Democrats will therefore be anxious, and I bet a large number of would-be presidential candidates will be very eager to help them out. Money, feet on the ground, consultant help — off-year election help is not charity. One is supposed to return the favor in the form of an endorsement two years hence.

Clinton would be the biggest draw of any Democrat, save perhaps the President. In theory, she can still stay out of the race, not set up a PAC, or not lend any political assistance. But she’ll be the story for Democrats. She’ll be able to test her public image. She’ll be able to test her campaign skills again. And she’ll still be able to be coy enough about her intentions so that the party fundraisers (and the legion of young Obama-ites whove grown to love her and all those Clintonistas who still roam) will await her direction.