Critics of responsible Political parties often point to the sorry experience of policymaking by the national parties, but these criticisms are based upon rather limited examinations of actual policymaking efforts by the parties. A more careful review of the policymaking efforts of the Democratic National Committee from 1956 to 1960 and of the Republican National Committee from 1976 to 1980 shows that they were more successful than is usually thought. These past successes suggest the potential for current and future party leaders to influence public policy.