Us ’n’ Them

At the beginning of today’s Impromptus, I mention what ought to be a notorious Obama ad: his ad that ended with the words “Mitt Romney. Not one of us.”

Nixon used to talk that way: “Is he one of us?” But he talked that way in private, not in public, and certainly not in campaign ads. When he said “one of us,” he meant a conservative, on the team. What Obama means . . . well, you’re welcome to your own guesses.

(Of course, the idea that Nixon was a conservative will be anathema to many readers, but that’s a topic for another day.)

I was discussing this with Daniel Hannan, the British writer and politician, on the recent NR cruise. He said that Thatcher, too, used “one of us” – used it in the same way Nixon did.

There is a biography of Nixon called One of Us. There is a biography of Thatcher called One of Us. Interestingly (I think), they were both written by hostiles. The Nixon book is by Tom Wicker, the late New York Times columnist. And the Thatcher book is by Hugo Young, the late Guardianista.

Hannan told the story about the time Thatcher’s staff wanted her to make use of Monty Python in a speech. She had never heard of this troupe, apparently, and was skeptical of what she was being asked to say.

Just before she went on, she turned to an aide and said, “This Monty Python: Are you sure he’s one of us?”

Perhaps we can get our John O’Sullivan, an original Thatcherite, present with the great lady, to give us the full story.

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