Let me finish tonight with this.
A bit over two weeks from now, on October 1, Simon & Schuster is presenting my big book, “Tip and The Gipper.”
It is my first-hand account of the six-year political rivalry between these two giants, the liberal speaker of the House and the conservative president.
It’s a colorful, inside look of what it was like back then, back when the left and right knew how to fight - fight strong for conviction - but in a way that got things done.
It was when politics worked. I know.
I was there all the way standing at Tip O’Neill’s side, sitting in the backroom when the fighting got hot.
There’s been a legend over the years of how these two leaders, the liberal Tip O’Neill and the conservative Ronald Reagan fought during the day but were friends “after six o’clock.”
I first heard of that rule of theirs directly from President Reagan himself the night he came to deliver his first State of the Union.
But even legends need tweaking. What made things work back then wasn’t two older Irish guys sitting around over drinks. It was a set of solid American values we could powerfully use today:
Respect the American voter even when they vote the other way;
Respect institutions like budget deadlines and debt limits;
Look for compromise when necessary;
Be alert to common ground, to those areas where all Americans can agree;
Always be able to talk - keep the lines open to keep the government working for the people.
Things were different in the days of Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan. They were different.
“Tip & The Gipper” hits the stores October 1. It’s an important book for the ages, but truly for right now.
You can pre-order right now and get the book as soon as possible.
With the threats of government shutdown and default on the debt and all kinds of hell breaking loose, the timing and value of this great story of these two leaders and how they did business couldn’t be greater.