Meet and Greet

Don't tell Mark Penn or the national press corps, but it seems (via Andrew Sullivan) that the public mostly backs Obama on the question of meetings.

As some people have pointed out, it's a little bit unclear what, exactly, the policy disagreement here amounts to. The political disagreement, though, is pretty clear. Clinton is making the same kind of calculation that led people to think Democrats needed to authorize the war in 2002, or keep quiet about the NSA surveillance program in 2005, or posture as "tough" on Iran in 2006, etc., etc., etc. Those kind of political calculations, however, have implications for governing. First John Edwards by taking on the "war on terror" construct, and now Obama by challenging the Very Serious People on the subject of meetings are starting to edge toward a new Democratic approach -- one that involves actually challenging the post-9/11 miasma into which the national conversation about foreign policy has landed -- while Clinton is still fully inside the defensive crouch.