all politics is local

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Alternative forms[edit]


Variously attributed to Associated Press Washington bureau chief Byron Price, said to have first used this term in 1932,[1] and to Chicago writer Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936).[2]


all politics is local

  1. (chiefly US, politics) Ultimately, constituents and voters are concerned most about issues that affect their personal lives and home communities, and they vote accordingly.
    • 1993 Dec. 7, Clifford Krauss, "On Congress's Home Front, Faith That All Politics Is Indeed Local," New York Times (retrieved 17 Aug 2015):
      "The campaign never ends," said the 44-year-old Congressman. . . . "I win by reaching out to people one by one, through relentless retail politics." In other words, Mr. Bacchus is betting his congressional career on the adage that all politics is local.
    • 2002 May 20, David McKittrick (Ireland Correspondent), "Kerry kicks out former party leader and replaces him with former gun-runner," Independent (UK) (retrieved 17 Aug 2015):
      [A]ll politics is local and Kerry North is more local than most. In the electorate, the view is that Mr Ferris got in because . . . he has been an assiduous local councillor and constituency worker, painstakingly building up a formidable Sinn Fein machine that has delivered on local issues.
    • 2002 June 21, Mitch Frank, "The White House Goes Local," Time (retrieved 17 Aug 2015):
      But in the end, all politics is local, and almost every race is decided by local issues.
    • 2007 Sept. 14, "Politics: John O'Toole (incumbent)," Toronto Star (Canada) (retrieved 17 Aug 2015):
      "All politics is local. I believe in a grassroots approach that is founded on strong representation for constituents."

Usage notes[edit]

  • Famously and often used by former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O'Neill (1912-1994).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barry Popik, Origin of “All Politics Is Local”, (retrieved 17 Aug 2015)
  2. ^ Dirk Johnson, Chicago Journal: Seeking New Harmony, But Finding a Racial Rift, New York Times (Nov. 25, 1990) (retrieved 17 Aug 2015)