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Tip and the Gipper

When Politics Worked

By Christopher Matthews, 1945- author

TIP AND THE GIPPER is a magnificent personal history of a time when two great political opponents served together for the benefit of the country. Chris Matthews was an eyewitness to this story as a top aide to Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, who waged a principled war of political ideals with President Reagan from 1980 to 1986. Together, the two men forged compromises that shaped America’s future and became one of history’s most celebrated political pairings—the epitome of how ideological opposites can get things done.

When Ronald Reagan was elected to the presidency in a landslide victory over Jimmy Carter (for whom Matthews had worked as a speechwriter), Speaker O’Neill realized Americans had voted for a change. For the first time in his career, O’Neill also found himself thrust into the national spotlight as the highest-ranking leader of the Democratic Party—the most visible and respected challenger to President Reagan’s agenda of shrinking the government and lowering taxes.

At first, O’Neill doubted his ability to compete on the public stage with the charming Hollywood actor, whose polished speeches played well on TV, a medium O’Neill had never mastered. Over time, the burly Irishman learned how to fight the popular president on his key issues, relying on legislative craftiness, strong rhetoric, and even guerrilla theater. “An old dog can learn new tricks,” Tip told his staff. Of O’Neill, one of his colleagues said, “If Martians came into the House chamber, they’d know instantly who the leader was.”

Meanwhile, President Reagan proved to be a much more effective and savvy leader than his rivals had ever expected, achieving major legislative victories on taxes and the federal budget. Reagan and his allies knew how to work the levers of power in Washington. After showing remarkable personal fortitude in the wake of the assassination attempt against him, Reagan never let his political differences with Democrats become personal. He was fond of the veteran Speaker’s motto that political battles ended at 6 p.m. So when he would phone O’Neill, he would say, “Hello, Tip, is it after six o’clock?”

Together, the two leaders fought over the major issues of the day—welfare, taxes, covert military operations, and Social Security—but found their way to agreements that reformed taxes, saved Social Security, and achieved their common cause of bringing peace to Northern Ireland. O’Neill’s quiet behind-the-scenes support helped Reagan forge his historic Cold War–ending bond with Mikhail Gor­bachev. They each won some and lost some, and through it all they maintained respect for each other’s positions and worked to advance the country rather than obstruct progress.

As Matthews notes, “There is more than one sort of heroic behavior, and they don’t all look the same.” Tip and the Gipper is the story of the kind of heroism we need today.

Format

Book

Availability

2 available at Main (Downtown)
  • 973.927 Mat, Nonfiction
  • 973.927 Mat, Nonfiction
1 available at Ballentine
  • 973.927 Mat, Nonfiction
1 available at Cooper (Forest Acres)
  • 973.927 Mat, Nonfiction

Publish Date

2013

ISBN

1451695993


Format: Book
Author: Matthews, Christopher, 1945- author
Summary: Drawing on extensive interviews with those closest to his subjects as well as his own experiences, the anchor of MSNBC's "Hardball" tells the story of the unlikely friendship between President Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.
Title: Tip and the Gipper : when politics worked / Chris Matthews.
Publisher Date: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013.
Subject: Reagan, Ronald. O'Neill, Tip. United States -- Politics and government -- 1981-1989
Isbn: 1451695993 9781451695991
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 4
System Items Total: 6
Call Number: 973.927 Mat
Oclc: 12928194
Upc:
Bib Id: 458207

Format: Book
Author: Matthews, Christopher, 1945- author.
Summary: Drawing on extensive interviews with those closest to his subjects as well as his own experiences, the anchor of MSNBC's "Hardball" tells the story of the unlikely friendship between President Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.
Title: Tip and the Gipper : when politics worked / Chris Matthews.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Publisher, Date: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013.
Description: xvii, 423 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Subjects: Reagan, Ronald.
Subjects: O'Neill, Tip.
Subjects: United States -- Politics and government -- 1981-1989
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 379-406) and index.
LCCN: bl2013040464
ISBN: 1451695993
ISBN: 9781451695991
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 4
Total Copies: 6
Call Number: 973.927 Mat