In the course of a candid interview with the Washington Post about the presidential race (in which he admits he's struggled with the 60-second debate format) Barack Obama had this to say about his position on meeting with leaders of hostile regimes:
"Senator Clinton apparently disagrees with me on this issue of preconditions," he said. "I think she's wrong on that because if we continue to set preconditions for discussions that are hostile to us, I think that's what loses the PR battle worldwide because it implies the United States is the superior power and other states have to give in to our demands before we even deign to meet with them. And that reinforces the sense of the arrogance of U.S. power around the world, which is a source of great damage -- and makes us less safe."
Let's take a step back and realize what's actually going on here. A top-tier presidential candidate is saying that it's wrong for the President of the United States to say that our nation, with the most freedom in the history of the world, is superior to the oppressive regimes of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. Aside from being an sickening example of moral relativism, it's hard to see how, from a practical policy perspective, a president would be able to encourage other countries to improve their human rights records if he can't assert why freedom is superior.