At the risk of sounding overly Team Obama, is [tracking down Edward Snowden] like those other crises? This is a pretty-please campaign of asking other states to hand over a 30-year-old guy who leaked some greatest hits from his NSA homework. The insertion of the president in the negotiation raises the political stakes for the leaders of those states, the risks of failure are high, and they're especially pathetic. Remember when Obama personally appealed for Chicago to get the Olympics, and failed? Imagine that on a grander scandal.
This seems about right to me. Set aside for the moment the relative merits of Snowden's cause and actions--elevating his fugitive status just strikes me as a dumb move. How many Chinese and Russian dissidents have been granted asylum in the U.S., over the objections of those countries? Of course they are going to be uncooperative about it when presented with the rare opportunity to aid an American dissident.