The video: In a last-ditch effort to salvage her showing in Iowa, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has been comparing herself to Margaret Thatcher, Britain's formidably conservative former prime minister and the subject of The Iron Lady, a current biopic starring Meryl Streep. A new TV ad calls Bachmann "America's Iron Lady" with a "Titanium Spine" and features a picture of Thatcher inset in a shot of the Minnesota congresswoman. The 30-second spot, set to run 14 times over the next two days on a local NBC station in Iowa, is Bachmann's first TV commercial in the state since she won the straw poll there in August. She's since fallen to sixth place in the Iowa polls. Will the comparison do anything to help her flailing campaign?
The reaction: This "marks the congresswoman's closest flirtation with gender politics" yet, says Kevin Diaz at the Star Tribune. While Bachmann's slide in the polls may have "more to do with her frequent misstatements and the appearance of turmoil within her campaign staff than her gender… there's little question that women seeking high office still face subtle gender stereotypes." It seems her team is trying to "grab some steam off the new Thatcher biopic out in theaters," says Jon Bershad at Mediaite. But she'd be wiser to "start growing a mohawk and declare herself "America’s Lisbeth Salander" if she really wants to co-opt cinematic buzz. Jokes aside, this "is likely too little, too late," says Rachel Weiner at The Washington Post. "The woman who won the Ames Straw Poll in August is now polling at 7 percent, sixth place." Check out the spot for yourself: