Breaking: Margaret Thatcher passes away; Update: Obama issues statement

Margaret Thatcher, the legendary Iron Lady of the United Kingdom, has passed away after suffering a stroke.  So far, CNN only has a banner headline carrying the announcement from her spokewoman, but more will undoubtedly be coming.


Update: CNN has its news report live now:

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died Monday following a stroke, her spokeswoman confirmed.

Britain’s only female prime minister, Thatcher served from 1979 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the “Iron Lady” for her personal and political toughness.

ABC News has more:

Margaret Thatcher, the first woman ever to serve as prime minister ofGreat Britain and the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century has died at age 87.

“It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning,” Lord Timothy Bell said today. “A further statement will be made later.” …

Many considered her Britain’s Ronald Reagan. In fact, Reagan and Thatcher were political soul mates. Reagan called her the “best man in England” and she called him “the second most important man in my life.” The two shared a hatred of communism and a passion for small government. What America knew as “Reaganomics” is still called “Thatcherism” in Britain.

Like Reagan, Thatcher was an outsider in the old boys’ club. Just as it was unlikely for an actor to lead the Republicans, the party of Lincoln, it was unthinkable that a grocer’s daughter could lead the Conservatives, the party of Churchill and William Pitt — that is, until Thatcher. She led the Conservatives from 1975 to 1990, the only woman ever to do so.


ABC also includes this archive video from her election victory, featuring the late anchorman Frank Reynolds:

Thatcher was the last living member of the triumvirate, along with Reagan and Pope John Paul II, that forced the Soviet Union into collapse.  Jonah Goldberg offers this tribute:

Would that were true here on Earth. Godspeed, Mrs. Thatcher, and thank you.

[more to come]

Update (AP): By popular demand, here’s Thatcher’s eulogy for Reagan.

Update (AP): Via Conn Carroll, another Thatcher classic:

Update (AP): Expect barrels-full of vitriol in social media today, needless to say. George Galloway gets started bright and early.

Update (AP): The White House grits its teeth and salutes an ideological opponent:

“With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend,” he said.

“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.

“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.

Obama added: “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.”


Meanwhile, it’s come to this:

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