Friday, January 11, 2008

The Story Behind the Story

Woman Who Made Clinton Cry Voted for Obama

The woman whose empathetic question - "how do you do it?" - sparked uncharacteristic emotion Monday from Sen. Hillary Clinton ended up voting for Sen. Barack Obama in the New Hampshire primary.

Marianne Pernold Young, 64, a freelance photographer from Portsmouth, N.H., told ABC News that while she was moved by Clinton's emotional moment, she was turned off by how quickly the New York senator regained her "political posture."

"I went to see Hillary. I was undecided and I was moved by her response to me," Pernold Young said in a telephone interview with ABC News. "We saw 10 seconds of Hillary, the caring woman."

"But then when she turned away from me, I noticed that she stiffened up and took on that political posture again," she said. "And the woman that I noticed for 10 seconds was gone."

Monday, Pernold Young went to Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth, N.H., where Clinton was taking questions from a group of about 16 undecided, mostly female voters.

Standing in the back, she asked Clinton a question that appeared to take the senator by surprise.

"My question is very personal, how do you do it?" Pernold Young asked, mentioning that Clinton's hair and appearance always looking perfectly coifed. "How do you, how do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?"

At first, Clinton responded jokingly, first talking about her hair: "You know, I think, well luckily, on special days I do have help. If you see me every day and if you look on some of the Web sites and listen to some of the commentators they always find me on the day I didn't have help. It's not easy."

But then, Clinton began getting emotional: "It's not easy, and I couldn't do it if I didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I have so many opportunities from this country just don't want to see us fall backwards."

Her voice breaking and tears in her eyes, she went on, "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."

"Some people think elections are a game, lots of who's up or who's down, [but] it's about our country , it's about our kids' futures, and it's really about all of us together," Clinton said.

"You know, some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds, and we do it, each one of us because we care about our country but some of us are right and some of us are wrong, some of us are ready and some of us are not, some of us know what we will do on day one and some of us haven't thought that through enough," she said in a veiled reference to Obama, her Democratic rival.

Immediately after the event, Pernold Young told ABC News she felt a connection with Clinton...I was surprised and I said, 'wow there's someone there.'"

"All my girlfriends say, 'how does she do it?' How does she manage, how does she look so great all the time, I'd like to know who her hairdresser is," she said. "I just like to know how she puts it all together and is still plausible, believable and in control."

But in the end, she said it was Obama's message of hope and change that won her vote. "I went to see Obama on Friday and he moved me to tears, I was in awe," she said in a telephone interview with ABC News. "I'm 64 years old and nobody does that to me."

Actually, Hillary brings me to tears too. Like with that Suha Arafat gas story.

Watch Clinton's emotional moment by clicking HERE.

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