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Did The Bleat of the Lamb Excite the Lion?

An excellent piece at Powerline on how Obama's foreign policy weakness may have made things harder for him. While I guess we should be grateful they're not just blaming Bush, what they are saying may be more worrisome:

Hillary Clinton isn't a fool, but you wouldn't know it from this statement:
People say to me all the time, what happened to Iran? ... When President Obama came in, he was very clear that he wanted to engage, and that's what he's been trying to do -- reaching out to the Iranian people, reaching out to the Iranian leadership. And you have to ask yourself, why, when so many experts thought that there would be a positive response to President Obama's outreach, has there not?
To be sure, it's quite a mystery why Ahmadinejad didn't respond in kind to Obama's fellowship, as liberal experts expected him to. But Clinton thinks she has the answer: the power of the Revolutionary Guard has been growing. Thus, the administration's line is (in the words of Rick Richman) "don't blame us for the failure of our 'engagement' policy -- it was thwarted by the triumph of the Iranian hardliners."

But why did the hardliners triumph?
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