President Barack Obama’s decision not to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Wednesday was blasted by a former Reagan administration official and Fox News analyst who called it shameful, “cheap, small and petty.”
Writing on Fox News.com
, Fox National Security Analyst Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland said the administration’s official excuse that the president and vice president were consumed with a busy week — which included the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy — rang hollow.
It does — after all — take a mere 24 hours to fly to London and back for a state funeral, she noted.
“It is standard operating procedure for the Vice President or First Lady or, at a minimum the Secretary of State, to attend funerals of foreign leaders, even those from lesser nations,” McFarland wrote. “Shame on you, Mr. President. You and your administration look cheap, small and petty.
“It goes without saying that when one of the longest serving leaders of America's closest and most enduring ally dies, the United States should send a large and distinguished delegation of America's leaders, past and present,” added McFarland, who is a Distinguished Adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations.
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She wasn't the only one criticizing the president for his handling of the funeral. Obama was slammed in the British tabloids, as well.
They reported that the government of Prime Minister David Cameron was incensed, especially since former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair was sitting in the front row of the service.
“[Downing] Street is most angered by rejections from Obama, First Lady Michelle and Vice-President Joe Biden. And none of the four surviving ex-U.S. leaders — Jimmy Carter, George Bush Sr, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr — is coming either,” The Sun reported, according to Politico.
The Sun continued: “The response contrasts with glowing U.S. tributes on the day Lady Thatcher died. A No 10 source said last night: ‘We are a little surprised by the White House’s reaction as we were expecting a high-profile attendance.’ The 'snub' came ahead of the Boston marathon “bomb outrage.”
The liberal Guardian in Britain dubbed it a “distinctly low-key official representation.”
“The U.S. is to send distinctly low-key official representation. . . . While Barack Obama was invited, he has opted to send a presidential delegation comprising no serving politicians,” according to The Guardian report.
McFarland blamed the decision on ideology.
"Could it be that Margaret Thatcher was a Tory? That she battled British Trade Unionists and won? That she worked hand-in-hand with Ronald Reagan, the incarnation of evil for many left-wing Democrats?
"It used to be American politics stopped at the water's edge, and that American president honored foreign leaders, regardless of their political persuasions or party,” she wrote, pointing out that former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and James Baker attended the funeral.
Between the three of them, they opened relations with China and brought down the Iron Curtain with Thatcher.
But Obama somehow didn’t think that legacy was worth honoring, McFarland added.
“But while they were giants in their day, they are not part of your team,” McFarland wrote. “The snub to the British was palpable – only yesterday’s men could be spared.
“And frankly, Mr. President, this makes you look foolish as well.”
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