Formal Qualifications• Citizen by birth- natural born• At least 35 years old• Lived in the US for 14 years (continuous)
Presidential Term• 4 years (original discussion started at 6 or 7)• Limit of 2 terms: G. W. started custom• 22nd amendment made it official • 2 terms plus 2 years of overlap from Vice P • 10 years total in extenuating circumstances• WDYT about one 6 year term instead, like the Senate?
Constitution and Succession• 25th amendment- V.P. becomes 2nd in line• Succession Act of 1947 • VP (president of Senate) • Speaker of the House • President pro tempore of Senate • Sec. State • Sec. Treasury • Sec. Defense • Sec. Agriculture
Constitution and Succession• WDYT- must all successors to the president be natural born in order to qualify for the position? • Are they elected? • Have they lived in US for 14 continuous years? • What is the problem with this scenario?
Presidential Disability• 25th amendment gives us the process • Step 1- president (or VP + majority of cabinet) inform congress that the President is unfit for duty/disabled • Step 2- president returns when he informs congress he is ok, unless… • Step 3- VP and cabinet challenge President’s claim of fit for service • Step 4- Congress has 21 days to decide; President gets his job back unless 2/3 of each house agree with VP/Cabinet
The Vice President• Duties: • Preside over senate (President of Senate) • Succeed in time of Presidential disability • “bucket of warm spit” • Modern VP- at the use of the President • President can assign him duties of office • Cheney claimed a lot of power
The Vice President• Presidents don’t last (8 died, 1 resigned)• VPs balance the ticket• President cannot fire, can only be impeached
Selecting the President Original Plan First they considered Congressional appointment and popular vote (rejected those ideas)
Electoral College• # of electors = Senators + Congressmen • Most enlightened and respectable citizens• Each State decides how electors are chosen• Electors vote for 2 Presidential Candidates• Votes counted in joint session of Congress• Person who got majority is President• 2nd place is VP• Tie Breakers • President- House • VP- Senate
Political Parties• Changed the process after the 1800’s • Parties nominated their candidate (what you are seeing today) • Electors pledged to a candidate• 12th amendment • Electors vote separately for POTUS and VP
Electoral College Today• Each party names a “slate” of electors in advance.• Election day chooses which slate will be sent to vote.• Winner take all in 48 out of 50 states (NE and ME)• Electors are party activists (not original plan of framers)• Electors vote on Monday after 2nd Wednesday in December (13-19th)• Votes counted on Jan. 6th in Joint Session
Criticisms of E.C.• 1st: Winner of popular vote not always winner• 2nd: Faithless electors (never mattered) • Political suicide and state laws• 3rd: Third Party Candidates • Wins enough elector votes to keep either major party away from 270 • Possibly allows him to throw the election (send his votes to the candidate of his choosing) • Sends the choice to the house due to tie • 1 vote per state is the opposite of the population argument
Road to the E.C.
Nomination Process• Primary Elections • Voters are choosing either: • Party delegates • Presidential preference (then party picks) • State Regulated (political party has very little say) • Start off January 3rd with Iowa Caucuses• Incumbent President gets his parties bid • Unless vote of no confidence • Still has to make a show of the primaries
National Convention• Roles: • No constitutional role in candidate selection • No law stating that political party caucuses or conventions should choose • Each Party decides their own apportionment of delegates • R-1990 • D-4320 • Purpose: • Formally select Pres/VP candidates from party • Establish party platform and Unity
Presidential Power/Duties• Vague list of official Duties • Commander in Chief • Propose treaties • Head of diplomacy • Approve/veto bills from congress • Execute laws • Grant pardons and reprieves
Growing Power• Why has the power grown since Lincoln? • Unity of the position • Presidential charisma and influence • Perceived need for decisive action • Congressional approval- extending not limiting POTUS • Presidents other roles (departments in the bureaucracy)• 2 Presidential views on application of power • Narrow- defined duties. Follow constitution • Broad- stewardship, do whatever is needed (Lincoln, TR, FDR)
Key powers• Executive Order • directive, rule or regulation that has the effect of Law. (not in the Constitution)• Appointing Power • Senate must approve , but POTUS appoints all: • Federal judges • Ambassadors • Cabinet members • Secretaries of departments (bureaucracy) • Heads of gov. agencies • Appointment of Judges is not terminated when new POTUS is elected. • 2400 positions in all to be filled, most of which senate has no control or input into.
Key Powers• Recognition • Power to officially recognize the legal existence of another country and it’s government • Foreign policy weapon • Ex- PR China (yes), Cuba (no), NoKO (no)• Military • Final authority • Nuclear weapons, invasions, etc • Undeclared war (has happened 200 times) • Recent ex.- Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Afghan.• Pardon • Legal forgiveness of crime (absolute or conditional) • Typically end of term (political favor/popularity)
Leadership• Qualities • Understanding the public • Hopes and dreams • Carry “clout” with congress • Ability to communicate • Explain ideas and inspire support • Sense of timing • Introducing ideas • Openness to ideas • Give and take • New situations • Ability to compromise • Political courage • Ability to challenge public opinion