This is a complex relationship, and in some ways you can draw parallels to the 2000 presidential election. Then the vice president (Al Gore) was attempting to distance himself from the president (Bill Clinton)...but he also knew that a victory would assist in validating the legacy of his boss.
Now, it's a Republican who's squirming. On one hand, and this New York Times article offers more analysis than I am here, the nominee (John McCain) is attempting to run away from the president (George Bush)...and yet the president wants to see McCain win because it would assist in validating his legacy.
There are differences here, no question about that. Maybe the most important is that Gore attempted to keep the spotlight away from Clinton -- for his personal conduct, while McCain is attempting to keep the spotlight away from Bush -- for his professional decisions.
It leaves you to wonder if Mr. McCain would prefer to not have the president here in MSP at all.