Adversary Or Ally
I suppose this is what they call smart diplomacy.
The Anchoress sums it up perfectly.
I miss the swaggering cowboy. He may have been tongue-tied; he may have screwed up with an errant backrub, but he didn’t bow to royalty, he didn’t give embarrassing gifts to allies, he didn’t show the Dalai Lama the back door. He never said to a visiting ally (paraphrased) “I’m gonna go have dinner with Laura, and if you decide to obey me, I’ll be around.”
He didn’t shove his finger in the face of another country’s prime minister.
But he was considered the boor.