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Maggie woos the top Americans
Tory Leader Margaret Thatcher wowed America's political leaders when she visited Washington yesterday.
President Ford, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and members of both Houses of Congress vied with each other to shower praise on the 49-year-old Opposition leader.
President Ford, in an easy-going meeting at the White House's Oval Office, congratulated her on being the first woman head of a major British political party.
He told her: “It was fascinating to see how your situation developed.”
Mrs Thatcher laughed, and agreed: “It was like a serial.”
Earlier, Mrs Thatcher discussed international events with Dr Kissinger over breakfast at the State Department.
A top State Department aide said Kissinger was impressed with his guest's grasp of world affairs.
After her meetings with Ford and Kissinger, Mrs Thatcher had a hectic morning of engagements, including visits to the Senate and House of Representatives and lunch with influential Senators.
And Mrs Thatcher, described by a newspaper after her visit to New York as “a flower among thorns,” charmed the Congressmen, too.
One said: “Mrs Thatcher fits the image we in America have of the English people.”
Another passed a note to British Ambassador Sir Peter Ramsbotham, saying: “If it doesn't work out for her there, politically, we could use her here.”