Opinion Brief

Is Sarah Palin America's Margaret Thatcher?

Palin apparently hopes to style herself as the British conservative heroine's political heir, says Clair Berlinski in the Guardian, but to pull it off she'll have to hit the books

It's hardly surprising that Sarah Palin wants to meet Margaret Thatcher, says Claire Berlinski in Britain's Guardian. Visiting Britain's conservative icon and former prime minister has become a "traditional rite among Republican presidential aspirants — Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Mitt Romney all pitched up on her doorstep in 2008." And Palin has a "more obvious claim" than any of those guys to be Thatcher's political heir. "She's an attractive woman from Nowhere Fancy, just as Thatcher was, and snobs deplore her for it, just as they deplored Thatcher." But Thatcher also had a hard-earned and "disciplined command of arguments, facts, and statistics" that enabled her to dominate hostile journalists. If Palin hopes to "style herself as the second coming" of the "Iron Lady," she'd better start doing her homework. Here, an excerpt:

"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."

Read the full article at the Guardian.

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