Barack Obama wants to talk to the likes of Kim Jung-Il, whoever is the next leader of Cuba, and Mahmoud What's-His-Name* who leads Iran.
Not "bend over backwards for," not "give a billion dollars to," not "make sweet sweet leader-on-leader love with."
This is something that George W. Bush steadfastly refuses to do and, well, we've all seen what's happened to the US's international reputation in the past few years (that is, if he actually cares about it, which I doubt very much he does). You want to be perceived as a stubborn dickish moron? Say things like, "Ahhh don't talk ta turr-ur-issstsss."
Oh, and do it with a southern drawl, even though you were born in Conneticut, went to a highfalutin' private high school in Massachusetts, went to Yale and Harvard, and have a brother (a.) who goes by the name Jeb** who (b.) mysteriously has no southern accent.
Anyway, the moral of the story is that talking to fellow world leaders to see what makes them tick can only be a good thing. Sitting behind your desk and getting your opinions fed to you by your handlers, yes-men and corporate buddies is not a good thing.***
* I taught a kid last year whose parents were Iranian, and I asked him how to pronounce this guy's name. He told me, and it seemed easy, but now I totally forget.
** On Arrested Development, Michael Bluth's brother GOB goes by the name he does because those are his initials (his given name is George Oscar Bluth II). "Jeb" goes by the name he does because his given name is John Ellis Bush... which is another reason why I love AD.
*** Unless you're a Republican.