Bush's idea of dealing with Hamas was to send in arms and money to spark a civil war among the Palestinians hoping to overthrow the Palestinian's democratically elected government.
Today's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has brought Hamas a different message. Where Bush/Cheney said we won't deal with Hamas, Clinton has said we won't deal with Hamas unless...
"We will not deal with nor in any way fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless and until Hamas has renounced violence, recognized Israel and agrees to follow the previous obligations of the Palestinian Authority," Clinton told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committee.
Clinton said she has made the U.S. position clear during conversations with Arab and other allies. The United States has pushed for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where an independent Palestinian state exists alongside Israel.
"We want to leave the door open" to including Hamas, Clinton said.
With that, Mrs. Clinton has very deftly put the ball right in the middle of Hamas' court.