James Aloysius "Jim" Farley was one of the first Irish Catholic politicians in American history to achieve success on a national level. He simultaneously served as Chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Postmaster General under the first two administrations of President Franklin Roosevelt. A business executive and dignitary and a Knight of Malta, Farley was commonly referred to as a political kingmaker, and he was responsible for Roosevelt's rise to the presidency. Farley was the campaign manager for New York State politician Alfred E. Smith's 1922 gubernatorial campaign and Roosevelt's 1928 and 1930 gubernatorial campaigns as well as Roosevelt's presidential campaigns of 1932 and 1936. Farley predicted large landslides in both, and revolutionized the use of polling data.
He was responsible for pulling together the New Deal Coalition of Catholics, labor unions, African Americans, and farmers. Farley and the administration's patronage machine over which he presided helped to fuel the social and infrastructure programs of the New Deal.