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Chris Matthews On 'When Politics Worked'11:52
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President Ronald Reagan greets House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. at the conclusion of a session in the Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 19, 1982, to urge support of a package of tax increases before the House. As Reagan reached for O'Neill's hand, he said, "Let's get a picture of that." (AP/Ira Schwarz)
President Ronald Reagan greets House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. at the conclusion of a session in the Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 19, 1982, to urge support of a package of tax increases before the House. As Reagan reached for O'Neill's hand, he said, "Let's get a picture of that." (AP/Ira Schwarz)

It's day three of the government shutdown and there's now news from the Treasury Department that failure to reach agreement over the nation's debt ceiling could plunge the U.S. economy back into a recession.

The political deadlock in Washington marks a stark contrast to the Reagan era, when President Reagan and then House speaker, the late Tip O'Neill, managed to find compromise despite disagreements on policy and the role of government.

Someone who knows a great deal about this time in politics is Chris Matthews — a political commentator and the host of MSNBC's "Hardball". Matthews is a former top aide to Speaker O'Neill, and he writes about that experience in his new book Tip And The Gipper: When Politics Worked. You can read an excerpt here.

Guest

Chris Matthews, political commentator and host of MSNBC's "Hardball".

Chris Matthews will be appearing at the Cambridge Public Library tonight at 7pm.

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Radio Boston, "Chris Matthews' [...] Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero draws on archival material, but also on plenty of original interviews with JFK’s friends and advisers, including the late former House Speaker Tip O’Neil, for whom Chris Matthews worked."

Radio Boston, "[Thomas P. O'Neill III] says those misty-eyed remembrances of the begrudging, but functional friendship between former House Speaker Tip O’Neill and President Ronald Reagan obscure some fundamental truths about how Washington today is nothing like that of old."

This segment aired on October 3, 2013.

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