Sen. Hillary Clinton battles tears at New Hampshire event

In an unusual emotional display, Sen. Hillary Clinton fought back tears answering a question at the end of an event at a coffee shop in Portsmouth, N.H., ahead of the state’s crucial primary.

The New York Democrat, who had been sitting around a table for an hour discussing policy, was talking about the hardships of the campaign trail.

“It’s not easy, it’s not easy, and I couldn’t do it if I just didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do,” Clinton said.

“I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don’t want to see us fall backwards,” she said as her voice broke.

Clinton’s response, according to, was to an innocuous question by local freelance photographer Marianne Pernold, who asked, “As a woman I know it’s hard to get out of the house and get ready. Who does your hair?”

Clinton said she has some help with her hair then shifted to a more general discussion of the campaign.

“You know, this is very personal for me,” she said. “It’s not just political, it’s not just public – I see what’s happening. We have to reverse it.

“Some people think elections are a game – it’s about who’s up and who’s down,” she continued. “It’s about our country’s future, it’s about our kids’ future – it’s really about all of us together.

“And 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,” she said.

“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 are going to do on day one, and some of us haven’t really thought that through enough,” Clinton asserted.

“When we look at the array of problems that we have, and the potential for it really spinning out of control – this is one of the most important elections America’s ever faced,” the senator concluded. reported the questioner, Pernold, had come to the Portsmouth event “smitten” by Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic Party nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, who has put Clinton’s campaign on its heels with a resounding victory in Iowa last week and strong poll numbers in New Hampshire ahead of tomorrow’s primary.

But Pernold said she’s now torn.

“Showing that emotion – I really find it refreshing,” she said.

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