Unlike most of his Fox News colleagues, Bill O'Reilly has always seemed to have a soft spot for President Obama. Perhaps it was because Obama has given O'Reilly some exclusive interviews and feedback.

It certainly seems that O'Reilly has been impressed. His gushing column on his night at the White House media party last week reads like a missive from the liberal website  Moveon.org — not from the O'Reilly we all know.

Consider this: "Michelle Obama, whom I had never met, was stunning. She was warm and kind to my 10-year-old daughter and gracious to me. My quick assessment of her: Strong, charismatic, and beautiful."

Wow! Hard to imagine Sean Hannity saying that.

Or consider this: "At Christmastime, we should all put politics aside. And that's what the Obamas did. There were a number of Republicans at the party and everybody I talked with had a great time. I was pleased with the event and, again, feel privileged to have had the vantage point.

"So, I received my Christmas present early. Thanks for the party, Mr. President."

Cue Glenn Beck — almost choking on those words.

O'Reilly is even offering to sort out the differences between Fox News and the White House.

"After seeing the Obamas, I ran into the President's cadre of advisors and gave them some jazz about the war on Fox News, a campaign that did not go well for the White House.

"Basically, I told the President's men and women that Americans love spirited conversation, and that if they have a beef with something on Fox News, they should come on my television program and hash it out."

And then there are words of praise for Al Sharpton — yes, Al Sharpton.

"Look what happened to Al Sharpton. His appearances on Fox News have helped his image immensely. You may not agree with what the Reverend says, but at least he has the guts to debate the issues."

O'Reilly praising Al Sharpton — where do we go from here? Bouquets for Acorn? Support for getting U.S. troops out of Iraq?

This kinder ,gentler Bill is a real surprise. But hey, it is the holiday season. Good will to men and all that.

For now.