'Surprise and Disappointment' in Britain as Obama Refuses to Send Administration Officials To Thatcher Funeral
The Daily Mail is reporting that friends and allies of Baroness Thatcher are surprised and disappointed at the news that the president will not sending a member from his administration to her funeral, describing it as a "snub."
Whitehall sources have revealed that the US delegation at tomorrow's service in St Paul's Cathedral will be led by two Reagan era secretaries of state: James Baker and George Shultz.
Though President Obama himself had not been expected to attend, there had been speculation that he would be represented either by Vice President Joe Biden or wife Michelle. However, the Obama administration had said it would not be attending Thatcher's funeral before the Boston bombings.
The Queen's decision to attend Lady Thatcher's funeral has effectively elevated it to a state occasion unprecedented for a political figure in Britain since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.
Other world leaders, including Canada's Stephen Harper, Mario Monti of Italy and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, are attending the service in person.
As I reported, here, last week, Senate Dems are also blocking a resolution to honor Lady Thatcher.
Alex Pappas of the Daily Caller reported on Sunday that according to his sources, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez is one who is holding up the vote.
While the House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring Thatcher last week, Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, objects to some of the language proposed by Republicans in the Senate’s version, sources said.
A copy of the proposed resolution, which would be offered by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, honors “the life, legacy, and example of British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher.”
Another source said Democrats want to “black out everything but a few lines acknowledging her service as prime minister.”
A House GOP aide told the The Daily Mail, 'Wow, we knew Senate Democrats couldn't pass budgets, but it’s pretty amazing that they can’t pass a resolution to honor the late Margaret Thatcher.'
The President did say, last week, in his statement on Thatcher's passing, "Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.”
But actions (and inactions) speak louder than words.
Obama did send an an official delegation to Caracas to attend last month's funeral for the deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The Washington Times reported:
In addition to James Derham, who presently serves as Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in the Venezuelan capital, the State Department said Thursday that the delegation to the socialist revolutionary’s funeral will include U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, New York Democrat, and former U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, Massachusetts Democrat.