Last week, as the BBC invited listeners to an on-air debate over whether or not the somewhat ailing though very much alive Margaret Thatcher deserves a state funeral, Sarah Palin celebrated the Iron Lady's 85th birthday in a more refined manner: a Facebook message.
This was the second consecutive year Palin commemorated Tinknickers' special day, bookending a report this summer that the former governor and former prime minister would meet in Britain. Meanwhile, the Conservatives had just won their first general election in nearly two decades, and Palin seemed ambivalent about meeting the current PM, David Cameron. The Daily Mail quoted a person involved with setting up the Down Jackets-to-Downing Street summit: '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.'
Neither meeting ever took place, perhaps best explained by today's Jonathan Martin story of how a global celebrity runs her operation via one aide and a Blackberry. The report also displays Palin's general indifference toward the leaders of today's Republican Party, leaving candidates dangling for days or weeks; and yet she finds the time to celebrate the milestones of yesteryear icons like Reagan and Thatcher. It shows a desire to occupy some grand podium in history, but an unwillingness to earn it.
Posturing itself is not enough. One only needs a look to Britain to understand that. For while political observers have speculated that a consensus-seeking Tory leader like David Cameron is too wobbly to live up to his party's Thatcherite legacy, he's making the most sweeping cuts that country has seen since, well, Margaret Thatcher.