John O’Sullivan, a former senior advisor to Margaret Thatcher, offers a spirited defense of Sarah Palin in today’s Wall Street Journal:
Conservative Snobs Are Wrong About Palin
I know Maggie Thatcher. The two women have a lot in common.
By John O’Sullivan, Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2008
Being listed in fourth place for Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” as Sarah Palin was for 2008, sounds a little like being awarded the Order of Purity (Fourth Class). But it testifies to something important.
Though regularly pronounced sick, dying, dead, cremated and scattered at sea, Mrs. Palin is still amazingly around. She has survived more media assassination attempts than Fidel Castro has survived real ones (Cuban official figure: 638). In her case, one particular method of assassination is especially popular — namely, the desperate assertion that, in addition to her other handicaps, she is “no Margaret Thatcher.”
Very few express this view in a calm or considered manner. Some employ profanity. Most claim to be conservative admirers of Mrs. Thatcher. Others admit they had always disliked the former British prime minister until someone compared her to “Sarracuda” — at which point they suddenly realized Mrs. Thatcher must have been absolutely brilliant (at least by comparison).
Inevitably, Lloyd Bentsen’s famous put-down of Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice-presidential debate is resurrected, such as by Paul Waugh (in the London Evening Standard) and Marie Cocco (in the Washington Post): “Newsflash! Governor, You’re No Maggie Thatcher,” sneered Mr. Waugh. Added Ms. Coco, “now we know Sarah Palin is no Margaret Thatcher — and no Dan Quayle either!”
Jolly, rib-tickling stuff. But, as it happens, I know Margaret Thatcher. Margaret Thatcher is a friend of mine. And as a matter of fact, Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin have a great deal in common.
You can read the full piece here.