A former aide and confidant of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tells Newsmax that if she were advising the GOP today, she would urge Republicans to “not go wobbly.”
John O’Sullivan was referring to Mrs. Thatcher’s famous quote to President George H.W. Bush: “Don’t go wobbly on me, George,” just before the Gulf War, urging him to remain firm in the resolve to oust Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
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O’Sullivan served as a special adviser and speechwriter for Thatcher. He is now editor-at-large for National Review and author of the book “The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister.”
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, O’Sullivan was asked what advice Thatcher would give Republicans about how to deal with President Obama and how the GOP should move forward.
“She would say, ‘Don’t go wobbly.’ And by that, I mean they shouldn’t panic in the face of a defeat,” he says.
“The defeat was a serious one but it wasn’t a landslide and the victory the president got was partly the result of Democrats’ hard work and effort. They fought a good campaign.
“You shouldn’t forget the Democrats. It wasn’t just that the Republicans lost, the Democrats also won. Will they win next time? Well, the thing about both military and political victories is, generally speaking, it’s the losers who learn the lessons most seriously because they have to. The victory makes people complacent.
“At the moment, the things you’re hearing from Nancy Pelosi and others, they think that they’re back in power forever. But Nancy Pelosi isn’t even leader of the House in which she’s a member.
“So keep your nerve. Get a good organization. Revive the party in places like California where it’s virtually dead. And that requires hard work which may not pay off for two or three election cycles. But if you don’t have people in places like California, the Democrats can just regard them as votes in the bank and can concentrate all of their spending and fighting elsewhere.”
O’Sullivan remains very close to former Prime Minister Thatcher. Asked how she is doing these days, he responds: “Lady Thatcher is, obviously, getting older. She’s 87. Like all people getting older, she suffers from some of the problems of old age.
“I saw the film about her,” O’Sullivan says, referring to the 2011 movie “The Iron Lady” with Meryl Streep playing Thatcher.
“In one respect, the Meryl Streep performance was quite uncanny. And of course, as the young Margaret Thatcher, the middle-aged leader of the party, she was brilliant.
“Lady Thatcher is not, however, suffering hallucinations. She goes out to dinner, she leads a normal life. It’s quieter than it used to be but nonetheless she’s still in good health.
“Yes, she’s going to forget things occasionally, but then I’m afraid that’s the future that awaits all of us.”
See this other exclusive excerpt from the Newsmax interview with John O'Sullivan, editor-at-large for National Review:
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