Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hillary crying? Really?

For the second time in the past month Hillary Clinton has found herself accused of crying. While it is suspicious her eyes only mist up when the polls take a turn against her, is the former First Lady really crying?

The traditional definition of the word "crying" is as follows: The process of shedding tears (usually accompanied by sobs or other inarticulate sounds.)

Here is a blown up photograph of yesterday's waterworks in New Haven, CT, which came after Hillary received a warm, emotional introduction from an old friend at a campaign event:

From the picture it is clear Hillary has shed at least one tear. One could also make argument that there are remnants of another tear below her eyelid on the right side of the photo -- which would then trigger the tears requirement for crying. But it is also possible the seemingly moist blotch is a result of the camera angle, lighting, or the process of enlarging the photo. Hillary haters would claim there is a third tear forming in the center of her eyelid, but, again, it could be an illusion. Either way there is no proof the moisture spilled over the eyelid. Until such evidence exists the potential third tear should be considered merely a part of Hillary's right eye's natural hydration process.

Even if there were tears yesterday in New Haven, no one is claiming Hillary's watery secretions were coupled with sobs or inarticulate sounds. While there is a school of thought suggesting Hillary's voice cracked for a moment last month in New Hampshire when her eyes briefly appeared heavy, I don't think it has been argued anywhere she was either sobbing or difficult to understand during the incident.

Granted the sobbing and inarticulate sounds aren't hard and fast rules of crying. But I view them as very important standards. I am of the belief that it has been many years since I've cried. Yet by employing the stripped down definition of crying Hillary's critics use, it turns out whenever I yawn or see a particularly well-produced commercial for the United Way I have exposed myself as a crybaby.

In the haste to demonize Hillary are we all being marked as helpless creatures too weak to keep everyday emotions properly contained inside our faces?

Anyway, call me old-fashioned, but when I like to think of a heavily made-up middle-aged woman crying I like to think of this:

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