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Hillary Bawls, Nobody Cares

5 years ago
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With the contentious election long behind them, the American people seem to be in a forgiving mood toward Hillary Clinton. Her poll numbers soared after President Obama chose her to be Secretary of State and are higher now than they've been in 10 years -- higher even than his, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Seventy-one percent of those asked in the survey released at the end of March approved of the job she was doing, including 50 percent of Republicans. Obama's approval rating in a poll the firm released last week was 63 percent. Only 28 percent of Republicans approved.

Would the outcome have been any different had those polled seen the video of Clinton choking up at a State Department ceremony last Friday honoring a fallen diplomat?


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.

Barack Obama cried during the campaign, too, when his beloved grandmother died the day before the election. When asked about it he choked up as well and said, "I'm not going to talk about it too long, because it's hard for me to talk about.'' In pictures of the event, one could see a tear stain trailing from his eyes to his chin.

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.



Filed Under: Woman Up

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