Hillary’s crocodile tears

Hillary Rodham Clinton cried on cue Monday, choking up in a contrived show of so-called emotion so unbelievable that even long-time supporters looked on in surprise.

One can only imagine that her note cards for the event contained detailed instructions on how to cry on camera. And here she was, attempting to show actual emotion but showing instead just how uncomfortable it can be to try and act human when doing so is just not in your nature.

Few bought the act. Anyone with an IQ over that of a two-minute egg knows Hillary Clinton is in trouble going into today’s New Hampshire primary, trailing the surging Barack Obama, struggling to stay afloat in a sea of change.

That situation might drive an ordinary person to tears but Clinton is no ordinary person or candidate and she has spent a career building the image of a stoic, always-in-control, hard-nosed politician who can take anything in stride and rise above it.

Sorry Hillary. We ain’t buying the crocodile tears. We know your handlers brought in a professional tear trainer to coach you on how to emote emotion on cue. You might want to fire the tear trainer. He didn’t get the job done.

Tears didn’t work for Ed Muskie in 1972. He cried on camera right there in New Hampshire and never recovered. Tears brought down the short-lived political campaign of former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder.

It might be OK to cry at a tragedy or at a memorial service for those who have fallen in battle but boo-hooing over lost campaign momentum just doesn’t cut in the political world.

Yeah, I know. This is just another example of how all us bullies in the media pick on poor little Hillary. She was the woman who could be President. Some said she was the woman who should be President. Now it’s beginning to look like she’s the candidate who can’t be President.

Call it the curse of the frontrunner. Howard Dean fell fast after a meltdown on stage in Iowa. Muskie cried and then disappeared into the New Hampshire snow. Gary Hart dared reporters to follow him around to see if he was cheating on his wife and then seemed shocked when they actually did and caught Donna Rice sneaking out of his Washington townhouse at the break of dawn.

When a candidacy appears unstoppable it reaches its most vulnerable point. Nobody likes presumption in politics. We like to see underdogs succeed. We enjoy it when voters prove pollsters and pundits wrong.

And we love it when the facade breaks and the candidate behind it is shown to be all too human and fallible.

Except when it’s an act and tears of convenience shed Monday by a calculating Hillary Rodham Clinton was nothing more than just another staged political event.

Comments

  1. Sandra Price

    I somehow missed realizing that Lilibet has joined us on the home page. Welcome old friend.I hope your wrist and hand are back to normal.

    Teetotalers for Paul…..I like that. Some one above blamed the Republicans for the problems the Clinton’s had in office. I have not been a republican since 1992 when I joined up with Ross Perot. The GOP lost me with Bush 41. I reregistered last month to vote for Paul in the Primary. I will get out after Feb. 5th and return to the LP or to being an Independent.

  2. keith

    Actually, Gerald, it wasn’t the fact that Mr. Muskie had a tearful bout with a handkerchief…it was the timing of that outburst.

    I was living in NH at the time and his fit of tears came about while he was speaking from a flatbed trailer deliberately parked in front of the Manchester Union Leader newspaper offices in NH. The Manchester Union Leader (now the New Hampshire Union Leader) was then, as it is now, New Hampshire’s only statewide newspaper.

    And for those that are unfamiliar with it, in years past it was owned and published by a one William Loeb, a person whose own political views were somewhat left of Atilla the Hun.

    Anyway, Mr. Muskie was reacting to Mr. Loeb’s all but verbatim REPRINT of an article attacking his wife that had ALREADY appeared several weeks earlier in one of the national news magazines of the day (Time or Newsweek…I can’t remember which).

    The principal question that was raised at the time about this incident was NOT that Mr. Muskie was having an emotional moment over the story…but why he had seemingly waited until that particular time to have such a breakdown…WEEKS after the story had first appeared in the national press elsewhere. That is, Mr. Loeb was simply re-publishing material in his newspaper that had already appeared in the national media.

    As a side note, whatever else you might have said (or read) about Mr. Loeb’s own personal views on the candidates then running, he tried very hard to label his views in his newspaper as just that…his own personal views.

    His editorials were ALWAYS clearly marked as such (usually because they appeared on the front page) and his words always had a thick black line around them to set them off from the rest of the day’s other news.

    He also took great pains (and pride) in trying to fairly balance the column inches of news that appeared in his newspaper among ALL the candidates then running for office, including the “also-rans” and independents. And, I must say, over the years he did a pretty good job of this…far better than most of the newspapers I’ve regularly read then or since.

    And, whatever else you might say about his far right wing politics, Mr. Loeb used to routinely publish more letters to the editor than any other newspaper in America. It was absolutely not uncommon to open his paper and find two or three FULL PAGES of such letters on a myriad of subjects. Under his tutelage, his yearly letters to the editors page count consistently ran upwards of 200-300 full pages per year.

    What’s more, just as long as you didn’t slander anyone with your words (with the exception of himself…he always made himself fair game) he’d print your letter. And, regardless of whether he agreed with your point or not, you would always get a personal letter in reply from him thanking you for your letter and discussing your views (pro and con), sometimes at great length.

    It is also important to remember that during that particular period of our history, we were deep in the middle of the Cold War. To have a candidate for President or Vice President whose fingers might be poised on the “nuclear button” show even the slightest hint of mental instability was an automatic disqualifier in the eyes of voters.

    For example, in 1972, George McGovern was forced to replace his then vice-presidential running mate, Thomas Eagleton, after it was disclosed that Eagleton had been hospitalized for depression.

    Likewise, I do believe it was the delayed reaction aspect of Mr. Muskie’s tearful breakdown that ultimately led to questions about his mental fitness for high office that ultimately “deep sixed” his candidacy with the voters…NOT the breakdown itself.

  3. ryder_m

    I found Capitol Hill Blue through a website (www.fiercelyshe.com). Your site (CHB) is great and I’m sorry it took this long to find!

    The fiercelyshe 5 Jan blog brings up a point about women’s public support of Hillary but private squeamishness.

    Hillary’s staged persona jangles the nerves but what really jars me is that she is a weak & desperate woman (NOT a weak politician BUT a weak WOMAN).

    It’s hard to admit to other women because none of us really want to touch on the subject. As the blog notes, it’s the elephant in the room.

    Looking at Iowa results, perhaps the dearth of female support underscores this point. Hoping that NH weighs in the same.

  4. Gerald Sutliff

    You wrote, correctly I might add, “Tears didn’t work for Ed Muskie in 1972. He cried on camera right there in New Hampshire and never recovered.”

    I never understood that. His beloved wife had been viciously attacked in a personal way but because of his position he couldn’t do anything about it. Most grown men would.

    I’m not voting for Hillary but I felt that she cried because she was fearfully afraid that what GWB has set in motion couldn’t be stopped. Sure, she believes she’s the one most able to stop the avalanche coming our way but that doesn’t make her a bad or dishonest person.

    BTW Hillary lost my vote when she voted to support the Iran resolution.

    Gerald Sutliff
    Bakersfield, CA

  5. DejaVuAllOver

    I dunno, Doug. Even serial-murderer psychopaths often cry or show emotion when they get caught or have something to lose, for themselves only. IMHO, Hillary’s tears were the tears of an egomaniac who knows she’s been beat fair and square. That she looked so stiff and phony is no mystery, either. When DOESN’T she look stiff and phony?

  6. Steve Horn

    “Whitewater? Vince Foster? Rose Law Firm?” – perhaps found not guilty, but their implication in these affairs reveals a certain casual attitude towards the law, does it not? Just because they were able to hire a great defense staff doesn’t make them innocent babes in the woods with great wrongs brought upon them by the evil GOP.

    Again, I suspect the tears were genuine, but the reason behind them was likely a moment of gestalt, the understanding that her ambition had reached a roadblock, constructed of her past.

    Steve

  7. chazone

    Such cynicism. How can people be so sure they have the answer to everything. Smart enough to see through everyone, way too certain about their own wisdom.

    We are dealing with Republican lies! Their lies were bought hook, line and sinker. Whitewater? Vince Foster? Rose Law Firm? Etc.? Not guilty! Not guilty! Not guilty! Not guilty! With the exception of Monica they are all Republican charges to discredit Bill Clinton. Rather an affair than destroying our constitution!

    When Hillary is smart and thoughtful she is called manipulating and uncaring. Manipulating by a man would be considered perfectly acceptable! When she is moved she is called calculating or too weak to be a President. She does not deserve such biased hatred of anything she ever does or has done! No candidate does!

    The mantra against Bush, Clinton, Bush has nothing to do with the first Bush and Clinton. The second Bush has made us all crazy.

    By the way, I caucused for Obama. But I caucused for him not against her.

  8. Cobaltkid

    Clinton Disbelief

    Amazing how the Clinton’s can dish it out but can’t take it. When Bill in 1992 was the so-called agent of change he loved it. Now that he and Hillary are part of the establishment they lash out at their opponents like spoiled children.

  9. ekaton

    Its time for you to go home “Billary”. You’ve already done enough damage with NAFTA and GATT thank you very much. Just take your ill-gotten millions and get the f*** out of Dodge. Please.

    Bush, Clinton, Bush. 20 years is enough.

    — Kent Shaw

  10. JoyfulC

    Yep, she screwed up with that one. We always told our daughter when she was growing up, that no matter what, NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU CRY.

    She should have known better than that.