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Published:May 1st, 2008 14:41 EST
A New, Kinder and Gentler Hillary Clinton?

A New, Kinder and Gentler Hillary Clinton?

By Robert Paul Reyes

As readers of this Web site know, I'm no fan of Hillary Clinton. I made my debut on the SOP by writing at least 30 consecutive articles lambasting and ridiculing the junior senator from New York. Hillary has enough baggage to rival Southwest, and I could have written hundreds of critical essays.

But today I intend to praise Hillary, and not bury her with invectives. In recent weeks Hillary has changed the tenor of her campaign, she has concentrated on the issues and refrained from bashing Obama. This at a time when the senator from Illinois is vulnerable because of the Wright controversy.

The New Hillary was on display last night on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor."

"Hillary Clinton, in her first appearance on FOX News´ 'The O'Reilly Factor,' said Barack Obama made the right move by condemning Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., but that she was still offended by the pastor´s statements.

In the first part of a two-part interview— the second will air at 8 p.m. ET Thursday on FOX News— Clinton also defended her stances on health care and oil companies and sought to burnish her image as a "fighter" candidate.

Asked about Wright, Clinton said it´s up to voters to decide whether the mounting controversy over Obama´s retired pastor should impact the presidential race.

'(Obama) spoke out forcefully yesterday,' she told Bill O'Reilly in the appearance taped Wednesday in South Bend, IN, 'He made his views clear, finally, that he disagreed, and I think that´s what he had to do.'"

Quotation from the Fox News Web site

O'Reilly started the interview with a couple of questions about the man of the hour: The Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The old Hillary would have questioned Obama's judgement and manhood. The new Hillary deftly deflected O'Reilly's attempts to entice her to condemn Obama.

When Hillary responded to an O'Reilly question with her patented cackle, I didn't immediately click away to CNN. This is either a sign of the impending Apocalypse or proof that the new Hillary can charm even her most adamant critics.

The electorate seems to be enchanted with the new Hillary-- according to the most recent polls she is gaining ground on Obama in Indiana and even in North Carolina.

If only Hillary had adopted this issues-based campaign from the start, John McCain would be behind Obama and Hillary in the national polls by double digits.

I am still a fervent supporter of Obama, but Hillary's attempt to soften her edges has persuaded me to remove a few pins from my Hillary Clinton voodoo doll.