Former president Bill Clinton kicked off his speech at the Democratic National Convention in July like a master storyteller: “In the spring of 1971,” he began, “I met a girl.”

After pausing to let the suspense build a bit, Clinton clarified that that girl was Hillary Rodham, and continued to tell the story of their lives together, skipping over a choice decade here or there to keep things positive. Most pundits agreed it was a strong attempt to humanize the Democratic nominee, who even took the opportunity during her own acceptance speech to explain that she gets it:

That wouldn’t even be the last time Clinton publicly addressed her likability gap, and with a month to go before the election, Bill thought he’d give it another shot, appearing on the campaign’s “With Her” podcast.

“She is more reticent than some people are in this highly revelatory culture we seem to live in to discuss things that she thinks are better kept within the family,” he explained, later adding that she’s not the “manufactured machine” her critics make her out to be, and that “her passion is real.”

Hey now … some discussions are better kept within the family.