I see that Hillary Clinton will appear on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania to stump for Barack Obama. He certainly needs her help to blunt the enthusiasm generated for the Republican ticket by John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for VP. The question is why Hillary is doing this.
The perhaps naive answer is that she is first and foremost a loyal Democrat. The cynical answer - the one I favor - is that she has recalculated her chances of becoming president, the thing she wants most in life, now that Palin is on the Republican ticket.
Before Palin, Hillary needed to do only so much for Obama that appearances demanded, then sit back and watch him fail in the hope that she can pick up the pieces in four years. He could fail two ways. He could lose the election, which seems a real possibility now, or he could win and under-perform, which would conform to her own opinion of him as expressed in the primary season. Either way, she's in the catbird seat.
Now, after Palin, the odds have changed. Now, if Obama loses, the downside is worse for Hillary's chances. After four years at President McCain's side, Sarah Palin could be the next presidential nominee given his age (he will be 76 then).
And come 2012, Palin could no longer be faulted for having little or no foreign policy experience. She will still be relatively young (48) and probably just as exciting to many people while Hillary Clinton will be 65 and seem more like yesterday's leader.
I have no special information but I do know that the Clintons are the canniest politicians in America. They have to have thought of this.
Those Americans who supported Hillary Clinton and now intend to vote for John McCain should think about it too.