It’s not like these two had anything in common. Politically they were about as far apart as two people could be. Thatcher, a take-no-prisoners conservative; so conservative that she made her best pal President Ronald Reagan look like a moderate. So, I’m not surprised that Mr. Obama opted out of making the trip to England himself. However, to add insult to injury the President of the United States did do something that maybe even a few liberals in Great Britain might find reprehensible and insulting.
Obama could and should have at least sent a high ranking administrative official to represent the United States, someone currently in office and key to the Obama team. Yet he did no such thing. On the contrary he sent two former Secretary’s of State who served during Thatcher’s tenure as Britain’s Prime Minister. Shuffled off to England the President sent the aging George Shultz and James Baker.
The President probably thought sending Shultz and Baker was a wonderful idea since they both knew and were close to Thatcher back in the 1980’s but it also speaks volumes to conservatives in America and Europe at just how wide the gap is between Liberals and Conservatives on both continents. Conservative politicians in this country took it upon themselves to offer representation by sending the likes of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, however, these few go on their own dime and not at the behest of President Obama or his administration.
Shultz and Baker are going at the request of the President along with some real low level government officials including Barbara Stephenson and Louis Susman, who only recently left his post as the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Stephenson currently serves as the chargé d'affaires for the US embassy located in London.
The only other way Mr. Obama could have slapped the face of our British allies would have been to send nobody at all, which would have at least been more honest.