Clinton’s Muskie Moment?

If you listened to some of the headlines, Hillary Clinton broke down crying. The moment is being compared to 1972 when Ed Muskie had tears (or was it snow flakes) visible on his face in New Hampshire, ending his campaign. Check out the video to see for yourself, but I don’t see anything wrong here. If anything, this could be seen as favorable to Clinton a it gives the appearance of her really caring about what she is doing. I’ll post the transcript under the fold, but it is best to watch the video.

Just as this video might be revealing about Hillary Clinton, the responses of her opponents might be revealing about their characters. John Edwards confirmed by view of him as someone who will say anything to attempt to win:

I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business.

In contrast, Barack Obama showed more class:

During a campaign stop at Jake’s Coffee in New London, New Hampshire, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was also asked to comment about Clinton’s teary moment.

“I didn’t see what happened,” he said, but added, “I know this process is a grind. So that’s not something I care to comment on.”

Update: Here’s the actual video, converted to YouTube thanks to Talking Points Memo:


Clinton had the following comment later in the day. She placed it in perspective, describing the situation as a somewhat intimate moment, despite all the cameras focused on her. The implication that John Edwards, who sometimes just does not know when not to fight, is that Hillary would break down and cry in a crisis. The fact of the matter is that this was not a crisis situation, and it is perfectly reasonable to assume that Clinton would react entirely differently in a crisis as opposed to how she reacted to this question under this circumstance.


The following is an account of the incident from Political Radar:

“My question is very personal, how do you do it?” asked Marianne Pernold Young, a freelance photographer from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She mentioned Clinton’s hair and appearance always looking perfectly coifed. “How do you, how do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?”

Clinton began responding, jokingly. First talking about her hair: “You know, I think, well luckily, on special days I do have help. If you see me every day and if you look on some of the websites and listen to some of the commentators they always find me on the day I didn’t have help. It’s not easy.”

But then, Clinton began getting emotional: “It’s not easy, and I couldn’t do it if I didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I have so many opportunities from this country just don’t want to see us fall backwards,” she said.

Her voice breaking and tears in her eyes, she said, “You know, this is very personal for me. It’s not just political it’s not just public. I see what’s happening, and we have to reverse it.”

Watch the video HERE.

“Some people think elections are a game, lot’s of who’s up or who’s down, [but] it’s about our country , it’s about our kids’ futures, and it’s really about all of us together,” she said.

“You know, some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds, and we do it, each one of us because we care about our country but some of us are right and some of us are wrong, some of us are ready and some of us are not, some of us know what we will do on day one and some of us haven’t thought that through enough,” she said in a veiled reference to her Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

“And so when we look at the array of problems we have and the potential for it really spinning out of control, this is one of the most important elections American has ever faced,” Clinton said.


  1. 1
    Jeff Ellis says:

    I should start by confessing that I am not a supporter of Hillary’s nor am I a Democrat. Nothing would make me happier than to see Hillary Clinton drop out of this presidential race. But, with that in mind, the current criticism over her “crying” leaves a really foul taste with me. This is not a case of someone like Ed Muskie who cried while responding to the type of personal attacks that all politicians are subjected too. It appears that Hillary got emotional while accepting a compliment. Quite frankly, if I had just been through all the criticism and ridicule that Hillary’s been subjected to since Iowa, I’d probably cry at a compliment too. I want to see Hillary Clinton defeated but I’d prefer to see her defeated for the right reasons as opposed to something like this. The amount of gloating that some have engaged in about this just goes to prove that Hillary’s enemies have always, in the end, been her strongest asset.

  2. 2
    Dr BLT says:

    As they say,

    If at first you Don’t Succeed (Cry, Cry Again)
    Dr BLT copyright 2008

  3. 3
    Dr BLT says:

    Or, as Johnny Cash may put it:

    Cry, Cry, Cry
    Dr BLT

3 Trackbacks

Leave a comment