Characteristics of a Strong Governor

Length: 3 Pages 646 Words

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 Continue...


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A governor's power is also limited by the power by which he or she can garner the state's interest against the encroachments of federal andor local governments. A strong and successful governor will exercise caution in areas of spending and resist raising taxes. The governor is expected to be the state's chief policy makers well as direct the state's budget. A governor's power is also dependent on the state's economy. Although it seems as if the current move has been to increase the power of governors, some state legislatures are still important forces in state politics. other words, he must have good communication skills to have this kind of influence. State legislatures make decisions on taxes and regulation of business and commerce as well as legislating on matters concerning the school systems, education, funding, and welfare. 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. A successful governor must also have the courage to face opposition every day and be able to handle it in a positive manner. Governors also gain power when their state experiences a healthy, competitive two-party system because their constituents are more likely to work together with the governor to achieve success for the party. This way, if a governor agrees with all but one item in an appropriations bill, he can simply veto that particular item on the bill. However, a governor's veto can be overridden in most states with a two- thirds majority vote in both state chambers. In addition, lobbyists are accused of have too much influence in state capitols. Much of a governor's power comes from his or her powers of persuasion. This weakens the governors overall authority and sometimes undermines it.

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