Hillary's Outburst of Emotion Will Boost Dem, ABC Reporter Claims

On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Claire Shipman appeared touched by Hillary Clinton's emotional display at a New Hampshire diner on Monday. She exhibited no skepticism about the outpouring, describing it as "unexpected, spontaneous emotion." Not surprisingly, Shipman also speculated that Clinton could benefit in the polls from the event.

Video (:54): Windows Media (1.70 MB) or MP3 audio (267kB).

The ABC reporter rhapsodized, "From this woman in particular, who remains stoic publicly even as her emotional world caved in, who has cultivated such an image of strength and invulnerability, it was a surprise that just might pay off." Much of the segment related to crying in politics and whether it's now thought to be acceptable. However, Shipman clearly appeared to be fascinated with the New York senator's display of emotion in response to a question from a voter. She added, "And it's so fascinating when you are the first woman to make a serious stab at the presidency, every move, every emotion is fraught and scrutinized."

Shipman has been one of the more egregious offenders when it comes to gushing over Hillary Clinton. In January of 2007, she wondered how Barack Obama's "fluid poetry" would stand up to the '08 contender's "hot factor."

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:45am on January 8, follows:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Tears on the campaign trail. That's what everyone was talking about yesterday.

DIANE SAWYER: True. And Claire Shipman is going to take a look back and ask you the question how do you really feel?

SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: Some people think elections are a game --

CLAIRE SHIPMAN: Unexpected, spontaneous emotion. Breaking through the normally rehearsed public facade.

CLINTON: 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.

SHIPMAN: Most of us have been there. Losing control in public when we least expect it. But is there a no-cry zone for politicians, for female politicians, especially for Hillary Clinton? 20 years later. Pat Schroeder still gets letters about her weepy concession speech.

PAT SCHROEDER: I thank you Denver. It's good to be back.

SHIPMAN: 35 years ago, here in New Hampshire, Ed Muskie watched his presidential campaign slide in oblivion because of what the media said were tears -- and what he always maintained was dripping snow on his face. But, of course, times have changed. Considerably.

MARGARET THATCHER: Ladies and Gentlemen--

SHIPMAN: Even the original Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, got choked up as she left office. And now, men welling up seems part of being human.

MITT ROMNEY: And literally wept. Even at this day it's emotional.

SHIPMAN: Indeed it seems no end to male politicians who will show some softer side. But how much soft does our public want from a would-be female commander in chief? That's still to be determined, but the answer might follow along gender lines.

JANINE DRIVER (Body language expert): The men seeing this, they might be, like, she's running for president, she's supposed to be calling the shots. It really makes people feel a little uncomfortable and uneasy. However, I'm sure you're going to get a lot of women that are going to say now, that's the real Hillary, that's who I have been looking for.

CLINTON: I have so many opportunities for this country. I just don't want to see us fall backwards.

SHIPMAN: From this woman in particular, who remains stoic publicly even as her emotional world caved in, who has cultivated such an image of strength and invulnerability, it was a surprise that just might pay off. And people are still talking about it this morning. We're here at a polling station. And it's so fascinating when you are the first woman to make a serious stab at the presidency, every move, every emotion is fraught and scrutinized. But, just for the record George and Diane. Hillary's team thinks it played pretty well. In fact, one of them joked maybe she should have been showing that sort of emotion a little bit earlier.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org