Tears of a Lady

I can recall two occasions when Lady (then Mrs.) Thatcher was seen to cry in her prime ministership. The first was when her son Mark was missing in Africa on a car rally. He subsequently turned up unharmed. But while making a public appearance when his fate was unknown, Mrs. T briefly teared up and for a moment could not continue.

The second occasion was when she left Downing Street for the last time as Prime Minister following her defenestration by the Tories. She held her compusure until she got into the car but then teared up. (There’s a famous photograph of this.) I never observed Mrs. Thatcher break down over any political matter. But I have seen her carry out many acts of kindness towards those around her, whether Ministers, Mandarins or serving people, when they were in trouble of any kind. She was a very kind and thoughtful boss.

This may disappoint some Corner readers (and writers), but I don’t think she would necessarily share their cynical interpretation of Hillary’s tears. She knows the pressures of political life and her first instinct would probably be to sympathize with Hillary. Her second instinct, however, might be to wonder regretfully if Hillary was up to the greater pressures of the presidency.

But she would never say: “If you can’t stand the heat, get back to the kitchen.” That would be wrong.

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