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 isalso limited by the power by which he or she can garner the state'sinterest against the encroachments of federal andor local governments. A strong andsuccessful governor will exercise caution in areas of spending and resistraising taxes. The governor is expected to be the state'schief policy makers well as direct the state's budget. A governor's power is also dependent on thestate's economy. Although it seems as if the current move has been to increase the powerof governors, some state legislatures are still important forces in statepolitics. other words, he must have good communication skills to have this kind ofinfluence. State legislatures make decisions on taxes and regulationof business and commerce as well as legislating on matters concerning theschool systems, education, funding, and welfare. This influence must be strong a confident because it needs tonot only reach through the state legislation, but extend into the communityand reach the voters as well. Asuccessful governor must also have the courage to face opposition every dayand be able to handle it in a positive manner. Governors also gain power whentheir state experiences a healthy, competitive two-party system becausetheir constituents are more likely to work together with the governor toachieve success for the party. This way, if a governor agrees with all but one item in anappropriations 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. Inaddition, lobbyists are accused of have too much influence in statecapitols. Much of a governor's power comes from his or her powers of persuasion. This weakens the governors overall authority and sometimesundermines it.

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