Remember the 2007 debate in which a YouTube questioner asked the candidates whether they would “meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration … with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea”?
Obama immediately said he would. Clinton demurred, saying such a meeting could be used for propaganda purposes. At the time, the Obama campaign claimed Clinton had a “Washington salon foreign policy.” But Obama must have recognized she was right because (other than a quick handshake with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez) he hasn’t been willing to meet unconditionally with any of these leaders. It turns out that in quite a few ways, Obama has changed more than Clinton.