As a popular politician in Pennsylvania, at that time the state with the third largest block of votes in the Electoral College, Shafer became a prominent Republican on the national scene. During the period of Governor William Scranton's unsuccessful bid for the presidency in the summer of 1964, Lt. Governor Shafer took over some of the duties of governor and became a leader of the Pennsylvania Republicans.
In 1968, Governor Shafer was a Delegate-at-Large to the Republican National Convention, and it was he who made the speech nominating Nelson Rockefeller as a Presidential candidate, his support of the progressive wing of the Republican party no surprise. But the subsequent victories of Richard M. Nixon who garnered the party nomination and was elected to two terms as United States President (serving from 1969-1975) created certain political tensions for Shafer.
When Shafer was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Republican Governors' Association in 1969, the pairing of Shafer and then Chair Ronald Reagan was hailed as evidence of the party's desire to achieve unity between the liberal and conservative factions of Republicans. Shafer became Chair in 1970. Whatever the arguments within the party, however, Shafer was always a loyal supporter of the party tickets.
Pictures of Shafer with noted Republican politicans can be seen on the Public Figures page.