Alone among the 2008 presidential candidates, Obama endorsed a Justice Department criminal investigation of Nifong. So if Obama rather than George W. Bush had been president in 2007, Nifong very likely would be on his way to jail.
Even former District Attorney Mike Nifong, who lost his job last year because of the Duke lacrosse scandal, spent much of Saturday morning canvassing homes for the Democratic presidential hopeful.
"He's the right man at the right time," said Nifong. "We need to get him elected."
Local Obama spokesman Paul Cox said later that Nifong "has no official role in the campaign and was not recruited by the campaign. He simply showed up as a volunteer."
What better way for Nifong--among the most politically poisonous figures in North Carolina--to pay Obama back? To the extent that voters in the Tar Heel State (a swing state) associate Obama with Nifong, John McCain will benefit.