“All politics is local?” Not true in Alabama

The late Tip O’Neill, the legendary Speaker of the US House of Representatives, is credited with coining the slogan: “All politics is local”. He often quoted and lived it.

The old Democratic politician from Boston drove home to his Irish neighborhood every week. He knew everyone in his working-class neighborhood. He knew who was related to whom. He knew their names, birthdays, parents, grandparents and children. He did favors, made sure their mail was delivered, helped them find lost Social Security checks, and he even fixed potholes and replaced streetlights. He lived the saying “All politics is local”.

He also worked in Washington, DC, in an era of bipartisanship. Officials, regardless of their party affiliation, worked and socialized to get things done. It was well known that O’Neill and Ronald Reagan were best friends and drinking buddies when Reagan was the Republican President and O’Neill was Speaker. That’s why Reagan was so successful as President. He had O’Neill as a friend.

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