Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling

The Comparison
Former lawyer Tzipi Livni is poised to become Israel's next prime minister, which would make her the first woman to hold the post since Golda Meir. But critics (including influential Labor Party head Ehud Barak) say she lacks the necessary experience to lead. Livni's camp is crying sexism—sound familiar, Sarah Palin?

Why It Works
Like Palin, Livni is considered a newcomer to national politics, and both women see themselves as maverick corruption busters (Livni has been called "Mrs. Clean"). Both are also attractive—a fact that has led certain commentators to unfairly dismiss them as "the prettiest girl in kindergarten" (Livni) and "a ditzy cheerleader" (Palin).

Why It Doesn ' t
Livni has been in politics for less than a decade, but she's hardly green—she has been Israel's foreign minister since 2006 and has played a crucial role in negotiating with the Palestinians. That's a much heftier résumé than Palin, who has spent less than two years heading a state with one tenth the population of Israel.

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