With regard to Obama's sudden climbdown, if that's what it is, from earlier pledges to meet directly with the leaders of Iran, Syria, and North Korea during his first year in office, I just cracked the new issue of the Atlantic and see that Matthew Yglesias has a piece titled "The Accidental Foreign Policy." No link as it's not yet available online, but the timing of the piece is inconvenient, to say the least. Yglesias lavishly praises Obama for sticking with his commitment, made in the July 2007 YouTube debate, to meet face to face with the leaders of rogue states.
This despite the fact that Yglesias believes the policy was likely the product of "an early gaffe," and a bold decision by the campaign to stand by it. "Obama's team did not try to qualify...his remark, and no one said he misspoke," Yglesias writes. Well, the campaign isn't quite saying he misspoke, rather that Obama's "opponents on the right have distorted and reframed" his views. Who would've thought that Yglesias was just another one of Obama's opponents on the right?