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The Texas Governorship Past projects / / Letters / May 25-28 / Governorship
All page references are to Jones, Ericson, Brown, Trotter, Langenegger. Practicing Texas Politics, 10th edition: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.

Many people across the nation feel that the governorship of Texas gives sufficient experience for one to become the President of the United States. Although Texas is a large State, the position of governor is not one of extreme executive authority. Since the constitution of Texas limits the governor in the actions that he or she can take, the position is also very safe politically.

The current government of Texas was created by a group of ex-confederates who sought not only to limit the power of the State government, but to divide it as well (325). After a corrupt rule by Reconstruction governor E. Davis, the Texans wanted to make sure the executive branch was limited severely.

In Texas, the power of the executive is divided between several elected officials (most other States allow appointments of the lieutenant governor, land commissioner, attorney, and other executive positions by the elected governor). These other elected officials often "function beyond gubernatorial control" (325).

As for all the other executive boards in Texas, the governor has only limited power of appointment over them; he or she can only appoint someone to a post with approval from the senate, and only when there is a vacancy. The governor has no power to remove a member already appointed (336-37).

Perhaps the most important experience that a Presidential aspirant should have is dealing with the legislative branch. But the Congress of the State of Texas meets only for 140 days every two years. What this means is that not all bills can be presented (a special committee decides the order and therefore can decide which bills will be pushed to the end and not considered).

Because of these time constraints on congressmen and senators, it is often the lobbyists who often write the bills that are presented in the Texas Congress (288).

Spending a few hundred days in this ambience simply does not give one the experience to deal with the United States Congress as the Chief Executive of our nation.

The governor of Texas has a few other powers, such as executive clemency and reprieves (which are rarely exercised, if ever) in addition to such informal powers as giving speeches. All of these powers, however, do not give any person the skills needed to deal with policy-making for the United States.

Much more experience on the national level, dealing with issues both domestic and foreign, are necessary for one to become the leader of the Free World.

--Tony Walters

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