“You must be respectful.” – potty-mouthed Philippine President Rodrigo DuterteThe Chinese enjoy their petty torments. Barack Obama's 10th and last excellent Asian adventure (a final, meaningless oriental photo-op) has met with unexpected snafus. Upon airport arrival, Chinese officials failed to provide the customary portable staircase for any U.S. president to disembark from the upper door of Air Force One. Mr. Obama was relegated to a smaller, built-in staircase from the back end of the aircraft. The Dalai Lama would say this is Mr. Obama's karma for directing his holiness to a back door exit by the White House trash heaps in 2010. Apparently, the Chinese have returned the disrespect.
The karma continues. In Laos, Mr. Obama was to meet with new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. That meeting was abruptly canceled, after Mr. Duterte called him a “son of a whore” (for Obama's busybody objection to his country's extrajudicial killings of drug dealers). Leave it to Barack Obama to always side with the criminal element. Support of his corrupt would-be successor Hillary Clinton comes to mind.
Speaking of respect, Donald Trump said, “If that were me, I'd say, 'You know what, folks, I respect you a lot, let's close the doors, let's get out of here.'” If Mr. Trump succeeds Mr. Obama, there will be no repeat bowing and scraping apology tour. Like Ronald Reagan, Mr. Trump will always command respect. For starters, that means politeness from hosting regimes—and entering or leaving with the appropriate stairways.