The Washington Times - May 1, 2008, 08:28PM
Ind.Sen. Hillary Clinton SEE RELATED:




LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Meet the softer side of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.\ \ Gone is the tough and all-business presidential candidate who regularly blared at rival Sen. Barack Obama, who lately is instead battling self-inflicted wounds. In her place is what most people who know her well say was there all along — a warm and engaging woman willing to laugh at herself.\ \ “I’m riding shotgun!” Mrs. Clinton exclaimed to local radio jocks while joining an Indiana commuter for his trek to work yesterday, explaining that because of her security she rarely gets to ride up front.\ \ “The best part of what I’m doing right now is I’m sitting in the front seat. You can’t imagine what that feels like.”\ \ She also hammed it up for the tollbooth operator and beamed that despite being tired from a rigorous campaign, “I’m having such a good time, I’m really out here enjoying myself.”\ \ It was similar to the glimpse she allowed voters back in New Hampshire, when the former first lady got choked up responding to a question about how she keeps it all together. That moment earned her sympathy from many voters who sometimes deem her calculating in favorability polls, and even her aides said it was “humanizing.”\ \ The next night, when she won the Granite State’s primary, Mrs. Clinton announced she’d found her voice. Such moments have popped up on the trail since, but lately she has been relaying stories from her childhood and engaging voters with tales of people she’s met along the way that have emotionally moved her.
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Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times