- n a politician who belongs to a small clique that controls a political party for private rather than public ends
- Shrewd, hard-bitten Bill Boyle believes in machine politics and the everlasting value of the faithful ward-heeler.
- Addressing the troops, he told them he was taking over because the country had lost confidence in the current "ward-heeler government.
- The New York Giants' own cast of characters is as varied as Author Asinof's fans; the list reads like a city ward-heeler's notion of the perfect political ticket.
- Thomas Hoving in The Age
Hoving described the qualities he saw as necessary in the job as "part gunslinger, ward-heeler (a politician lining his own pockets), legal fixer, accomplice smuggler, anarchist and toady".