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Embattled Religious Freedom Envoy the New `Iron Lady'

The Obama administration's embattled nominee for religious freedom ambassador is comparing herself to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as she tries for a second time to land

the post.

"They called Margaret Thatcher the `iron lady,"' the Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook said Tuesday in an address to a dinner of religious liberty advocates. "Change the name. It's mine now."

Cook was nominated for the post last June but her nomination stalled and expired in December. President Obama renominated her in February after critics complained the longtime vacancy reflected a low priority for the issue.

Critics, including some on Capitol Hill, have questioned whether the retired New York City pastor lacks enough direct experience to help guide policy on an issue that's at the heart of numerous international conflicts.

"This will go down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest nomination," she said. "But we thank God to just be in the number."

Cook was introduced by the legislative affairs ...

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