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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


  6. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Janice

    Guess you don’t like Hillary much… I think – given that she is human – that she could have genuinely had a human moment. As a woman, I find that entirely possible. If it gets to a point in my life where I am so cynical that I look for the negative in everyone and in every situation, then I will have to re-evaluate myself and maybe retreat from socity. I’m not saying you are not right – I am just saying you may be a little negative towards the Clintons.

    If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
    Mark Twain

  12. Steve Horn

    Aww, come on, maybe they WERE real tears. Maybe it struck Hillary that her “35 years of experieince” (ill-defined, at best, as it would relate to being President), her association with criminals, her own criminal past (White water), her husbands “reputation” and her rather bombastic and nasty rhetoric were catching up with her and that she could not ride WJC’s coat-tails (even with an eight year delay) into the Whitehouse.

    After all, reality bites, perhaps it was the pain of that bite that brought the tears.



  13. keith

    Doug, the simple fact that you (and many others) believe hers were “crocodile tears” speaks to the very heart of the matter.

    The American people have seen and heard so many half-truths and outright lies from the Clintons (Whitewater, Rose Law Firm, Vince Foster, Monica, etc.) that they don’t know when what they are seeing and hearing is a staged, made for the media act, or when it is sincere.

    Once again, it all depends on definitions.

    In Mrs. Clinton’s case, was her newfound “sincerity” a staged event for the cameras or was it truly from the heart? Just like Bill’s incessant parsing of the word “is”, whether Mrs. Clinton’s tears were sincere or not depends on the definition of the word “sincere”.

    In short, we’ll never REALLY know whether her performance yesterday in Portsmouth, NH was “from the heart” or not.

    But I think what’s FAR more important for us to remember as voters is that the now “built in” uncertainty surrounding EVERYTHING this crowd says and does should give each of us pause before marking our ballots.

  14. Sandra Price

    I doubt tears from Hillary will convince anyone she has earned the right to live in the White House. I tend to believe they were real because her backers have told her for years that she is the new messiah to guide America to the left.

    Many here hope to lean to the left and away from free enterprise capitalism. All the candidates save Ron Paul are catering to more government programs, more welfare programs and even to build an American Empire.

    I am personally thrilled that she finally realized that many do not trust her and putting another Clinton in the White House would be a disaster.

    The only thing worse would be Huckabee, Romney and/or McCain. I do not believe that Americans need social legislation from the government. One look at the war on drugs with millions of prisoners added to our prisons would be a disaster if it included more prohibitions.

    The problem is not that Americans are evil, but they simply do not know right from wrong. The only training most Americans have is through their churches. It is no surprise that this religious training does not last when life becomes seriously too hard to handle without breaking the laws. The hypocrisy of our candidates and legislators needs to be exposed and whether Hillary cried or lied, who cares?

  15. Steve Horn

    Sandra –

    if Huckabee, Romney or McCain cry I’ll jump off the wagon and buy the drinks! If any of ’em win I’ll be putting up an eight year supply of “everclear” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everclear_(alcohol) so I can just stay tanked for the duration.

    I head this morning that McCain doesn’t want to be President just so he can “ride around in helicopters” – that’s special, isn’t it?

    Today will be interesting, that’s for sure, but Feb 5 will demonstrate if the spin masters, handlers and bullshit distributors have done their jobs OR if the majority of the American people have, at long last, extracted their heads from their asses and looked past the veil of crap that obscures the real issues and candidates.



  16. bryan mcclellan

    Dear Hilly:If you really wanted the presidency,and you wanted America to see how qualified you are to lead,then WHY didn’t you grab Reidroid and Pelousy by the ears ,lead them up to the podium and scream at the top of your lungs,IMPEACHMENT IS NOT OFF THE TABLE?Why we are still saddled with this criminal cabal in the W.H.is precisely why you are unfit to lead this country.You are one of them. You sleep with the enemy and lie to the public about your duplicity in the continuation of the wars being waged against our rights and the rights of sovereign nations.BOO HOO HOO ain’t gonna cut it.Get out now, go back to the senate and actually do something for this country for a change. If you’re so tough get down to the Senate floor kick a few teeth in,squeeze a few balls and come see us in four years with a black eye or two, then maybe we’ll listen,but don’t pander to we the people you work for with your new found tenderness.We’re not that fu*^ing stupid.

  17. ekaton

    Clinton would never do that. The Clintons and the Bushes are thick as thieves. Well. They ARE thieves and traitors. I don’t know what else you could call GATT and NAFTA but treason. And Bush stole 2000 and 2004.

    — Kent Shaw

  18. Jim C

    I don’t know Doug . Maybe she was just channeling what a lot of us feel like when its apparent our choice is going to be between republican lite Hillary and Mr. feel good happy talk , I’m going to put republicans in my cabinet and invite insurance executives in to hold hands and write health insurance policy Obama . I look at the choices we are being offered and I kind of well up myself . The only guy ( besides Kucinich ) thats offering to actually go to bat for the middle class and challenge corporate power is being pushed aside , that is Edwards . So go ahead Hillary , shed a tear , I know just how you feel .

  19. Lillibet

    Geez, I even watched the performance twice. I was checking for those tell-tale signs, like reddened eyes, smeary mascara, or even a little of the wet stuff running down the face.



    Not on BBC, not on Huffington Post, not on any of the broadcasts that put up even a part of the “crying like a girl” segment of Hill’s March Back to the Senate.

    At least Muskie really and truly needed a handkerchief.

    As for the “health care” proposals requiring mandatory insurance, all of them are a joke. All insurance provides is a way to spend money, then find out nothing is covered, even after spending thousands per year on premiums. I learned this the hard way, when an injury left me with over $100K in unreimbursed claims, despite a $3500/year cap on out-of-pocket costs.

    Now, if that were the topic, she should be crying. I am.


  20. ekaton

    Its great isn’t it? Mandatory health insurance. Wonderful. Problem solved. And if you can’t pay then what? Prison? Maybe its time to invest in those private prison complexes.

    — Kent Shaw

  21. Sandra Price

    Keith, I will join you on a real bender. I haven’t had a drink for over 20 years basically because the previous generation of my family tree all died of alcoholism. I’ve outlived them all!!! If America accepts an evangelical in the white house I will probably have to move out of North America. If I’m forced out it will be done in a complete stupor. My mother had it right when she walked around saying “the masses are asses.”

  22. keith

    Sandy, I, too haven’t had a drink now for the better part of 15 years…and for a lot of the same reasons!

    Funny how age and wisdom all combine to finally make you realize just how utterly stupid such self-destructive behavior can be.

    Let’s you and I start a new political movement…TEE TOTALERS FOR RON PAUL..(or, so as to keep this post non-partisan…anyone else who truly believes that our elected leaders should actually read and follow what’s written in our Constitution)! :-)

  23. ekaton

    I’m a 58-year-old Harley rider looking for other motorcycle riders who do not drink. I’m in Mechanicsburg PA. And, so as to stay on topic, the establishment is now starting to run really scared of Paul. About damn time SOMEBODY shook up the status quo. I’m a Kucinich guy myself. Seems like I always support the lost cause.

    — Kent Shaw

  24. Jim C

    Well Kent , small world , I’m a 57 year old Harley rider ( 84 shovelhead ) one of the last off the line , but , alas , I do drink and have various other vices , don’t smoke cigarettes though . I also like Kucinich , Edwards is a close second , I think Paul is nuts , not to mention nothing but warmed over Mckinly .