Barack Obama was abandoned by both his father and his mother. His exaggerated and wholly undeserved praise of them, the lessons which he claimed to have learned from a father whom he met only once in his life, at an airport, and the inspiration he supposedly derived from his radical mother, who was fighting the revolution in Southeast Asia throughout his childhood while he lived with his grandparents in Hawaii, is all a means to cope with that abandonment, which, of course, is something that nobody can ever wholly transcend.
The universal reaction to fill the void created by the absence of one's parents is to supply that void with an idealized conception of them. This Obama has done through his surrogate father Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his own wife Michelle, who is more a surrogate mother to him than anything else (Oprah Need Not Apply). However, if there are two people on this earth who could have created a Barack Obama besides his Harvard-educated Kenyan father and his hippie "Make Love [to Natives] Not War" mother, then, surely, they are Bill and Hillary Clinton. Bill, of course, was famously proclaimed by Maya Angelou (or was it Alice Walker?) as the first temperamentally African-American president. And Hillary is a more focused, calculating and successful version of Obama's mother.
I have never believed that Obama felt anything but the deepest emotional connection to the Clintons. As for Bill and Hillary they will become emotionally-invested in anyone who can further their interests. At this point, after having first frustrated their aspirations, Obama alone can make them relevant again. In effect, he can do for them what he did for his real parents -- rehabilitate their memory. The giddiness with which Obama received the suggestion that Bill Clinton would be willing to campaign for him, the alacrity with which he flew to Hillary's side when she beckoned him, shows that the role of dutiful son to less-than-perfect parents is a role that comes naturally to him, which, indeed, he can hardly suppress.
There can be no doubt that Hillary will be Obama's running-mate and the Clintons his surrogate parents for the next 4 years. They are not really deserving of his trust or his loyalty, but neither were his real parents. Hillary's gambit is that Obama, if elected, will not serve for long. Whether it is the skeletons in his closet that will be fleshed out by his election, or the maccabre prospect to which she has already previously alluded, Hillary believes that she has at least a 50% chance of finishing Obama's term and maybe winning one of her own.