Craig Shirley, author of several large tomes on Ronald Reagan's political history, is merciless on Real Clear Politics toward MSNBC star Chris Matthews and his new book on "Tip and the Gipper."
This isn't a book about Reagan or Tip O'Neill, he writes. "It is the history of Chris Matthews before he became the Chris Matthews we see on cable television today. It falls into the category of micro personal history, but is so elfin as to be inconsequential." You can't find Matthews even mentioned in the index of Tip O'Neill's memoir, he reports.
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Mark Levin hailed: “An unbelievable book....I was part of the Reagan Revolution and I didn’t know 80 percent of this stuff!...It’s worth reading, and reading right now.”
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Shirley noted the remarkable parallels between the Republican Party that Reagan and the conservative movement revitalized in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the situation facing conservatives today.
Then as now liberal Democrats claimed the presidency and liberal ideology seemed ascendant following the tenure of Republican presidents who expanded the size and scope of government (Nixon) and/or were inept (Ford). Now as in the late 1970s, it is conservatives standing outside the establishment who can be the revitalizing and reforming force for the GOP and more importantly the country.
During a roughly 30-minute Q&A session, Shirley answered a series of questions from bloggers in attendance, and shared among other things the following observations:
Conservative activist, author, and political consultant Craig Shirley, contrary to Politico.com's reporting, was not "ousted" from his job advising the McCain campaign. In fact, he's not been on retainer since March. That according to Townhall.com's Matt Lewis today:
John McCain's campaign asked a prominent Republican consultant, Craig Shirley, to leave his official campaign role Thursday after a Politico inquiry about Shirley's dual role consulting for the campaign and for an independent "527" group opposing the Democratic presidential candidates.
I'm told by a reliable source that Shirley was not asked to leave. Instead, he was given the choice and decided to stay with the 527.
In an update, Lewis noted that he talked to Shirley, and far from being ousted, his services haven't been employed recently:
Update: I just spoke to Shirley and according to him: