At some point as first lady, Imelda began to feel that she could help Philippine interests by charming world leaders into seeing things her way. “Handbag diplomacy” she called it — as she liked to imply that to solve a problem, she could bypass President Marcos and just grab a handbag and hop on a plane with some of her assistants. It sometimes worked! There was, for example, an Islamic-backed insurgency rising in the south of the Philippine archipelago, and she thought that a leader in that part of the world, Qaddafi in this case, might help pull the plug on that support if he saw things her way. Apparently he did — the funding stopped and the insurrection lost momentum, and she later described him as a pushover, a mama’s boy.