manipulation. Pure and simple.

    February 5, 2008 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  10. Juan Carlos(Vegas)

    people, leave her alone! She is a human being, Who has been threated so unfair. Thee are many of us who hate her, but some of us do not even know why. It is wonderful that we are excited about Obama, but we have to recognize her successful
    life. What would we be saying if something bad happened to her?

    February 5, 2008 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  11. tann

    She is not crying. She was only touched by his speech.

    February 5, 2008 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  12. Sam

    Men hating Hillary hate women.

    Women hating Hillary just hate themselves.

    Maher was on Larry King saying just this. People hating Hillary have something going on in their own psyche that they just need to deal with.

    February 5, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  13. jerry

    How can you cry with the camera pointed at you, Hillary?

    February 5, 2008 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  14. Lila

    She's tired and sick and an old friend gave a very sweet introduction. If a friend was saying things like that about me I'd probably tear up too and I'm not even as exhausted as she is. Why is it always such a big deal when the girl cries? It's either fake or it's weak. She's human.

    February 5, 2008 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  15. Peter 4 Obama

    vote Obama at least he won't cry like Hillary.

    February 5, 2008 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  16. Kimberly

    Desperate, Hillary…maybe she should have cry a bit more, oh wait, she did!

    February 5, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  17. George from Jefferson City

    I cannot believe that this person demonstrates a moment of humanity through a bit of emotion when being welcomed back to Yale after all these years and everyone thinks this is staged or unreal or weak. I think it is emblematic of a person who has empathy and is real. We lost a decent man from Maine a few years ago over his moment of showing his human side. I hope we do not lose a good and decent woman for the same reason. I am leaving in ten minutes to give her my vote.

    February 5, 2008 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  18. Erica

    Hey, Robert, I'll bet you don't practice what you preach. Let me hear your opinion of Bush and we'll see if you "look into things a little deeper and stop listening to what peers, the media or any outside source is telling you what to say, think, or feel."

    February 5, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  19. WMW

    Hillary is the real deal. Go Hill!

    February 5, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  20. BJ

    She may become not only the first woman President but also the first President to turn on the waterworks every time something "touches" her.

    Oh well. She's still better than Obama who trys too hard to sound like Martin Luther King when he delivers a speech.

    February 5, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  21. Here in Britain

    The coverage of the election by certain US media channels (CNN, Fox, MSNBC) has been nothing short of a disgrace. They consistently favour one candidate over another – no wonder the polls are as close as they are.

    The sad thing is that if Hillary Clinton were a man she would have kicked Obama's butt into touch a long time ago – unfortunately the misogynistic press have their own agenda and that means that Obama gets away scot-free whilst Clinton receives criticism.

    Obama increasingly reminds me of a politician from these shores – Tony Blair. Obama seems to offer some of the vague hope and generalised dreams that Blair threw around in '97 and for years after…it 'sounds' good, 'looks' good…but the reality and delivery is somewhat harder to swallow.

    February 5, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  22. TS, Howell, NJ

    I dont know why the news media has made a big deal out of this – it is vicious because it portrays Hillary Clinton as manipulative and further erodes her image. Anyone that watch the video can see that she was being a human feeling the warmth of her long term friends. Also I am sure with so much attacks going on she must have been moved by a sincere compliment by one of her long term friend. What is wrong with that? Our contry has to get more decent than this.

    The medial jumps on her for everything and Obama has run a very negative campaign against her. That is fine and wont hold that against him. But the reason I might not support him if he is the eventual nominee is that it speaks volumes of his real charecter trying to pretend he is above this kind of politics. Hypocracy and empty words is what we do not need now – John McCain fares much better in this regard.

    February 5, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  23. John, Washington DC

    Unbelievable – what a remarkable coincidence that the very last time she did this was the day before another primary.

    Is she going to cry everytime she wants something? Instead of jelly beans, or a box of cigars, is she going to keep hankies at the desk?

    Who on earth is going to take her seriously? "Do not worry Premier, we can now do whatever we want, Clinton will just start crying".

    February 5, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  24. Sorry

    I would never elect a president who couldn't control their emotions; if a person can't control their emotions their judgment will be clouded.

    Hillary isn't presidential material, the U.S president has to be stout in the face of the public what she does behind close doors is her business but in public view, she needs to be stronger and less emotional. Being president isn't selling girl scout cookies people. You are arguably the most powerful person in the world. I want to have faith that my president is going to make sound judgment on common sense and intelligent not emotions.

    I gave her the benefit the first time, but it isn’t an issue of being human we all have displayed emotion during our life time but generals don’t cry on the battle fields.


    February 5, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  25. hycent

    for once, let us all be realistic and see things from the right perspective. She was close to tears and who wont be after such an emotional intro unless you are satan incarnate. Obama himself would have wailed if he got tht kind of intro.
    Let's get real folks

    February 5, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
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