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#tbt: When Tip O'Neill Dared Members to Vote Him Out

"But for the most part the president had his way, and some of my fellow Democrats started saying I was old and out of touch. Les Aspin from Wisconsin wrote in a newsletter to his constituents that I was reeling on the ropes. 'Tip doesn't understand the explosions that have been going off since November,' he observed. 'He's in a fog.'  

"Wrong, Les. I understood those explosions all too well. But I'd be damned if I was going to go along with them.  

"A few of the younger fellows actually called on me to resign as Speaker, although nobody ever said so to my face. But I had no intention of giving up — not for a minute. Anybody who wanted Tip O'Neill out of office would have to vote me out."  

-- Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr., who served as speaker from 1977 to 1987, detailing the conflicts in his caucus in 1981 and 1982 after Ronald Reagan was elected for his autobiography, "Man of the House."

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Topics: tbt icnw