I once mentioned to an American buddy of mine that I thought Hillary Clinton was the US version of Margaret Thatcher. He almost had a coronary. Needless to say he is quite a conservative fellow and fan of Thatcher. Once he’d picked himself up off the floor I was able to explain myself. These are the bullets

Not popular in the UK

Not popular in the US

1) Both are strong woman who bring out the worst in people
2) In the US, Thatcher is thought of quite fondly. In the UK many people cannot stand her or her legacy
3) In the UK, Hillary Clinton is thought of quite fondly. In the US many people cannot stand her or her legacy
4) Thatcher was thought of as strident and shrill by many. Ditto for Clinton
5) Both have pushed unpopular (to some) policies that that seem to strike at the heart of the establishment. Think health care in the US and public ownership of companies in the UK

I rattled off just five points there. There was no doubt that Thatcher was easy pickings for the press because of her sex. They focused on her dress sense, voice etc. Ditto for Hillary. This would not likely happen to a male. Unless of course he was unusually scruffy. Or permanently tanned like Speaker Boehner. The main point though is that neither one is particularly popular at home, but that despite everything they felt they had something to offer. Hillary certainly isn’t running because she needs the money. Why put up for that pain and agony if you didn’t feel you had something to prove and something to add to the dialogue in the country? I do find it interesting when I mention Thatcher and Clinton to my conservative friends, they really cannot see the similarities, nor the fact that Thatcher is not popular in the UK. It just goes to show preconceived notions can blinker ones view of the world.

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