Allahpundit demonstrates the degree of Obama's turnaround:
Barack Obama, April 2008:True, ostracising Hamas may be counterproductive--but destroying them wouldn't be.“We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel’s destruction. We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist and abide by past agreements.”The Guardian, tonight:
“Hamas is not a state. Hamas is a terrorist organization,” he said.The Guardian has spoken to three people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp.
There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on in his administration, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive.
Richard Haass, a diplomat under both presidents Bush who was named by a number of news organisations this week as Obama’s choice for Middle East envoy, supports low level contacts with Hamas provided there is a ceasefire in place and a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation emerges…
Bruce Hoffman, a counterterrorism expert at the Georgetown school of foreign service, said it was unlikely Obama would move to initiate contacts with Hamas unless the radical faction in Damascus was crippled by the conflict in Gaza. “This would really be dependent on Hamas’s military wing having suffered a real, almost decisive, drubbing.” [emphasis mine]