Sarah Palin: Thatcher’s second coming?

Can Sarah Palin style herself as Thatcher's second coming?

By Claire Berlinski

Both attractive women from Nowhere Fancy exploited their femininity. But only one could command an interview.
Visiting Margaret Thatcher is a traditional rite among Republican presidential aspirants – Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney all pitched up on her doorstep in 2008. But Sarah Palin, who announced on her Facebook site this week that she hopes to secure a meeting with "one of my political heroines, the 'Iron Lady'," has a more obvious claim to be Thatcher's heir. She's an attractive woman from Nowhere Fancy, just as Thatcher was, and snobs deplore her for it, just as they deplored Thatcher.

That said, if Palin hopes to style herself as the second coming she has a few things to learn. She might wish to study Thatcher's disciplined command of arguments, facts and statistics, for instance. By the time Thatcher was elected, she'd enjoyed a 20-year parliamentary career. Her clearly expressed views – clearly expressed, I stress – about every crisis, problem and debate of concern to Britain were a matter of public record. Palin has neither said nor written a line so far that would allow anyone reasonably to conclude that her opinions about economic and foreign policy are as cogent and informed as Thatcher's. *No one (not me, anyway) can argue with her conservative instincts, but to compare her ability to express them with Thatcher's would be ludicrous.

This ability allowed Thatcher to dominate in unscripted interviews. When interrogated by hostile journalists she left them speechless and stuttering. She regularly ate Neil Kinnock for lunch during prime minister's questions. Her eidetic command of inflation statistics verged on the weird, suggesting the obsessive aspect of men who routinely memorise train schedules.

Above all, she was always prepared. You will never find an example of Thatcher caught short in the way Palin was by CBS anchor Katie Couric, talking about Republican presidential runner John McCain's stance on regulation.

Couric: "Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?"
Palin: "I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today."

Couric: "I'm just going to ask you one more time – not to belabour the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation."
Palin: "I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you."

Thatcher did not wing it.

* Why is it that no one will argue about Palin's non existent conservative credentials or her actual record?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Syrin from Wasilla
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 14:01:00

    Sarah Palin, who announced on her Facebook site this week that she hopes to secure a meeting
    How can that happen? Who's in charge, anyway? Oh well, it appears that even Maggie Thatcher will be marginalized by this association with Palin..


  2. sjohnson
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 15:11:00

    Thatcher's caretakers must be greedy for money to even consider using her in this way. Furthermore, using someone who is suffering from advanced dementia to further your own political aspirations shows a coarseness and heartlessness that only a person with no soul would consider. This is nothing short of a sick arrangement. What kind of people would use Margaret Thatcher in this way. Disgusting.


  3. jo
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 23:48:00

    The Paylins would use her that's who. She doesn't care that this poor old women is ill anymore than she cares about the old people who believe her lie that they will be put to death. She maybe sorry someday that her reward of money, clothes, private jets, etc. was on earth by ill-gotten gains. She sold her soul, she has a black heart, I hope and pray there will be justice and she will pay someday soon. Taking advantage of elderly and simple minded people is as low as you can get. She still won't be qualified for public office, repeating the right wing lie of the day on facebook or cluster fox news doesn't count either.


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