Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Obama and McCain ride momentum; Clinton feels the pressure

The pressure's getting to Sen. Clinton.  I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and choose to believe that this was not a carefully scripted display of emotion -- but it doesn't matter either way...

Still, in perhaps her most public display of emotion of the campaign, Clinton's eyes welled with tears later in the day and her voice cracked as she talked about holding up under the rigors of the race.

Clinton did not cry or look like she was crying, but she was on the verge of it after a woman asked her, at a roundtable discussion at a coffee shop in Portsmouth, how she managed to get out of bed and soldier on.

"How do you do it?" asked the woman, Marianne Pernold.

"It's not easy, it's not easy," Clinton replied slowly. "I couldn't do it if I did not passionately believe it was the right thing to do. It's very personal to me."

Clinton's voice then softened to a near-hush and she spoke more haltingly. "I have so many ideas for this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards," she said, her eyes visibly wet, as a row of news photographers snapped away. "It's about our country, it's about our kids' futures."

It was not quite an Edmund Muskie moment - the crying episode by the Democratic candidate in 1972, at a time his wife was being called a heavy drinker, that essentially ended his campaign. Nor was it clear whether Americans view tears from a woman seeking the presidency differently from those of a man. The image might even help humanize her - something critics have said she needed to do.

Earlier, Clinton had insisted again that she would continue her campaign at least until Feb. 5 - when more than 20 states hold primaries - regardless of the outcome in New Hampshire, where only weeks ago she held a lead.

Some polls had Clinton in a statistical tie with the surging Obama, but on average they gave him a lead of 7 to 8 percentage points. Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, was in third.


Obama and McCain ride momentum; Clinton feels the pressure


PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire: Democratic and Republican candidates in the New Hampshire presidential primary sharpened their language Monday and made final pitches before voters went to the polls Tuesday. Senator Hillary Clinton worked furiously to avoid a second defeat at the hands of Senator Barack Obama and there were signs the pressure was taking a toll.


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