Former US president Bill Clinton has in the last 18 months become indispensable to the incumbent Barack Obama in ways many in his administration did not anticipate.
According to The Washington Post, Clinton has become a roving, always on-call fixer who lends his political skills to help Obama and the Democrats in tough situations.
Clinton is campaigning and raising money in places where Obama is less (or less than) welcome.
And, as was revealed Friday, he has been an intermediary on sensitive, off-the-grid conversations with candidates such as Republican Joe Sestak, whom he tried -- on behalf of the White House -- to talk out of running for the Senate.
One of Clinton's lowest political moments as president was when his party lost both houses of Congress in 1994. Now, with Obama's Democratic majority similarly imperiled, 44 is turning to 42 for help.
The Republicans have taken notice, suggesting that Clinton might play a bigger role this cycle than Obama.
Clinton's relationship with Obama was strained through much of the 2008 campaign, but things between them improved when Obama appointed Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State.
Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a former Clinton aide and confidante, helped ease the tension.
Clinton and Obama have appeared together at least 11 times since Obama's inauguration, including on Thursday, when the two lunched at the White House.