Neither President Barack Obama nor the first lady will be attending the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Nor will he be sending any senior White House officials.
The Obama administration has instead opted “for low key official representation” at Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday, according to The Guardian in London.
The Guardian reported:
While Barack Obama was invited, he has opted to send a presidential delegation comprising no serving politicians. Shultz was secretary of state to Ronald Reagan while Baker served the elder George Bush. Also representing Obama will be Barbara Stephenson, chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in London, and Louis Susman, the recently departed ambassador to Britain.
The fact that the U.S. president, vice president and secretary of state will not be in attendance cannot be equated with the absence of other political leaders. Three sitting Republicans will be in attendance: U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Michele Bachman of Minnesota and George Holding of North Carolina.
Former House Speaker Newt Gringrich, who ran for president in 2012, will be there, too.
Thatcher ascended to the prime ministry at a time when Britain’s industry was heavily socialized and the country was experiencing abysmal economic growth. Although her policies revitalized Britain’s economy, she was reviled by the left and never attained popularity until April 1982, when Argentina invaded the British-held Falkland Islands.
No enemy to a workable battle plan, she boldly ordered a fleet of British warships to the South Atlantic, reasoning that by the time the ships arrived, a plan would be in place.
Thatcher’s reasoning was confirmed. On June 14, 1982, the Brits regained control of the islands and have held it since.
The “Iron Lady,” as she was fondly known, was a close friend to the late President Ronald Reagan and former President George H.W. Bush.
Read more at The Guardian.