Washington reacted swiftly to the passing of President Reagan’s close friend and ally during the Cold War, with President Obama calling former Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher “one of the great champions of freedom and liberty” and a “true friend” to the United States.
“As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered,” Obama said in a bit of a nod to his “war on women” narrative.
“As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise,” he continued.
“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.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called Thatcher “the greatest peacetime prime minister in British history.”
The Iron Lady, Boehner said, “stared down elites, union bosses, and communists to win three consecutive elections, establish conservative principles in Western Europe, and bring down the Iron Curtain.”
“There was no secret to her values – hard work and personal responsibility – and no nonsense at all in her leadership. She once said, ‘Defeat? I do not recognize the meaning of the word,'” he said. “Now this lady who was never for turning goes to rest as grateful friends and allies around the world mourn her passing and pray for her loved ones.”
“Undaunted by the tremendous personal and political obstacles that stood in her path at nearly every turn, including an attempt on her life, Thatcher reshaped Britain from the state of economic and social turmoil in which she found it to a place of opportunity and promise during three terms in office,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “She boldly reasserted her nation’s strength in foreign affairs, and she became an iconic symbol of the transformative power of conservative ideas.”
“A towering figure of 20th century politics and an inspiration to millions around the globe, Margaret Thatcher set a standard of leadership that will be hard to replicate, but which will forever stand as a model for those who wish to change society for the better,” he added.
“The Iron Lady’s legacy of unflinching boldness in confronting economic doldrums at home and pervasive communism abroad stands as a gold standard for all elected leaders seeking the political courage to make difficult decisions,” said Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).