(CNN) - The question was a simple one but it elicited one of the few differences between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama so far in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination: "Would you be willing to meet separately during the first year of your administration, with leaders of Syria, Iran, Venezuela and others to bridge the gap between our countries?"
Obama said he would be willing to have such meetings. "The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them - which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration - is ridiculous," explained Obama.
But, Clinton hedged. She wouldn't promise outright to hold meetings with those countries the way that Obama had. Instead, she promised "a vigorous diplomatic effort" and explained "you don't promise a meeting until you know the intentions. I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes and don't want to make a situation worse."
- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart