Notice what is missing in this story:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton marched for labor and stumped with Democrats on Saturday, but sidestepped questions about the woman who has taken her place as the nation’s most-talked-about female leader.

Clinton brushed aside questions about Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin during appearances at New York City’s annual Labor Day parade and later during a stop on Staten Island.

“This election is about issues, and that’s what’s going to matter to people at the end of the day,” she told reporters who asked her about the Alaska governor at a rally for a Democratic congressional candidate at Wagner College.

There was a brief “no way, no how, no McCain, no Palin” comment later on, but it is perfectly clear that Hillary Clinton is not taking Sarah Palin on. And since the Obama campaign desperately wants to take Sarah Palin on and would be benefited by having someone like Hillary Clinton do the taking on–for all of the obvious reasons–one can assume that Hillary Clinton is not exactly being helpful.

It isn’t hard for her to be helpful. All she has to do is say something like “we all want women to crack the political glass ceiling and reach the highest political offices in the land, but we don’t want just any woman to do that. Rather, we want a woman whose values are commensurate with ours.” And then, a segue can be made into a discussion of issues that supposedly matter to women and how Sarah Palin supposedly is bad on those issues.

But of course, that is not happening. Instead, Hillary Clinton is barely mentioning Sarah Palin while the latter is hammering at Barack Obama so effectively that Hillary Clinton can be excused for feeling wistful.

Think maybe that she does not want Obama to win? So do I. I wonder if from time to time, David Axelrod or David Plouffe meet with their counterparts from the Clinton campaign to discuss how best to unify. And I wonder if they bring food and drink tasters with them when they do.

They ought to, at any rate.