Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) was the 41st Vice President of the United States under Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York, as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon administrations in a variety of positions. He was also a noted businessman, art collector, and philanthropist.
Rockefeller, a Republican, was relatively liberal and his views were generally closer to the Democratic Party's than the GOP 's. In his time liberals in the GOP were called Rockefeller Republicans. As Governor of New York from 1959 to 1973 his achievements included the expansion of the State University of New York, efforts to protect the environment, the building of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza in Albany, increased facilities and personnel for medical care, and creation of the New York State Council on the Arts. After unsuccessfully seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 1960, 1964, and 1968, he served as Vice President from 1974 to 1977 under President Gerald R. Ford, but did not join the 1976 GOP national ticket with President Ford, marking his retirement from politics.
Rockefeller, favored by moderate and liberal Republicans, was considered the front-runner for the 1964 campaign against the ultraconservative Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, who led the right wing of the Republican Party. At the Republican National Convention in San Francisco in July, Rockefeller was given five minutes to speak before the convention in defense of five amendments to the party platform put forth by the moderate wing of the Republican Party to counter the Goldwater plank. Right wing delegates booed and heckled Rockefeller for 16 minutes while he stood firmly at the podium insisting on his right to speak. Tea Party hecklers use the same demagogic tactic today in order to drown out opposing views - much as children sing, "La-la-la-la-la, I can't hear you!" with their fingers in their ears and their minds on hold.