Both the U.S. and Great Britain entered the 1980s battling malaise and sluggish economies. So when Ronald Reagan declared on his Inauguration Day in 1981 that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem," it was a political aphrodisiac for the then newly installed British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. The Iron Lady had found her American Romeo with an equal lust for austerity and deregulation. The two were also of the same mind when it came to the Soviet Union, describing the crumbling giant in black-and-white terms as an "evil empire." When Thatcher's term outlasted Reagan's, she grew concerned that the next occupant of the Oval Office wouldn't share the same resolve. As the allies wavered over how best to deal with an aggressive Saddam Hussein in 1990, Thatcher reportedly warned the first President Bush, "Don't go wobbly on me, George."
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