Changing times: Politicians' tears more common now

Associated Press Modified: November 9, 2012 at 7:30 am •  Published: November 9, 2012
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She was known as a strong, even imperious leader who thrived on power politics and led Britain in the war to recover the Falklands Islands. But the enduring image of Margaret Thatcher's departure from office is the tearful face captured by photographers in 1990 as she left 10 Downing Street for the last time.

The "iron lady" was removed as party leader and prime minister after 11 years in power and replaced by John Major. The crying incident is remembered as offering a rare glimpse into her personal feelings, which were typically kept far from public view.

GOODBYE, MAN FROM MAINE

Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie was a front-runner in the race for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination until he appeared to break down while defending his wife from an attack by an influential New Hampshire newspaper.

Muskie always claimed it was snowflakes, not tears, but the damage had been done. His supposed crying was perceived as a show of weakness and instability, and his campaign never recovered. His rival, Sen. George McGovern, won the nomination, but was later trounced by President Richard Nixon. Although Muskie's presidential hopes were dashed, he later became Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter.

THE WEEPER OF THE HOUSE

As Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner holds one of the most powerful positions in the U.S. government — and he cries so frequently that Twitter jokesters have taken to calling him the weeper of the house. He tears up easily, particularly when talking about the American dream.

He's been known to cry at school events or when fielding questions from constituents or when talking about his family. A well-watched YouTube clip captures him choking up with tears when talking about the need to combat terrorism and provide safety and security for Americans.



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