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To Republicans, Margaret Thatcher was first conservative-as-insurgent

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Thatcher’s place in political history aside Mr. Reagan is also a source of her influence. The indelible victories of Reagan lore – from foreign-policy triumphs like the fall of the Berlin Wall and victory in the cold war to rolling back government control of industry at home – are achievements shared by both figures.

“She was the British version of Ronald Reagan,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) of Tennessee in a statement, “or perhaps he was the American version of her.”

Thatcher’s resonance with the contemporary GOP is also related to her dedicated appreciation for America and its global power. As Mr. Bromund points out, in a “world that isn’t overpopulated with foreign leaders who are both successful ... and also vocally pro-American,” it is just that attitude that continues to set Thatcher apart.

“She was never afraid to say she liked the United States, and lots of foreign leaders are very free with their criticisms of the United States,” says Bromund. “Margaret Thatcher said some critical things, too, but it was always obvious that it came from the perspective of a friend and a supporter.”

While her domestic pursuit of free-market economic policies inspires the tea party, her support of a robust, sometimes interventionist foreign policy continues to reverberate with the more hawkish wing of the GOP.

"Margaret Thatcher was one of the great role models in the history of the conservative movement,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina, a leading defense hawk, in a statement. “Her foreign policy was clear eyed and firm. She, along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II stood up to Communism, the great evil of their time, with an uncompromising conviction.”

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