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Opening Arguments

No Maggie, she

This is one of the stupidest things you'll read all week:

Who thought that in stuffy old England in the 1980s a woman could act like a man and thrive, but here in the New World, Hillary Clinton still has to watch her p’s and q’s in 2013? Margaret Thatcher didn’t change a hair, hedge a bet or trim a sail. She never had to be told to lean in because she never leaned back. She was certain, opinionated and strident to the point of, yes, shrillness. Listen to her on gay rights: It’s fingernails on a chalkboard.

In the U.S., three decades after Thatcher, a woman still has to back into her positions. Watch Hillary come out for same- sex marriage in a well-rehearsed video -- after it was entirely safe. (Every Democratic senator but three politically vulnerable residents of red states has done so.) After leaving her post as secretary of state, she lay low, got some rest and cleaned out her closets. When she re-emerged, she did so at soft-focus women’s events and at her husband’s philanthropy, the Clinton Global Initiative.

If there is one thing Clinton has learned through 40 years or so of feminine ambition, it is to be less Thatcher and more Ginger Rogers: Do everything a man does but backward and in high heels, as Ann Richards memorably phrased it. (What’s more, do it with a smile so ingratiating that it’s practically an apology.)

Hillary Clinton is not a product of the times or the culture. She is who she is. It is beyond absurd to claim that women have to be Ginger Rogers to get ahead politically in this country -- there are so many examples to the contrary that it's not worth a second's consideration. Margaret Thatcher forced people to take sides for or against her -- she was, yes, "opinionated and strident," but I might call it "principled" and "firm." She had core values that she never deviated from. I'm not sure what Clinton's core values are or even if she has them. The writer says "coyness ins't in Clinton's nature" but it is in ours, so that's why she has to dance around tough issues with less that clear, direct answers. What absolute rubbish.