Leadership by Geoff Colvin

How Michele Bachmann tries to be Margaret Thatcher

January 3, 2012: 1:15 PM ET

Michele Bachmann appears destined for a single-digit portion of the votes in today's Iowa caucus, but low Presidential poll numbers are not stopping her from comparing herself to Margaret Thatcher. In a final plea to Iowa voters, she said, "We need to have someone who's going to campaign and govern in the image of a Ronald Reagan and a Margaret Thatcher."

Bachmann is no Ronald Reagan. But after Mary Civiello wrote a Guest Post assessing how Thatcher--as played by Meryl Streep in Iron Lady--lowered her voice tone to win audiences, I asked Civiello, a media and presentation coach, if Bachmann sounds anything like the former British leader she aspires to emulate. Referring to Bachmann as MB and Thatcher as MT, Civiello replies:

Michele would benefit from a little voice work, especially when she raises her volume.

Her voice doesn't hang in the screechy octaves that Thatcher's did in her earlier years, but she really has to watch it!

Visually, MB and MT are remarkably similar in style, gestures and eye contact, now that MB has figured out where the camera is.

Verbally, MB is very similar to MT in her staccato--the way she punches out a point and pauses.

See for yourself--Bachmann in Des Moines, explaining that she wants to be "America's Iron Lady":

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Pattie Sellers
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Pattie Sellers has written more than 20 Fortune cover stories including "Marissa Mayer: Ready to Rumble at Yahoo," "Muhtar Kent's New Coke," "Oprah's Next Act", "The $100 Billion Woman" (Melinda Gates), and "Gone with the Wind" (Ted Turner). She co-founded Fortune Most Powerful Women and oversees the Fortune MPW Summit, the preeminent gathering of women leaders in business and beyond—and programs such as Fortune MPW Entrepreneurs and the Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership. Pattie also develops Live Content across Time Inc. Her blog, Postcards, is about how power players lead and navigate their careers. Pattie won Time Inc.'s prestigious MVP award for her performance in 2012.

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