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The Power of the Texas Governor: Connally to Bush

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Overview

George W. Bush called it "the best job in the world," yet many would argue that the Texas governorship is a weak office. Given few enumerated powers by the Texas Constitution, the governor must build a successful relationship with the state legislature—sometimes led by a powerful lieutenant governor or speaker of the opposing party—to advance his or her policy agenda. Yet despite the limitations on the office and the power of the legislative branch, many governors have had a significant impact on major aspects of Texas's public life—government, economic development, education, and insurance reform among them. How do Texas governors gain the power to govern effectively?

The Power of the Texas Governor takes a fresh look at the state's chief executives, from John Connally to George W. Bush, to discover how various governors have overcome the institutional limitations of the office. Delving into the governors' election campaigns and successes and failures in office, Brian McCall makes a convincing case that the strength of a governor's personality—in particular, his or her highly developed social skills—can translate into real political power. He shows, for example, how governors such as Ann Richards and George W. Bush forged personal relationships with individual legislators to achieve their policy goals. Filled with revealing insights and anecdotes from key players in each administration, The Power of the Texas Governor offers new perspectives on leadership and valuable lessons on the use of power.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292718982
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian McCall
BRIAN MCCALL has served in the Texas House of Representatives since 1991. A Republican, he currently represents District 66 in Plano. McCall has been recognized nationally for his efforts in the field of biotechnology, and he wrote and passed one of the largest tax cut bills in the nation. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1: Governance
Chapter 2: John Connally
Chapter 3: Preston Smith
Chapter 4: Dolph Briscoe
Chapter 5: William P. Clements
Chapter 6: Mark White
Chapter 7: William P. Clements's Second Term
Chapter 8: Ann Richards
Chapter 9: George W. Bush
Chapter 10: Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    A "Must Read" if you love, like or even loathe Texas politics.

    McCall has written an insightful and witty account of Texas governors from Connally to Bush that focuses on their achievements and accomplishments as well as their failures and foibles. He also balances their use of power in the context of an office that seems to have none with the content of what constitutes real and effective leadership. Anchored by three governors with national reputations (Connally, Richards, and Bush), even those of us who aren't natvie Texans will enjoy this read.<BR/><BR/>I highly recommend this book.

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