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Her voice cracked when she began reciting the accomplishments of 25-year-old Brian Adkins, a foreign service officer in Ethiopia on his first assignment, who was murdered during a robbery at his home in Addis Ababa. She kept talking, but her voice never recovered. Her presentation sounded like a eulogy, and it wasn't clear she'd be able to finish. Though she did keep going, her voice cracked repeatedly, and she had to stop and wipe her nose a couple of times, in a scene that made her teary pre-primary moment in that New Hampshire diner look like a sniffle.
On both occasions, Clinton was exhausted. In New Hampshire, she had been campaigning relentlessly, and the question that triggered the emotion was essentially, "How do you do it?" Last week, she had just returned from a trip to Iraq and Lebanon, and the jet lag showed in the circles under her eyes. She had also just met with the Adkins family.
Nevertheless, Clinton's so-called New Hampshire breakdown prompted cries of crocodile tears, as those who never liked her to begin with accused her of exploiting the moment for political gain. But last week, I didn't hear any complaints about her emotional appearance at the State Department.
If Clinton had won the election and choked up at a similar emotional moment, would she have been pilloried for having shown weakness of character? Now that she's not going to be president, I guess she's allowed to cry in peace.
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