When Governors Convene: The Governors' Conference and National Politics

When Governors Convene: The Governors' Conference and National Politics

When Governors Convene: The Governors' Conference and National Politics

When Governors Convene: The Governors' Conference and National Politics

Excerpt

American state governors have gone through a political revolution in the last half-century. Once they were political homebodies with few responsibilities or interests beyond the boundaries of their home states. Today they are immersed in policy-making and partisan politics at the national and even the international level.

The center of this national and international activity-- and the center of this study--is the national Governors' Conference. This association of governors, founded in 1908, has become today a vigorous and creative institution in American political life. The following chapters deal primarily with the Governors' Conference as a collective body, but the story of the institution necessarily hinges on the individual governors who have given it vitality. Thus the names of Woodrow Wilson, Albert C. Ritchie, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas E. Dewey, and LeRoy Collins, among many others, occupy a prominent place in the chapters that lie ahead.

Three themes are woven into the material. The first is that the governor, as an individual officeholder, has become a new kind of state executive with responsibilities in the federal system as a whole and with a continuing influence in national partisan politics. The second theme is . . .

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