No former U.S. presidents at Thatcher funeral, but Boehner's sending a delegation!
And it's going to include Michele Bachmann! Gaffe-fest to come? Why would Boehner get an invitation to her funeral? Was he fishing for one with his "warm tribute?"
WASHINGTON — The official US delegation to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral will lack ex-presidents but will include two former secretaries of state, the White House said Monday.
The delegation will be led by two giants of US diplomacy, Republicans George Shultz and James Baker, and include Louis Susman, recently departed ambassador to London and Barbara Stephenson, the current charge d'affaires.
Britain had invited all the surviving US former presidents -- Jimmy Carter, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- to Wednesday's funeral, as a final testament to the Iron Lady's special relationship with America.
The 2,000-strong guest list will also not include great Cold War figures including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and ex-German chancellor Helmut Kohl who are too ill to attend.
Also absent will be frail first lady Nancy Reagan, wife of late US leader Ronald Reagan, Thatcher's political soulmate.
No immediate details were available as to why no former presidents would attend Thatcher's funeral and it was unclear whether the absence of US leaders would be seen in Britain as a snub.
US presidents frequently name former officials to lead delegations to funerals. In exceptional cases they are represented by former presidents or on occasion their vice president.
George Bush senior, 88, who was in power for the final years of Thatcher's premiership, spent a prolonged period in intensive care in hospital in recent months.
Jimmy Carter was in office for only a short while alongside Thatcher until his departure in January 1981 after a single term.
His fellow Democrat, former president Clinton came to power in 1993, after Thatcher resigned in 1990, as did George W. Bush who was in office from 2001 to 2009.
Shultz was secretary of state to Reagan for more than six years while Baker served in the same position for Bush senior, both at key moments of the Cold War and post-Cold War Era.
Republican John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, who paid a warm tribute to Thatcher after her death last week, meanwhile announced his own delegation to the high security funeral.
The team will include Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and also feature firebrand conservative lawmaker Michele Bachmann, a former presidential primary candidate.
"In another campaign appearance she told people she was thrilled to be in the hometown of John Wayne. She was in the hometown of killer John Wayne Gacy."
You couldn't write better comedy than that. I'm still laughing.
Mitt Romney has already insulted the British -- now Michele Bachmann will probably finish the job. There goes the USA/GB "special relationship", more than 200 years old but down the drain in less than 2 years.
Ha! The Daily Fail was tittering over the possibility that the ex-Presidents would attend, capped by Obama. And NONE of them show up for the hag. Perfect!
As horrible as she was, doesn't anyone think it isn't correct that none of the former presidents will be there?
At least out of respect for the British Office and for being the first female PM.
Anyone know if CNN is going to cover it live? I want to know so I can set my alarm clock to watch it.
An even better suggestion for R4: you could be in London in that coffin with her instead of watching it on TV.
R3 Former Presidents typically don't attend funerals like this. None attended Indira Gandhi's funeral. Same with Golda Meir, although Jimmy Carter did send his mom.
When Churchill died in 1965, Pres. Johnson's official delegation included Surpreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and Secretary of State State Dean Rusk. Johnson had been ill, so there was no possibility of the vice president attending, or LBJ himself. Former Pres. Eisenhower did attend, but as a private citizen. That is strange, for Eisenhower was very close to Churchill and Johnson.
Why are they wasting taxpayers money on this? Someone should find what the bill for Bachmann's little trip to London will be.
Will M be going to represent Datalounge?
Jimmy Carter: I always was on the side of Argentina, and she cause irreparable harm both to the poor and to the humanity of her nation.
George H.W. Bush: I think I shit my pants.
Bill Clinton: Short lease, David. Short lease. Tell your wife I said hiya.
George W. Bush: There ain't but one old lady funeral I'm going to and I'm getting pretty damned tired of waiting for it.
James Baker: Will I get a seat in front? Sure!
George Schulz: Any funeral but my own.
Hillary Clinton: You have got to be fucking with me.
Nancy Reagan: Tell Betsy I love the upsweep, and of course with Mercury Retrograde that... little... shit.... you know the one who's watching me watching me all the time and WAIT Did you see Ronnie out the window? Did he have his hat on? The dye'll come off in the wind if he doesn't keep it, keep it.... Oh, Frank. Yes. He's asleep. And I'm soooo upset. Will you calm me down, Frank? Will you? Will you? Ohhhhh baby...... Like a jack in the box. And I"m dancing, dancing around the box one.... last.... time..... Fuck.
So we have a quorum? Let the nimnuts go?
[quote]Mitt Romney has already insulted the British -- now Michele Bachmann will probably finish the job.
The Brit press know she's always good for saying something outrageous. No matter how much "her people" prepare her for an event, she always goes off script and always gets everything wrong. They'll be ready for her.
On the anniversary of the death of Elvis, she ran out on stage and screamed "Happy Birthday Elvis!" In another campaign appearance she told people she was thrilled to be in the hometown of John Wayne. She was in the hometown of killer John Wayne Gacy.
No one is going to be talking to Michelle Bachman at Thatcher's funeral. She's a nobody.
I love how the British press has been saying how loved Thatcher was by Americans. By Sunday, they didn't even mention her on Meet The Press.
[quote]Someone should find what the bill for Bachmann's little trip to London will be.
How much did it cost, where did they stay, is it worthwhile to compare their junket to the Obamas' trips? The talking points about Michelle Obama's trips have gotten on my nerves.
I'm assuming this is because George H. W. Bush is on his last legs?
Reasons why they're not going:
Jimmy Carter - not invited
Nancy Reagan - too feeble
Bush 41 - legitimately ill
Clinton - "Fuck that ice queen cunt!"
Bush 43 - too shameful a reminder of Tony Blair, also not invited
Obama - "The American people need me, in light of today's bombings in Boston."
So what if Carter, Clinton and Bush weren't in office during Thatcher's tenure as prime minister. They all held similar positions. Great Britian is one of our closest allies. You attend out of respect at the highest level. What the hell does John Boahner have to do with anything?
Anyone who isn't an avowed right-winger will choose to be distanced from the legacy of Margaret Thatcher.
Paying respect to all but 1% of the British people means staying away from her funeral.
If former Pres. Truman did not attend Churchill's funeral, that good enough for me.
Few presidents were better than LBJ at getting people to do something they did not want to do.
[quote]Great Britian is one of our closest allies. You attend out of respect at the highest level.
Oh, please. She wasn't Churchill! The American commander-in-chief is under NO obligation to attend the funeral of a foreign leader, let alone one from 30 years prior. Not even the biggest Reaganites are particularly big Thatcher fans.
Um R1, not that I care very much, but the "special relationship" between the UK and the US began only during the Second World War, not over 200 years ago. In fact, before that the US and the UK were not very good friends, particularly during the US Civil War, when the Brits supported the Confederacy.
President Carter's mother often went to events like this. I remember when NBC stated that Miss Lillian had been seated in the last row of the VIP section, yet newspaper photos showed her seated in front with Prince Philip, King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia, Princess Grace and Prince Rainier.
She was one of Great Britian's greatest Prime Ministers whether you agree with her or not.
Thatcher was certainly not in the same league with Winston Churchill, and only Eisenhower attended his funeral in '65 and not as part of the US delegation selected by Lyndon Johnson. LBJ did not even send his wife, Lady Bird.
Send Dick Cheney.
And don't let him back in
Dick Cheney can't go. The same group that kept him out of Canada for war crimes will do the same in England.
[quote]She was one of Great Britian's greatest Prime Ministers whether you agree with her or not.
No she wasn't.
US presidents attend the funerals of heads of state. She wasn't the head of state. That's the Queen.
Thatcher held the position of prime minister longer than any other prime minister of Great Britain. Go her to damn funeral.
She had a few okay moments, but it was mostly bad and people are still suffering from her policies and decisions.
On the plus side, she went to the Soviet Union, and in a news conference that was carried live, she gave them Hell for their ICBMs and nuclear weapons. The Soviet people had never heard anyone speaking out like this before that day. They expected her news conference to be cut off at any moment but Soviet TV and radio were allowed to stay with the entire broadcast. It woke up millions of people in the Soviet Union.
One of her final acts in office was to recommend Sir Ian McKellen for a knighthood in November 1990.
He recalled: “the phone rang: ‘This is 10 Downing Street’. I thought it was a colleague having a joke but no: ‘The prime minister has been trying to reach you. She has it in mind (so the officialese goes) to recommend that the Queen give you a knighthood.’ Flummoxed, I asked for time to think it over. Then, just as I put down the phone, the big black shiny door opened and the Thatchers emerged, she crying a little. It was if she had kept the world waiting until she knew for sure that I’d been contacted. Of course not. But nevertheless, I suppose the very last thing Thatcher did as prime minster was to organise my knighthood. Ding dong, maybe, but thanks all the same.”
I WATCH MAGGIE'S SPEECHES ON YOUTUBE WHILE I LICK DIRTY DIAPERS AND FINGER MY CLIT!!!!
[quote]US presidents attend the funerals of heads of state.
Actually, no. They dont.
They don't want to go and Obama doesn't see anything to gain in forcing them to go.
The whole Nixon-Carter-Ford get on a plane for Sadat thing was because Reagan wanted/needed to promote stability in the area, etc.
I'm sure that when this delegation was being put together that they were all offered to go, and they all passed. Michele Bachman is only going because no one else wants to.
R35 I think another factor was Sadat was at the time the head of state and had been assassinated. That is a different circumstance. Note how many heads of state showed up for Kennedy's funeral.
[quote] As horrible as she was, doesn't anyone think it isn't correct that none of the former presidents will be there?
No. Most of them didn't know her and never met her. Bush Sr knew her and he's too ill to attend. Why would Clinton or Carter go? She was a British version of a republican. She left office 20 yrs ago. And let's not forget, she's wasn't exactly Churchill who led his country through WWII.
The British tories are upset that President Obama isn't going and are bitching in all the newspapers today. He never met the woman. Never spoke to her. He had nothing what so ever to do with her.
In case they haven't noticed our country had a terrorist attack. These seriously deluded morons actually expect our President to leave our country at a time like this to go to the funeral of a woman he never met all while their own people are protesting this woman and celebrating in the streets. And they think the U.S President should insert himself into this craziness? I wouldn't be surprised if there was rioting in England. And we all know how successful the British police are at controlling rioting
I didn't know the Tories were complaining, R37. I thought it was a bit weird when it was announced that all four living former presidents were invited. It seems like they were casting a wide net in hopes that one of them would show up and somehow validate her Premiership. Bush I is infirm, Carter is ancient, Bush II is a polarizing figure over the Iraq War who doesn't leave the country much, and Obama has MUCH better things to do than to honor her tarnished legacy. It just cracks me up that Boehner snagged one.
[quote]I'm sure that when this delegation was being put together that they were all offered to go, and they all passed. Michele Bachman is only going because no one else wants to.
That stupid bitch is NOT part of the official delegation that is representing the U.S. at the funeral.
She's tagging along with Boehner who snagged an invite on his own, but the orange man is NOT part of the official U.S. group that is led by George Shultz and James Baker, and including Louis Susman, recently departed ambassador to London and Barbara Stephenson, the current charge d'affaires.
Bachmann is going on Boehner's dime.
Correction: Bachmann is going on our dime, as is Boehner.
Droll that Tories still think she's a hot ticket. She was lucky, had weak opposition, and and created her own downfall.
Her time has long gone, and the B-List at best guest-list shows this: middlebrow plutocrats and celebrated mediocrities.
Publishers and press barons will continue to milk the dead cow, and energise her haters. If her proudest achievement was indeed the fact of Tony Blair, the hate will long continue.
Dubya can't go because he knows if he leaves the USA, he might be arrested as a war criminal.
[quote]These seriously deluded morons actually expect our President to leave our country at a time like this to go to the funeral of a woman he never met all while their own people are protesting this woman and celebrating in the streets. And they think the U.S President should insert himself into this craziness?
I think Americans were shocked and taken aback by the reaction to her death in Britain. She was truly hated by many and has a tarnished legacy. The Brits are not dumb, there would be no Reagan-style whitewash for this classist, racist, homophobic witch.
Carter is in relatively good health and travels all the time, but he probably wouldn't be caught dead within a hundred miles of anything concerning her. Bill and Hill are probably whistling "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" like a lot of British people.
Fun fact: "Ding Dong" was written by the same guy who wrote the great socialist standard "Brother Can You Spare a Dime".
I'm praying that Bachmann keeps referring to Maggie as "The Iron Maiden."
Pres. Carter sent a more impressive delegation to Golda Meir's funeral in 1978: Lillian Carter, Muriel Humphrey, Cyrus Vance, Henry Kissenger, Jacob Javits.
Sections of the British media were speculating Michelle O would lead the US delegation. They got a Michelle alright.
Guess not, R28.
Dick Cheney, former US vice-president and driving force behind the country's invasion of Iraq, is to attend the Thatcher funeral, No 10 has confirmed.
Other high-profile US guests include Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state and the maverick rightwinger Ross Perot. Barack Obama announced on this week that former US secretaries of state George Shultz and James Baker III would lead a US presidential delegation to the ceremony. Louise Susman, the recently departed US ambassador in London, would also attend.
Michelle Bachmann, the ultra-conservative former presidential candidate, will attend with two other Republicans from Congress.
Downing Street indicated on Tuesday that Cheney was attending in a personal capacity, not as an official US representative. Nonetheless, his presence is likely to enrage many. As George W Bush's number two between 2001-2009, Cheney was one of the chief architects of the war in Iraq.
Since leaving office, Cheney has refused to apologise for taking the US to war and has been a relentless critic of Obama's alleged security policy failings. He has defended the use of enhanced interrogation techniques against prisoners.
French diplomats have confirmed that Elisabeth Guigou, the Socialist MP and head of the parliament foreign affairs committee, will represent France at Thatcher's funeral. She was a close adviser to President François Mitterrand during most of the Thatcher years. In the 1990s she held several cabinet posts including minister for European Affairs and justice minister. No serving French minister is expected to attend the funeral.
Downing Street also said that former members of Thatcher's cabinet will attend, including Lord Patten, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Peter Lilley. Several other former MPs will attend, including Lady Boothroyd, Lord Coe, Sir Menzies Campbell and David Trimble.
John Sergeant, the former BBC political correspondent, will also be a guest. It was Sergeant who famously thrust a microphone in Lady Thatcher's face in 1990 when she announced outside the British embassy in Paris that she would contest a second round in the Conservative party leadership contest. Hours later she resigned.
Other guests include the new director-general of the BBC, Tony Hall, the Tory supporter Raymond Monbiot and the civil servant Sir Alex Allen, David Cameron's independent adviser.
Wanted war criminal twofer. Cheney [italic]and[/italic] Kissinger. It looks like the right wing felt a little miffed by the official delegation and threw in the the geriatric U.S. equivalents of Pol Pot. Can you imagine the kind of security these men will need?
And Newt! I wonder if C-SPAN will be broadcasting it. It'll be like watching the red carpet for the ancients
That's some viper pit representing the U.S. If only they would be denied re-entry when they come back.
Dont forget R49, George Shultz and James Baker were knee deep in Iran Contra.
Margaret "There is no such thing as society" Thatcher didn't think much of Hillary "It take a village" Clinton. I assume the feeling was mutual.
Now if only Cheney, Kissinger, Newt and Bachmann all took a private jet together and it crashed into the Atlantic.
The US/GB "special relationship" is not more than 200 years old, r1.
200 years ago we were at war with them for the second time.
[quote]200 years ago we were at war with them for the second time.
That's right. It was that war that began with the midnight ride of Paul Revere who warned the British that the redcoats were coming.
Thatcher went to Reagan's funeral. Very silly to think that Obama would go to hers, though, especially now.
You are correct r57. I had forgotten she had gone. It was made a big deal here.
Sarah, you ignorant slut. You forgot to say that Revere was warning the British that the redcoats wouldn't take their arms.
[quote]Thatcher went to Reagan's funeral. Very silly to think that Obama would go to hers, though, especially now.
In this case, shouldn't Michael Reagan, RR's sole surviving conservative relative (I hesitate to say "son.") attend the funeral to reciprocate in kind?
The US delegation is an embarrassment ... to the British.
The chance for riots is bad enough with the way so many feel about Thatcher. With Cheney going into the mix that's sure to inflame many more people. If he gets caught in a cloud of tear gas, it won't be good for his weak heart.
Gorbachev is giving it a skip too, isn't he?
As expected, Michele Bachmann made a fool of herself... again! A BBC reporter quoted her as saying she wants to be known as "America's Iron Lady."
Did Glenda Jackson attend?
Whatever you think of Thatcher (I think she was vile), Michele Bachmann's quote is absolutely delusional.
Did any Democrats go to the funeral?
[quote]Michele Bachmann's quote is absolutely delusional.
It's wonderful because it's another demonstration of what a whacko she is.
Umpy should have gone to take a shit on the casket
Stupid Bachmann didn't know who Maggie was until she saw the film.