CBS’s Harry Smith Looks at Clinton’s ‘Rare Display of Emotion’

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterFollowing a rather tough interview with Hillary Clinton yesterday, on Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith took a more sympathetic tone: "It is no wonder that all anyone is talking about, it seems, especially up here, is Hillary Clinton in that rare display of emotion."

In a taped interview with Clinton, Smith began by asking, "Do you think sometimes the fact that you are Hillary Clinton gets in the way of what you're trying to say?"In response, Clinton shared this observation: "You know, it could...one of the most common things people say to me on rope lines and in crowds is, oh, my gosh, you're so much nicer than I thought or you're so much prettier, you're so much this or that."

Smith then went on to ask about Clinton’s teary moment and worried about the campaign’s toll on the Senator:

There was a moment earlier today when you were in a diner, and a woman, a supporter of yours, turns to you and says, 'how do you hold it together?’...And you didn't quite hold it together...Because people will see this and interpret it in a million different ways, not the least of which is, well, the campaign's getting to her.

Smith also asked about how personal Clinton takes the campaign and described her determination to keep going:

SMITH: This is really personal for you.

CLINTON: It is personal to me, but it's not personal about me. That's what is so important for me to, you know, convey. It's personal because this is the work I've done for all these years.

SMITH: Years of work that were supposed to take her to the presidency. But in New Hampshire, Clinton is facing the possibility of a second loss in just five days. So she's taking on her Democratic opponents with renewed intensity...To get her campaign back on track, Clinton is taking more personal control.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASER:

HARRY SMITH: Early in New Hampshire. The voting has begun. The candidates are still out on the stump, and the nation is still talking about Hillary Clinton's rare show of emotion. How will it play at the polls today?

7:01AM TEASER:

SMITH: Good morning from New Hampshire. I'm Harry Smith. Julie and Maggie are in New York. We'll get caught up with you in just a second. Let me tell you, it's the big primary day here in New Hampshire, first in the nation, and the votes are in from Dixville Notch. Here are the results: Barack Obama got seven, John Edwards, two, Bill Richardson, one. And on the Republican side, John McCain, four, Mitt Romney, two, and Rudy Giuliani, one. Now we don't know if that's going to be any indication of what happens later today, but we wanted you to get the first numbers from New Hampshire this morning. First up though this morning, we're going to be talking to Hillary Clinton about that rare emotional moment that's been seen on TV so much in the last 24 hours. Everyone has been speculating about it. But we're going to ask her point blank what it was all about.

7:04AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Lots of news to report here this morning from New Hampshire. And the news for Barack Obama just keeps getting better. Fresh off his win in Iowa, a new CBS News poll of likely Democratic voters in New Hampshire shows Obama has opened up a seven-point lead over Hillary Clinton. 35% to 28%, John Edwards trails far behind with 19% of the vote. The same Democratic voters were polled by CBS News back in November. In that poll, Clinton led Obama by 20%. The playing field for the Democratic candidates has changed that much just in the last two months. Now on to the story of yesterday. It is no wonder that all anyone is talking about, it seems, especially up here, is Hillary Clinton in that rare display of emotion. We were on the bus with her yesterday, and we asked her about it. Do you think sometimes the fact that you are Hillary Clinton gets in the way of what you're trying to say?

HILLARY CLINTON: You know, it could.

SMITH: You know what I'm trying -- you know what I'm saying?

CLINTON: I do, sure, I do. I do. Because, you know, one of the most common things people say to me on rope lines and in crowds is, oh, my gosh, you're so much nicer than I thought. Or you're so much prettier. You're so much this or that.

SMITH: There was a moment earlier today when you were in a diner, and a woman, a supporter of yours, turns to you and says, 'how do you hold it together?'

CLINTON: Yeah, yeah.

SMITH: And you didn't quite hold it together.

CLINTON: Well, it was very touching to me. You know, people come up to me all the time and say such kind and really loving things. And you know that touches me emotionally. You know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political. It's not just public. I see what's happening. And we have to reverse it.

SMITH: Because people will see this and interpret it in a million different ways, not the least of which is, well, the campaign's getting to her.

CLINTON: Well, you know, I mean, I suppose that could be one conclusion, or maybe, just maybe, Harry, they might say, you know what? She's a human being after all. You never know. I'm not taken bets.

SMITH: This is really personal for you.

CLINTON: It is personal to me, but it's not personal about me. That's what is so important for me to, you know, convey. It's personal because this is the work I've done for all these years.

SMITH: Years of work that were supposed to take her to the presidency. But in New Hampshire, Clinton is facing the possibility of a second loss in just five days. So she's taking on her Democratic opponents with renewed intensity.

CLINTON: It is important when you ask Senator Obama and Senator Edwards, what are their major accomplishments, that they really didn't have a lot to say. And I think that's significant. Because if you want to know what someone will do, find out what they've done.

SMITH: To get her campaign back on track, Clinton is taking more personal control. Do you have the money to keep going?

CLINTON: Well, I'm going to keep going. I intend to keep going all the way till we have a nominee on February 5th.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC