@ UK People: What did you think of Thatcher?
My intuition is that many readers here might have some sort of bubbling disdain for the woman, but as an American looking on from afar (through old youtube clips) she seemed much more impressive than anything we have here by a country mile.
She came across as incredibly bright, and able to handle herself against all comers when it came to debating ideas. Maybe that skill is just greater in the UK because of the way the PM has to go before Parliament and field questions and challenges, but can you imagine Bush handling this stuff this well?
Or Obama for that matter?
That kind of enthusiastic defense of ideas just does not seem to be in the tool set of American politicians. We get figures like Sarah Palin, who comes across as having just as much conviction as a Thatcher, but nowhere NEAR the levels of depth and understanding to back those beliefs/assertions up.
One of my favorite reactions to a Palin/Thatcher comparison came from Claire Berlinski who appeared awhile back on Uncommon Knowledge (a sort of more conservative Charlie Rose style program)
The host, Peter Robinson tried to make a comparison and... well watch her reaction:
When I saw that I was like DAMN !!!!!!!
She came down against that comparison HARD, and I agreed with it, even if you hated Thatcher, she did not come across as a lightweight.
But I've probably given away too many of my own impressions and desires for some of that capacity for the US, what do you UK people think?