Meet the new Hillary. Or is it, the new, new Hillary? Same as the old Hillary?

Clinton campaign strategists want the Democratic front-runner to soften her image by displaying more self-deprecating humor and showing more heart, according to a New York Times story on Monday that quoted campaign aides. The profile discussed Clinton’s strict diet, her recent weight loss and a yoga and weight-training regimen that reportedly are giving her new energy. She’s Every Woman. Forget the $300,000 speaking fee: She’s just like you.

It is not the first time in Clinton’s long political career that her image has been an issue, or that she’s tried to remake herself. Check out this undated and unsigned memo to her from her days as first lady contained among 7,500 pages of White House archival records released last year: “Few Americans think of you in personal terms (warm, caring, funny, kind, maternal) or have a sense of your deep love of children.”

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With only months to go before primary voting kicks off in the 2016 presidential campaign, experts question how realistic it is for someone who is as well-known and has been as long in the public eye as Clinton to remake her image.

Gerard Alexander, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, said it is ironic “to announce that you’re going to retool, especially when your problem is authenticity.”

“I think the ability of people to pretty completely redefine themselves is difficult … It is much harder to change impressions of yourself than it is for newcomers.”

This is not the first time, even in this campaign, that Clinton has sought to change her image. She brought in top consumer marketing specialists to help with messaging, like Al Gore did when handlers told him to dress in warm earth tones. The Washington Post in February quoted longtime corporate marketing strategist Peter Sealey as comparing Clinton’s challenge to a big corporation.

“It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,” he told the Post.

But Clinton has been a national figure since 1991, when her husband was running for president. From her time as first lady to her time in the Senate and her tenure as secretary of state — not to mention a failed campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 — people have had nearly a quarter of a century to make a judgment about her.

“I think the ability of people to pretty completely redefine themselves is difficult. … It is much harder to change impressions of yourself than it is for newcomers,” Alexander said. “The idea that she gets to just reboot and create a fundamentally different perception exaggerates the sense of what campaigns can do.”

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Past efforts to ‘humanize’
Clinton’s aides have worked overtime over the years trying to “humanize” her to the public. Way back in 1992, dogged by a scandal involving billing records at her Arkansas law firm while then-Democratic presidential contender Bill Clinton was governor, she defended her career and snapped, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies.”

Then came her first attempt at image rehabilitation: She baked oatmeal cookies for a contest run by Family Circle magazine.

As she was gearing up for her New York campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2000, it was time for another round of image softening. A 1999 memo by longtime Clinton aide Mandy Grunwald counseled the first lady to “be real” and “look for opportunities for humor. It’s important that people see more sides of you, and they often see you only in very stern situations.”

Clinton used a well-received “listening tour” in which she traveled the New York state talking to average voters to win the Senate race that year.

The Clinton team in 2008 brought in renown image maker Roy Spence — coiner of the “Don’t Mess with Texas” slogan — to help rebrand Hillary. He suggested an effort that emphasized Clinton’s “heart.”

After losing the Iowa caucus in 2008 to Obama, following a campaign in which she often appeared programmed, the Clinton team brought in renowned image maker Roy Spence — coiner of the “Don’t Mess with Texas” slogan — to help rebrand Hillary. He suggested an effort that emphasized Clinton’s “heart.” Clinton went on to defeat Obama in New Hampshire, aided in part by a tearful speech on the eve of the vote when she talked about the difficulty of campaigning.

Despite the New Hampshire victory, Clinton ultimately lost that nomination battle. This time around, she has had eight more years for perceptions to break through — and they’re hardening fast.

Alexander, the University of Virginia professor, used a grade point average analogy. The first semester, a student establishes his or her GPA. The second semester has the same weight as the first. By the third semester, the grades count for only a third of the average, and each successive semester counts for less and less of the total.

“It’s harder and harder to change your cumulative GPA,” he said.

Her persona is set. There isn’t much chance to reboot, or reset, as she hoped to do with Russia as secretary of state. She is what she is. People know her, for better or for worse. It doesn’t look promising.

As liberal comic and actor Patton Oswalt tweeted: “Dear Hillary Clinton’s aides: Announcing she plans to show ‘more heart and humor’ is what you say about a Terminator you’ve reprogrammed.”