Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Iron Lady and a Petty President

Protocol: President Obama declined to send a high-level delegation to Wednesday's funeral of Britain's Margaret Thatcher. It's a measure of how little he values the special relationship — and a sign of his own smallness.

Back in more gracious times, vice presidents routinely attended funerals of foreign dignitaries. As such, the presence of Vice President Joe Biden — if not Obama himself — would seem fitting for as significant a U.S. ally as the late Prime Minister Thatcher, if not out of warmth of feeling, then simply to represent the U.S.' gratitude. Thatcher's uncompromising friendship with the U.S. helped to set off a free-market revolution, end the Cold War, and left the U.S. and U.K. the standard-bearers for freedom in the world — the very basis of the power Obama now enjoys.

But appallingly, not even Biden could be spared for the funeral of the most consequential British prime minister since Winston Churchill.

On Tuesday, the White House announced that gun control was a more pressing issue, so there'll be no high-level representation from the Obama administration at the funeral that will be attended by Queen Elizabeth.

Instead, an ex-ambassador, an embassy charge d'affaires and two respected former Secretaries of State from decades past will represent us.

That's a lower-level delegation than the one he sent to Caracas for the funeral of Venezuela's anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez last month, which saw a sitting congressman there to represent the U.S.

This snub shows Obama places partisan politics above leadership or statecraft.

Do read the rest of this Investor's Business Daily editorial, "Obama's Official Snub Of Thatcher Funeral Shows How Small He Is."