For my whole life I've heard the phrase "Bless Her Heart" applied in case after case like the one dear Senator Clinton seems to have found herself in right now. Saying BHH meant that when something went wrong you gave some credit to the person, usually measured by their sincerity or courage. It's very 19th century. One can easily imagine Kierkegaard or Flaubert dropping such a line at those grand occasions that found some socially fragile person's makeup smudged or worse, when the news came that a romantic affair had been exposed by some clumsy coachman. Two would get the BHH at that point.
In my experience I've seen BHH acknowledge sincerity as a means to the end of ridicule or as some now say "truth-telling." Like this, "BHH, she needs to be in jail."
It often went with what has been for me a particularly southern habit of ogling politicians, preachers and salesmen. Especially the ones that hadn't quite fallen and still had a full supply of vim and vigor. We'd say, "BHH, I sure don't want to be there when __________ (insert appropriate embarrassment) happens.
But I've had a hard time saying this about Senator Clinton. Not everything she did seemed born of sincerity and courage. There was some spoilage there and it just didn't smell good. But the end is near. Senator Obama needs less that 43 delegates to come his way and HRC is leaking her plans to call it quits. Nowadays candidates just suspend their campaigns. I think that has more to do with their money than with their chances. Of course, she has $20 million owed to her by own campaign. BHH.