The Yale Sob

A campaign blog.
Feb. 4 2008 1:31 PM

The Yale Sob

The latest Is it a story? story is Hillary Clinton’s alleged mistiness/vocal tightening at a morning event at the Yale Child Study Center. Given the effect her Diner Sob had the day before the New Hampshire primary, naturally everyone’s tear-dar is set to ultrasensitive.

So, did she actually cry? Have a look at some of the descriptions from people who were there:

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"Penn Rhodeen, who was introducing Clinton, began to choke up, leading Clinton's eyes to fill with tears, which she wiped out of her left eye. At the time, Rhodeen was saying how proud he was that sheepskin-coat, bell-bottom-wearing young woman he met in 1972 was now running for president."— The Swamp  

"Mrs. Clinton, looking teary, raised her left hand to her cheek and brushed something away with her finger."— The Caucus

" Clinton  lost her voice pretty badly while at a roundtable in New Haven, CT. She asked for a lozenge and water, and after a minute, she tried to answer a question on health care. She got one short sentence out, and then breathlessly said, 'This comes and goes.’ "— First Read  

I talked to someone who was at the scene, who said it was the transitive property of Rhodeen’s initial choking up that moistened Hillary’s ducts: "This dude was essentially holding up a boombox playing 'In Your Eyes,’ while we all awkwardly listened. … You know how some people read their own vows at the altar? And you want to puke? Like that."

So, it’s not like Hillary welled up unprompted. Which raises the obvious question: Was Penn Rhodeen an emo plant?

Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.

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