There is a shockingly ignorant lack of context in all of this. In every election, candidates run different campaigns to win the nomination and to win the election. In the primaries they appeal to their base. In general elections they appeal to everyone. Ergo, they move to the center.
Moving to the center is a good thing because if a candidate wins they need to govern for everyone, not just their base. There is a tendency these days to remember Ronald Reagan as a great president who was able to move the country in a whole new direction. That's sentimental bollocks. He was a polarizing figure who horrified half the country with his seemingly endless military attacks on little central American states, his claims that trees pollute and that ketchup is a vegetable, his overtly phony actorly reading of speeches... he was an ideologue who moved the Republicans further to the right, for sure: What is there to celebrate about that?
Where did anyone get the idea that election campaigns, especially at the American presidential level, are situations where straight-talking rules the day? They aren't. It's a big complex game of chess.
Here's an example: In his first election for premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty signed an oath that he wouldn't raise taxes. After winning, one of his first acts was to create a new health care tax. I supported that tax. Why? Because (1) at the time Ontario was being screwed by the federal government and we didn't have sufficient revenues to run our health care system; (2) he was backed into a corner by a PR firm that was helping the anti-tax lobby and he would not have won the election without that pledge. During the election when he made the pledge, my only reaction was that I supported his signing of it only because I didn't believe he'd stay true to it. A very effective trick in an election campaign, in this case by a lobby, should not be allowed to set public policy.
During campaigns, candidates get forced to do all sorts of weird stuff in order to win: Obama is having to pose in front of American flags to counter attacks that he's unpatriotic and having to ask Mulsims to move out of photos because of rumors that he's Islamic. You could bet money that these actions are not things he wants to do, but that's politics.
I choose candidates like I hire employees. I look at their qualifications and their past actions. I listen to them carefully in the job interview, but I take very little at face value. (If you ask someone in an interview, "What are your three biggest flaws?", do you really expect to learn that they're lazy or pad their expenses?)
It might be easier for me to accept Obama's "move to the center" because I never got caught up in his audacity of hope/yes we can/change you can believe in/blah blah blah. But we elected the guy to win, and he's doing what he has to do to win. Let's give him some space already.