But it also might be giving them too much credit. Sometimes Daffy Duck really is daffy and not some kind of bizarro genius.
Unless you're a woman he raped.I mostly agree with the rest of your post. Its not the first time ive heard Obama nominated Hilary because of that influence, but ive always had some reservations about it. While Obama was willing the compromise to get what he wanted, he always seemed to take previous digs very personally early in his Presidency. For example, Ive seen stories about him despising Bill Clinton for missing the opportunity to advance the progressive movement during the onset of the internet advent, and they apparently only soothed things out after 1) Obama gained experience "in the game" and 2) bonded over their shared fondness of golf(and, as countless women and the American public have found: its just so damned tough to stay angry at Bill Clinton). His indignation concerning Hilary seemed much deeper and his nomination of her was all but forced upon him due to the circumstances rather then an attempt to gain an ally.
But yes, there's a natural tension between Obama and Clinton.... who saw Obama's rise -- rightly, in my view -- as a repudiation of the Clinton legacy. Clinton was and is volatile, combative, centrist and a guy who presided over what was then unprecedented political tension in Washington. A lot of Democrats in Washington didn't want to go back to that, and they backed Obama. Some of them were longtime Clinton "allies" and the betrayals hurt, none more than Ted Kennedy, who basically called Obama the true heir to Kennedy Liberalism, implicitly branding Clinton as a sell out. That had to sting, especially since Clinton is obsessed with his legacy and feels like Democrats should have groveled at his feet for capturing the White House when other Democrats were sitting around picking their butts. That no one followed his lead politically rankled him then and still does.
Obama played to these differences in temperament and policy in ways both subtle and not, especially in the primaries, and when the messaging started to get traction among Democrats it just infuriated Clinton even more. Obama's people realized this and started baiting him (the "transformative figure" comment, for example, was imo pure baiting), and sure enough he cracked like Brett Favre in crunch time with a few badly timed comments to reporters, especially in South Carolina. Hilary had to basically order him off the campaign trail iirc but the damage was done. The combination of Clinton anger and the Clinton campaign's none too subtle Southern Strategy -- pushed for by Bill Clinton -- sealed the deal for Kennedy, who's endorsement gave lots of other Democrats cover.
Anyway, when you read Team of Rivals it's fascinating how many similarities there are between Seward's situation and Hilary Clinton's. Seward was the obvious heir apparent, groomed to lead, everyone's obvious choice. Lincoln truly came out of nowhere, helped as much as anything by the fact that the convention that year was in Illinois, allowing political allies to control key leadership positions. The main difference being that Seward eventually grew to love and respect Lincoln, where I'm not sure how much if any Clinton and Obama's relationship changed in the years she was Secretary of State (there have been dozens of books written about the inner workings of the Obama White House but I have not read a single one. Maybe they got to be drinking buddies like Hilary and John McCain are, but somehow I doubt it).