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Affluent Christian Investor | October 18, 2017

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How Margaret Thatcher Put Sexist Socialist President Of France In His Place


I love some of those little personal stories from the truly great leaders which don’t tend to make it into the history books. Reagan and Thatcher had quite a few such moments. Recently Michael Novak, in talking about his memoirs Writing From Left to Right, told me this one about a meeting of leaders of the developed world, hosted in France by Francois Mitterrand, the egotistical, socialist, sexist, and failed President of France, but then I repeat myself.

Michael: “Lady Thatcher, too, I had spent some good time with. Really, really love that woman. When Karen and I were together it was often with Dennis and Margaret. Karen took special efforts to bring Dennis into the conversation and it was just so neat, so amazing to be with people in this relaxed situation. And yet, Lady Thatcher invited me to come to Downing Street and I actually went twice. She was eager to show me Spirit of Democratic Capitalism – the book you mentioned – her copy of it. It was marked up on almost every page with little comments, [and] she wanted to show me that because she said, “You’re not going to believe it, but it is all marked up.” And so it was. But I loved the story she told of [when] she went to her first meeting, the G8 or G9, whatever number it was that year when President Mitterrand was the chairman (it was held in France). And he forgot to introduce her in the formal proceedings, and finally he catches himself 20 minutes in or so and she’s fuming; little black cloud over her head. And he says, “Oh, Madam, I am so sorry, I forgot to introduce to everyone here the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It says that first God created Adam and then He took a rib and He created a helpmate for him, and I’m certain that Madam the Prime Minister will be a helpmate to our deliberations.” There was a huge black cloud over her head.”

Jerry: “A little condescending, isn’t it?”

Michael: “When she finally got her chance to speak, she praised Mr. Mitterrand for his “courtesy” which she said in an ironic voice. [Then] she said, “But I must say, I think we read a different Bible in the United Kingdom. In our Bible it says [that] first God created Adam, then, having learned from his mistakes, he created Eve.” I thought that was just so cool and so neat.”

Jerry: “Did that go over well?”

Michael: “I’m not sure at the table, but in places where you retell it goes over great.”


Article originally published on

Jerry Bowyer is a Forbes contributor, contributing editor of, and Senior Fellow in Business Economics at The Center for Cultural Leadership.

Jerry has compiled an impressive record as a leading thinker in finance and economics. He worked as an auditor and a tax consultant with Arthur Anderson, as Vice President of the Beechwood Company which is the family office associated with Federated Investors, and has consulted in various privatization efforts for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He founded the influential economic think tank, the Allegheny Institute, and has lectured extensively at universities, businesses and civic groups.

Jerry has been a member of three investment committees, among which is Benchmark Financial, Pittsburgh’s largest financial services firm. Jerry had been a regular commentator on Fox Business News and Fox News. He was formerly a CNBC Contributor, has guest-hosted “The Kudlow Report”, and has written for, National Review Online, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many other publications. He is the author of The Bush Boom and more recently The Free Market Capitalist’s Survival Guide, published by HarperCollins. Jerry is the President of Bowyer Research.

Jerry consulted extensively with the Bush White House on matters pertaining to the recent economic crisis. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, The International Herald Tribune and various local newspapers. He has been a contributing editor of National Review Online, The New York Sun and Townhall Magazine. Jerry has hosted daily radio and TV programs and was one of the founding members of WQED’s On-Q Friday Roundtable. He has guest-hosted the Bill Bennett radio program as well as radio programs in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Jerry is the former host of WorldView, a nationally syndicated Sunday-morning political talk show created on the model of Meet The Press. On WorldView, Jerry interviewed distinguished guests including the Vice President, Treasury Secretary, HUD Secretary, former Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice, former Presidential Advisor Carl Rove, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and publisher Steve Forbes.

Jerry has taught social ethics at Ottawa Theological Hall, public policy at Saint Vincent’s College, and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s graduate Heinz School of Public Policy. In 1997 Jerry gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Robert Morris University. He was the youngest speaker in the history of the school, and the school received more requests for transcripts of Jerry’s speech than at any other time in its 120-year history.

Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest five of their seven children.


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