The Globe Makes Us Cry

1196785369Despite our hard exterior, we here at Boston Daily love to be emotionally manipulated. We get choked up when we watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The Notebook made us bawl like a toddler whose security blanket is in the wash. So when we read today’s Globe feature on the everyday people to whom the presidential hopefuls have attached themselves, we got a little misty.

In order to make it easier for those of you who have a no-crying-at-work policy, we’ve summed up the normal people the candidates name check in speeches and rated them on a scale of 1 to 5 Tears of Empathy. One tear means our black hearts are unmoved, five means we’ll spend the rest of the day doing that hiccuppy-breathing thing at our desks.

John Edwards
The former vice-presidential nominee has always made American poverty a centerpiece of his campaign, so he found James Lowe, a coal miner from Virginia who spent 50 years with a cleft palate because he couldn’t afford surgery. After finally getting the surgery, the man used his newfound confidence to demand better health care for Americans.

Tears of empathy: Two and a half. Coal miners suffer from horrible conditions, and humble Southern men always dampen our eyes.

John McCain
The hawkish troop-loving senator was given a bracelet bearing the name of a special needs teacher in New Hampshire whose son died in Iraq. On an impulse, Lynn Savage took it off her wrist and gave it to McCain to remind him why he’s running for president. McCain says the bracelet “helps him keep his perspective,” and that he will return it to the woman when the troops come home.

Tears of Empathy: Two. Yes, a dead soldier and a grieving mother are a sad reality of war. But we’re hung up on the fact that McCain accepted such a personal memento from a stranger in the first place.

Barack Obama
The Illinois senator spent a day in August with Pauline Beck, a home care worker in California. He started the day eating with her and her family, then helped her care for an 86-year-old man.

Tears of Empathy: Three. We’ll admit, we cheated on this one and watched the YouTube video of Obama’s day. Seeing a man who’s usually seen in nice suits and on the cover of magazines washing an old man’s sheets and chatting up a toddler melted our hearts. Also, we never got the whole “Obama’s hot” thing until just now. Are these tears of joy or sadness? Emotions are confusing.

Hillary Clinton
As soon as we saw the sweet face of Pauline Kenick staring up at us from A14, we knew we were goners. The retired nurse went to a Clinton campaign event and was happy to meet the first serious female candidate for president. “There wasn’t any of the other guys that I would vote for. A couple of them I wouldn’t vote for for dog catcher,” Kenick told the Globe.

Tears of Empathy: Four. A saucy old lady facing her mortality, pleading to see a woman president before she dies got us all choked up. We love old feminists.

Mitt Romney
Just when we thought Obama and Clinton would have us sniffling all day, the governor gives us T.J. Bonner. He’s not a member of the armed services. He’s not a home care worker. We’re pretty sure he’s not even a Mormon. He’s a US-Mexico border patrolman.
Tears of Empathy: Zero. Come on, Mitt. This is some guy who just gave you a tour of the border. Give us an example of the family values you so deeply cherish aside from your own toothy brood.