The office of governor is a position that has gained strength over the
years. Under the tenets of Jackson, governors became elected officials,
which was more democratic and better for the state government system.
(641) Many states have strengthened the office of governorship by
positioning the role of lieutenant governor as running mate. This
automatically eliminates the occurrence of a lieutenant governor that may
be opposed to the governor.
In theory, the governor enjoys the same advantage over Congress in his
or her ability to "make policy decisions and to embody these in a program
on which the state legislative body can act" (Schmidt 642). In order for a
governor to enjoy this type of power, however, many factors must come into
play--many of them beginning with the governor as a person.
To be a strong governor, one must be a leader that not only has good
ideas, but also one who can motivate others about those new ideas. In
other words, he must have good communication skills to have this kind of
influence. This influence must be strong a confident because it needs to
not only reach through the state legislation, but extend into the community
and reach the voters as well. The governor is expected to be the state's
chief policy makers well as direct the state's budget. A strong and
successful governor will exercise caution in areas of spending and resist
raising taxes. Governors who raise taxes or increase the state's deficit
are generally not reelected.
Much of a governor's power comes from his or her powers of persuasion.
Knowledge of the job, solutions to problems, and the ability to communicate
are also critical in order for a governor to enhance his or her position.
If a governor already has the support of powerful political organizations,
policy can be guided and implemented much easier. A governor's power is
also limited by the power by which he or she can garner the state's