Eva Peron at the Casa Rosada Expired copyright, source unknown.
One was known for her mastery of statistics and facts, the other for her combativeness and passion. One was the "Iron Lady", the other the symbol of her nation at a time when it was losing itself. One rose at a time of practical problems, declining economies, overweened labor unions and eminent possible wars (one of which could not in the end be prevented) with Argentina (sic) and the USSR. The other at a time when her nation, let alone its practical issues, didn't even know who it was any more. So why do we always compare Palin to the wrong great leader?
Thatcher is one of my heroes, and indeed, she is the hero of many. So is Evita. They are totally different people, and when one considers who these great leaders really were, one realizes who really is the model for Palin.
Let's think about what Palin has done well: she put fear in to lawless oil companies sufficient to get them to actually keep their contracts with Alaska, she cleaned house in Juneau of great corruption (something that, in many places like Chicago, never occurs) in a very short amount of time, she inspires people even now with her life story and the very kind of person she is, and it is through her EMOTIONAL actions, her pointing to values, illustrating grotesqueness of character and thought rather then particular points of policy, that she takes power to the degree she does. Palin is all heart, and all America. She would not govern by bullet points and statistics - higher values suit her better. And just as the European elegance of Evita suited Argentina at a terrifying moment of decline, Palins rugged indivdiualism, honor, antielite anger and religious fervor represent America at a time when, for every reason imaginable, America is losing its very identity.
The fact that Evita was on the left-wing while Thatcher was on the right probably doesn't help, but nonetheless, the most talented political citizen of the United States today has much to offer, and it's not exceptionally like Thatcher.