Barack Obama's influence over the Democrat party is under threat after Bill Clinton backed a rival candidate to that favoured by the President in a key US Senate seat.
The former president recorded a telephone message for voters backing Andrew Romanoff, who is hoping to be the Democrat senator for Colorado, a key state in the forthcoming midterm elections.
The intervention of Mr Clinton threatens to undermine Mr Obama, who has been a prominent support of Michael Bennet, the incumbent Democrat senator who is also fighting to contest the seat.
Obama has already had to turn to Bill Clinton for political help, both in the 2008 campaign and in office. If this midterm election demonstrates that the past President and not the sitting one has the most influence in the Democratic Party, Obama may decide that living as a past President is a pretty sweet deal compared to the meat grinder he'd face in his re-election campaign... especially if Bill manages to persuade Hillary to run again.
UPDATE: Bennet wins with 60% of the primary vote, allowing the Democrat Party establishment to claim that Obama is still politically relevant.