Ticket Replay: Sarah Palin and Margaret Thatcher, another 'special relationship' begins
During the holiday season, as in years past, The Ticket is republishing some of our favorite items from the previous political year. This story was originally published on June 14, 2010:
When a Mama Grizzly meets an Iron Lady, you'd expect it to be set against a Godzilla-esque Tokyo skyline, rather than the more genteel surroundings of a London tea house or crumpet shop.
Sarah Palin on Monday said on her Facebook page that she'd "love to" meet with former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher following a weekend report that she'd made plans to visit the U.K. and had contacted Thatcher's people about a possible meet-up.
Thatcher, who is nicknamed the Iron Lady after a 10-year premiership that saw her foster a "special relationship" with the United States and Republican President Reagan during the Cold War, is a natural ally of the Republican former Alaska governor.
The U.K. newspapers say she has accepted Palin's request for a meeting. Palin cited Thatcher's upbringing as a grocer's daughter and rise to govern the U.K. as an inspiration to her.
In a note titled "Concerning a Possible Trip to the United Kingdom," Palin posts:
"Following an article in a British publication on Sunday, I’ve received questions about a possible....
"As I wrote last year when I offered her birthday wishes, Baroness Thatcher’s life and career serve as a blueprint for overcoming the odds and challenging the 'status quo.' She started life as a grocer’s daughter from Grantham and rose to become Prime Minister – all by her own merit and hard work. I cherish her example and will always count her as one of my role models. Her friendship with my other political hero, Ronald Reagan, exemplified the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom."
What the stiff upper-lipped Brits would make of Palin's folksiness remains to be seen. In a Facebook post Sunday advocating drilling along the U.S. coast, she wrote:
"Shoot, I must have lived such a doggoned sheltered life as a normal, independent American up there in the Last Frontier, schooled with only public education and a lowly state university degree, because obviously I haven’t learned enough to dismiss common sense (a prerequisite for power in Washington these days).
"Am I the only one who wonders what could possibly be the agenda of any politician who would thwart our drive toward energy independence? Continuing to lock up America’s domestic energy reserves, including the energy-rich Last Frontier of Alaska, only equips dangerous foreign regimes as they fund terrorist organizations to harm us and our allies. I’m going to keep speaking and writing about this in the simplest of terms until someone can provide a simple answer as to why liberal Democrats don’t understand that we have safe, warehoused onshore and shallow water reserves waiting for permission to be extracted."
Thatcher's powerful oratory saw her firm her grip on power during the U.K.'s conflict with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in the early 1980s, and though the former P.M. is frail at 84, she still commands great respect from the Conservative Party that last month took back power after 13 years in opposition.
Meanwhile, the UK's new leader, David Cameron, is according to the conservative Daily Mail, "trying to defuse an acrimonious confrontation with Mr. Obama over the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico" involving British company BP.
The UK also has Europe's biggest repository of oil in the North Sea, and oil rigs dot its northern shores.
Palin has no need to convince the U.K. of the merits of offshore drilling, and the British press see this as little more than a PR opportunity to showcase Palin's quest to present herself to the electorate as the "next Reagan."
Could another special relationship be too far from materializing?
-- Craig Howie
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Photo: Associated Press (Reagan and Thatcher, file); Associated Press.