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Quoted: For a few seconds, Tip O'Neill was in charge

March 20, 1985: Vice President George H. W. Bush and House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill confer during a joint session of Congress. (James K.W. Atherton/The Washington Post)

"We figured out later that, at least for a few seconds, Tip O'Neill was in charge. But we decided not to tell him."

-- Sean Coffey, former aide to George H. W. Bush, telling Forbes about the day -- July 13, 1985 -- when President Reagan was undergoing colon surgery, and the then-VP was knocked out cold by a fall duing a tennis match. The succession of power would have passed to the Democratic House speaker, none the wiser.

By The Reliable Source  |  March 25, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
Categories:  Quoted  
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