Monday, June 14, 2010

Palin to seek Thatcher blessing


Britain's Daily Mail is reporting that Sarah Palin may be heading across the pond for a meeting with Margaret Thatcher:

Controversial US politician Sarah Palin could soon be on her way to Britain to boost her hopes of challenging Barack Obama in the 2012 US presidential election.

Her representatives approached Margaret Thatcher to ask for a meeting as part of a bid to enhance her claim to be the "heir to Ronald Reagan" and prepare to challenge Mr Obama.

And Lady Thatcher has agreed to see Mrs Palin, who stood as the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008. A spokesman said: "We had an informal approach asking if Lady Thatcher would meet Mrs Palin if she comes to Britain and we said yes."

As if Palin is anything like Thatcher -- for more on the two, see my piece at The Guardian from last year -- but perhaps, if nothing else, the Iron Lady can turn the not-even-one-term ex-governor Hockey Mom on to the delights of befriending Latin American dictators.

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Here's the most amusing bit in the article:

Any trip by Mrs Palin to Britain could cause potential problems for David Cameron.

Embarrassingly, Mrs Palin's team have not contacted No 10 so far.

One individual involved in the talks about the visit said: "Palin's people haven't said anything about meeting Cameron. Their main interest is getting a picture of her with Lady Thatcher. I'm not sure they know who David Cameron is."

It would also pose a delicate diplomatic protocol dilemma for the Prime Minister, who is trying to defuse an acrimonious confrontation with Mr Obama over the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Outspoken Mrs Palin has launched a series of savage personal attacks on the US President.

Mr Cameron would have to decide whether to pose for photographs with her on the steps of No 10, invite her in through the back door – or meet her elsewhere more discreetly.

It could also cause difficulties within the coalition Government. While many Right-wing Tory MPs admire Mrs Palin, many Liberal Democrat MPs regard her as dangerous and irresponsible. 

Palin showing up for a photo-op outside #10 would be an embarrassment for Britain, not just for Cameron, and Clegg et al. would be right to protest. And while it's probably true that Palin's people haven't got a clue who Cameron is, and that Palin herself doesn't either, it's somewhat amusing to think of the new PM letting her in "through the back door," given how much credibility he would lose (with everyone in the country other than right-wing Conservatives) just being seen with her in public. As for a more discreet meeting place, well, the imagination reels.

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