As House Speaker for most of Ronald Reagan's two presidential terms, ultra-liberal spendaholic Tip O'Neill was one of the fiercest opponents of the entire Reagan agenda, fighting it tooth-and-nail for six years. He called Reagan a "cheerleader for selfishness" and even went so far as to personally attack the Gipper as 'most ignorant man that has ever inhabited the White House'.
Not one to be easily outwitted -but showing considerably more class and good humor- Reagan observed parallels between bloated blowhard O'Neill and the 1980's Pac-Man video game, both being 'a round thing that gobbles up money'.
Yet despite the professional animosity, Ronald Reagan often said the two were 'friends after 6pm'- and both plenty proud of their Celtic Irish heritage.
In fact, the annual Saint Patrick's Day Speaker's Luncheon is an event initially established by Reagan and O'Neill back in 1983. Last year the tradition was honored by Boehner/Obama, yet for 2012 the holiday has fallen on a Saturday (heaven knows
we can't interrupt anyone's tee-time):
And the Gipper was in fine form: after a cold brew and some corned-beef-and-cabbage, he takes the mike at 4:00... besides the jokes, note Reagan's extensive knowledge of Irish history and culture:
"I'm very leery of ethnic jokes in my position-
the only ones I can tell are Irish!"
So may the road rise to meet ya~
A happy and blessed Saint Patrick's Day
to all from the half-Irish, all-Catholic