How Obama learned to love the Clintons

Democrats say that Obama has come to view himself much as Clinton did — a relay runner, looking to put the next Democratic president in the best possible position through incremental work toward progressive policy goals.

And that next president may very well be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is positioned to reap the benefits of Obama’s new leadership style.

Any rebound Obama sees in the polls will only benefit whomever the Democratic nominee is in 2016. The divisions that the 2008 Obama campaign sought to emphasize – between their man as a breath of fresh air and Hillary as politics-as-usual — are also much less pronounced these days.

The supportiveness is running both ways. Hillary Clinton wrote to her former colleague, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), last month backing Obama’s stance on Iran.

Meanwhile, recent weeks have seen Obama crisscross the country, touting the modest executive actions he used to deride.