Former "View" co-host and author Rosie O'Donnell said she is a much calmer person than she was when she became infamous for her verbal jousts with Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- except when she discusses the nation's current political climate.
"It was a little bit of [a] trial period. I almost made it to the end," O'Donnell said today on "Good Morning America" in her first live interview since leaving "The View" last spring. "I'm the same person I always was. On my show there was no one with a conflicting point view and I was the boss, which works well with me."
O'Donnell said she receives an occasional e-mail response from Hasselbeck.
"She's very young," O'Donnell said. "Your life is a little bit more black and white [when you are younger.]"
Since she bowed out of the daytime scene, O'Donnell has stayed active by becoming a prolific blogger and preparing for a tour with 1980s icon Cyndi Lauper. She's even written a crafty children's book that has different arts for varying ages.
But none of it has quelled her passion for politics. She's adamant in her support for the Democratic Party in this year's presidential election and believes a Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton dream ticket should happen.
"I've been saying both from the beginning. I think the only way they are going to be able to serve the nation is to put down their own egos and combine forces," she said. "We need both of them is what I believe."
O'Donnell, who used to be known as the queen of nice, has made a name for herself by not fearing to share her opinions, even if others disagree. She also has cultivated a close relationship with her fans online via her Web page and blog where she freely discusses the intimacies of her life, like when she talked about giving up beer.
Sometimes, her honesty has backfired. After her beer blog entry, O'Donnell said she read a tabloid report that said she was a raging alcoholic who was on her way to rehab. She denied the claim and said it really was about getting her health in check.
"I'm not by any means sober," said O'Donnell, who still partakes in the occasional margarita. "Beer to me, I love it and I drink it like it's water."
The alcoholic beverage was adding unneeded calories to her diet and since she has a diabetic family history, the 46-year-old O'Donnell said she decided to get more control over her physical health.
O'Donnell also discussed how she deals with her mental health. She has been on antidepressants since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre that left 12 students and one teacher dead. For a time O'Donnell feared she was bipolar, but her doctor dismissed that idea.
"I believe that they don't tell you're bipolar unless you are strong enough to deal with it," she said.
But O'Donnell said she would rather the media use her as the face of bipolar disease than Britney Spears, who has received near constant media coverage for the last two years during her extremely public breakdown.
"She needs nothing but love and positivity from anyone," O'Donnell said.
O'Donnell said fame can be a difficult thing to handle and said she would have some advice for her younger self seeking the spotlight.
"It's going to come true like you knew it, but it's not going to feel like what you think," she said.
In a world where reality television shows and online video-sharing sites like YouTube have made nearly everyone a celebrity, the idea of fame is totally different than what O'Donnell considered when she was younger. Still, she said she has no complaints and by the end of the interview she was relieved.
"That was much easier than the promo made it look," O'Donnell said jokingly about "GMA's" promotion of her interview. "Can I tell you I saw that promo last night and I had a panic attack."