This Could Be America’s Iron Lady - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
This Could Be America’s Iron Lady

For more than 25 years, Republicans have been looking for the next Ronald Reagan. After last week’s debate at the Reagan Library, Republicans might have instead found our Margaret Thatcher.

Consider what syndicated columnist Cal Thomas wrote about Fiorina in a profile of her back in April:

Fiorina is impressive. Whether she can win the nomination, or perhaps the number two spot (which she refuses to talk about) we’ll know soon enough. But watch her in the coming debates and see if you don’t notice a little Margaret Thatcher in her. Like Thatcher, Fiorina is tough and smart.

Thomas’s words proved to be prophetic. Carly Fiorina stood out on that debate stage much like Thatcher stood out among Britain’s Tories when she wrested the leadership of the Conservative Party from Edward Heath forty years ago. In so doing, she proved that her performance at last month’s GOP under-card debate was no fluke. She put the Republican Party and America on notice by turning in a performance that was assertive, bold, and confident.

Of course, the most memorable moment of that three hour plus debate was Fiorina’s response to Donald Trump’s now infamous comments about her face. She looked at him directly and said, “Mr. Trump said that he heard Mr. Bush very clearly in what Mr. Bush said. I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” She then turned away from him and stared at the camera with ice in her eyes. At that moment, she put a dagger through what was left of his heart. All Trump could do was to say, “I think she has a beautiful face, and I think she’s a beautiful woman.” He said it as if he was a petulant child who had been scolded by his mother, but Fiorina was having none of it. Fiorina didn’t send Trump to bed without his supper, but she gave him a very cold plate.

Yet Fiorina shone plenty throughout debate despite Jake Tapper’s repeated efforts to ignore her when she wanted to speak. While all Republican candidates have spoken out against the Planned Parenthood videos, Fiorina invoked them to throw down the gauntlet to President Obama and Hillary Clinton. “Anyone who has watched this video tape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, to watch these tapes,” said Fiorina, “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” The mainstream media immediately challenged the veracity of her statement. But with those two sentences, Fiorina forced the mainstream media to cover a story they have been ignoring for months.

When the candidates were asked which woman they would put on the $10 bill, some candidates named Rosa Parks, others picked their wives or mothers while Jeb Bush even picked Thatcher. But Fiorina said things should be left alone. “I wouldn’t change the $10 bill or the $20 bill. I think, honestly, it’s a gesture,” she stated, “I don’t think it helps to change our history.” Fair or not, Fiorina is probably the only candidate in the Republican field who could have got away with that answer. Fiorina went to say that women comprised a majority in this country and that they ought not be treated as a special interest group. It is Hillary Clinton who asks, “Don’t you want to see a woman President?” If Hillary Clinton seeks to be a woman President, Carly Fiorina would be a President who happens to be a woman.

The same could be said for Maggie Thatcher. When people speak or write of Thatcher, be it positive or negative, the discussion turns to the Falkland Islands War, the crushing of the National Union of Mineworkers or privatization. Seldom mentioned is Thatcher’s gender. If Fiorina is elected President, it won’t be because she’s a woman.

In light of Scott Walker’s abrupt departure from the GOP race, I am now open to considering other candidates. Fiorina has thus far made the strongest impression, with Marco Rubio coming a close second. Of course, there is a long way to go in the GOP primary season, much less to November 2016. Now that Fiorina is climbing in the polls, she will be subject to greater scrutiny, particularly her controversial tenure at Hewlett-Packard. It remains to be seen how she will handle this greater scrutiny when she is likely to become the prime target during the next GOP debate in late October.

Margaret Thatcher led the Tories to three election victories and spent more than a decade at 10 Downing Street. It very much remains to be seen if Fiorina will be moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and until she does, the Thatcher comparison won’t begin to apply. But if Cal Thomas is right and Carly Fiorina has even a little bit of Margaret Thatcher in her, it could take her a very long way.

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