It's somewhat interesting that campaign rivals are making hay about this "gaffe"
Obama was caught on an open mic assuring Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that after this November's election, he would have more room to manuever, more flexibility to negotiate on the European missile shield.
This is simply realpolitik writ small: Obama has a pretty clear path to re-election, and a fairly strong chance of garnering majorities in both houses of Congress.
That's a plain truth, and no amount of whining by the losers is going to change all that.
Too, even if he were to lose, any deal he cuts now would have to be reviewed by the incoming President, as the Senate would undoubtedly hold up a treaty in filibuster.
It would be a signature accomplishment for Obama's second term if he was able to bring home a bilateral disarmament treaty, seeing as how the previous administration reneged on the long-standing SALT agreements (with not much protest from then-Russian president Vladimir Putin). The European missile defense platform has been a long-standing thorn in Russia's side and it's about time we faced that reality.
For his part, Medvedev gets the joke.