A deal was struck: Clinton would give the key nominating speech at the convention, and a full-throated endorsement of Obama. In exchange, Obama would endorse Hillary Clinton as his successor.

Clinton’s speech was as promised; columnists pointed out the surprising enthusiasm in which he described the president. It also lived up to Obama’s fears, as more people talked about Clinton’s speech in the weeks following than his own.

But after his re-election, Obama began to have second thoughts. He would prefer to stay neutral in the next election, as is traditional of outgoing presidents.

Bill Clinton went ballistic and threatened retaliation. Obama backed down. He called his favorite journalist, Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes,” and offered an unprecedented “farewell interview” with departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.