(CBS/AP) Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton had an emotional reunion Monday with a colleague from the early days of her legal career as a child advocate.
The moment came as she revisited her law school days while hosting a campaign event at the Yale Child Study Center where she first pursued her interest in child advocacy.
Clinton was being introduced by Penn Rhodeen who has worked at the university's Child Studies Center for many years, reports CBS News' Fernando Suarez. (Read more.)
Rhodeen, a New Haven public interest lawyer who worked with Clinton as a student, recalled her showing up on his doorstep wearing purple bellbottoms.
Rhodeen choked up as he recalled the day when Clinton first arrived to the center back in the '70s wearing bellbottom pants.
"It was so 1972," he recalled, praising Clinton for her longtime interest in helping children.
"Here is the abiding truth we know - you have always been a champion for children. Welcome home, dear friend. We are so proud of you," he said.
Clinton then began to tear up, Suarez reports. When she took the microphone she said, "I said I would not tear up. Already we’re not exactly on that path."
At one point she wiped her eyes with her hand. But unlike her teary-eyed moment in Portsmouth, N.H., her voice never broke and she tried make light of her emotion.
Some credited her New Hampshire display of emotion - during a discussion of how she is affected by campaigning for president - with aiding her comeback in that state from an earlier defeat by rival Barack Obama in Iowa.
The roundtable focused on issues like the economy and health care. But a weary and hoarse Clinton was forced to listen more than she was able to talk. At one point Clinton began coughing uncontrollably and asked staffers for a lozenge, Suarez adds.
"It comes and goes," she said, sipping water to get her cough under control.
It was the first event in a packed schedule the last campaign day before Super Tuesday, when voters in 22 states were headed to the polls. With polls showing the former first lady in a tight race with Obama across several states holding contests, Clinton was making stops later Monday in Massachusetts and in New York, where she was taping the Letterman show and hosting a 90-minute town hall meeting to be broadcast live on the Hallmark Channel.