U.S. and U.K. conservatives join to lionize Thatcher as a ‘legend’ and ‘inspiration’


President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher speak to reporters at the White House in 1982. (AP Photo)

While Margaret Thatcher’s legacy may be mixed in some corners of the world, conservative politicians on both sides of the pond have praised the controversial prime minister as a “legend” and a “inspiration” in the hours since her death.

"A towering figure of 20th century politics," is how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) put it in a statement this morning.

She boldly reasserted her nation’s strength in foreign affairs, and she became an iconic symbol of the transformative power of conservative ideas. A great ally and admirer of the United States and a trusted partner of Ronald Reagan during some of the most challenging days of the Cold War, Margaret Thatcher never hesitated to remind Americans of their own obligations to the cause of freedom and of the need for political courage and confidence in the face of long odds.

 

On Twitter, many U.S. Republicans and British conservatives echoed McConnell's praise of Thatcher's commitment to the United States, her staunch conservatism and her role in the Cold War.

"Americans will always keep Lady Thatcher in our hearts for her loyalty to Ronald Reagan and their friendship that we all admired," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement, calling Thatcher "the greatest peacetime prime minister in British history."

Liberals have, not surprisingly, been less effusive in their praise. The British conservative parliamentarian Daniel Hannan sniped at Twitter users who used the platform to criticize Thatcher's legacy.

President Obama did, however, call Thatcher a "true friend" to the United States in a statement.

"Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will," Obama said in the statement.

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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