If America's First Lady-elect, Michelle Obama, is looking for a role model, she is hardly likely to choose Cherie Blair, whom the British media cast in the role of Cruella de Vil for much of the past decade.
But Mrs Obama could do much worse. The two women have several points in common: both have combined successful legal careers with raising a family; both are from fairly humble backgrounds; and both see themselves as their husbands' intellectual equals.
Can Michelle learn from Cherie's mistakes, which contributed to - though did not entirely justify - her bad press? The love of freebies, the gaucheness, her irritating way of keeping us all guessing when she would be Cherie Blair the consort and when Cherie Booth the barrister, the toe-curling autobiography. Still, take away these relatively minor crimes and you have a thoroughly modern woman: earning her own living, bringing up a large family and trying to have fun, too.
Cherie flew the flag for late motherhood: enduring 12 hours of natural labour aged 45 has contributed to making those who give birth later in life feel less like odd-ones-out. Even at the best of times, being the PM's wife must have put an immense strain on her relationships with her husband and family.
She can be generous, too. Only a couple of days after Iain Duncan Smith had been ousted as Tory leader by a vote of no confidence, he attended a charity party. He stood hovering alone by the door while others, including Tories, looked sheepishly at their feet; friends disappear quickly in politics when you are not in favour. It was Cherie who crossed the room to embrace him warmly and whisper a few words in his ear.