The President can’t be bothered to go himself, you see. Or – and this is the actually offensive part – send anybody currently from the administration.
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 excuse here for the lack of the VP or FLOTUS is this, I kid you not:
[A US Embassy spokesman] said that both the First Lady and the Vice President were ‘the President’s point people on gun control’, adding: ‘This is a week when there is a lot of movement on Capitol Hill on gun control issues.’
…In which case, problem easily solved: the Speaker of the House and the Senate Minority Leader can themselves decide to go to the funeral, as Ed Morrissey notes here. No Boehner and no McConnell means that the White House can stop pretending to work on gun control, thus freeing up the First Lady (she’d probably be a safer choice than Biden) for the requisite time period. Or else making them have to come up with an alternate excuse for not wanting to go.
This is a serious suggestion, for three reasons. One, it is the proper thing to do: Maggie Thatcher was a staunch and utterly reliable ally of the United States and is well-respected here. Two, the country in general and the Republican party’s base in particular are going to have expectations that the party of Ronald Reagan will show proper respect to Thatcher’s memory. Three… look. I don’t know who, specifically, the President is going to be in 2017, but I do know this: the President will not be a petty man lashing out at the British because he’s trying to curry posthumous favor with an anti-colonial daddy who never truly loved him. Now would be a good time for the rest of the country to make it quietly clear that the last several, and next several, years represent an aberration in Anglo-American relations, not the New Normal…
Moe Lane (crosspost)