Page Six reported today that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, during a train ride from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., spoke passionately to a fellow passenger — “an avowed Clinton lover,” as it turns out — “about President-elect Barack Obama possibly picking Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state. And in so doing he blurted out what a lot of Clinton-haters are feeling deep down.

“I don’t understand it,” Matthews said. “Why would he pick her? I thought we were done with the Clintons. She’ll just use it to build her power base. It’s Machiavellian. And then we’ll have Bill Clinton, too. I thought Obama didn’t want drama. He’s already got [chief of staff Rahm] Emanuel and [transition team leader John] Podesta. He’ll have even more drama with her.

“She’s just a soap opera. If he doesn’t pick her, everyone will say she’s been dissed again, [and] we’ll have to live through that again.”

And yet she’s a tough player, she’s brilliant, and she is a camel with a tendency to do that occasional camel thing. And Obama-Lincoln isn’t looking for loyal lie-down types. And it will satisfy those 18 million Hillary supporters in a way that will pay off down the road.