In 2008, Sarah Palin Had No Idea Who Her ‘Political Heroine’ Margaret Thatcher Was

A new Vanity Fair profile reveals some new information about former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Like this:

Early in the 2008 campaign, when John McCain’s aides discovered that Alaska-size gaps existed in Palin’s general knowledge (among those previously unreported: she had no idea who Margaret Thatcher was), they from time to time would give her some books to read in hopes of improving the candidate’s learning curve.

This is interesting, as Palin wrote on her Facebook page in June 2010:

I have received an invitation for a visit to London, and part of that invitation included the offer of arranging a meeting between myself and one of my political heroines, the “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher. I would love to meet her and hope I’ll be able to arrange the trip in the future.


As I wrote last year when I offered her birthday wishes, Baroness Thatcher’s life and career serve as a blueprint for overcoming the odds and challenging the ‘status quo.’ She started life as a grocer’s daughter from Grantham and rose to become Prime Minister — all by her own merit and hard work. I cherish her example and will always count her as one of my role models. Her friendship with my other political hero, Ronald Reagan, exemplified the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Perhaps Palin subsequently learned who Thatcher was from one of the books the McCain campaign gave her to read. Or perhaps the latest post was a bit of artistic license by Rebecca Mansour, the 36-year-old former screenwriter who Vanity Fair reports was hired in 2009 to ghostwrite Palin’s Facebook page.


In her new book, Meghan McCain calls Palin “the Time Bomb.” She writes, “From the minute Sarah arrived the campaign began splitting apart. And rather than joining us, and our campaign, she seemed only to begin her own. … There was a fine line between genius and insanity, they say, and choosing her as the running mate was starting to seem like the definition of that line.”