President Obama today hailed Margaret Thatcher, his ideological opposite, as “one of the great champions of freedom and liberty” who was a “true friend” of the United States.
Obama sounded almost like a neoconservative in his gracious written tribute to Thatcher, who died today, writing that she “knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.”
Incredibly, the president made sure to incude in his statement a reference to Thatcher’s partner in winning the Cold War, the man who’s legacy he is trying to dismantle:
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. 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.
No doubt, Obama believes in the power of leaders to “shape” events, and it is for this reason he respects Reagan. But Obama wants to shape events very differently than either Reagan or Thatcher did.
The president also gave Thatcher a bit of a feminist cast, saying she “stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.”