Delegates did not want a king, royal governor, or a monarchy.
Studied writings of Locke & Montesquieu
Some wanted a strong independent executive that would be a “check” on an overly ambitious legislature.
Others wanted a weak executive appointed by Congress & subject to its will.
Some liked the idea of a committee executive —a group of several persons, each holding executive power in a particular area.
Chief executive ---head of the executive branch.
1. Natural-born citizen
2. 35 years of age
3. Resident of U.S. for 14 years.
1. Political experience
2. Political acceptability (moderate)
Office for 4 years at a time.
May be elected twice (8 years), or serve no more than 10 years total.
Tradition 1 st , until FDR.
The President’s Roles
1. Chief of state
*Ceremonial head of government
*Symbol of the people
2. Chief executive
*Acts as the head of the executive branch
“ Most powerful office in the world”
3. Chief Administrator
*Director of the Federal Government
*Directs an administration that employs 2.7 million civilians.
4. Chief diplomat
*Responsible for the nation’s foreign policy
*Nation’s chief spokesperson for the rest of the world.
*Closely followed around the world.
5. Commander in Chief
*In charge of the nation’s armed forces.
*Under the president’s direct control
6. Chief legislator
*In charge of public policies.
*Sets the overall shape of the congressional agenda.
*Initiates, suggests, requests, insists, & demands that Congress takes on much of its major legislation.
Roles not established by the Constitution
1. Chief of the Party
*Leader of the party that controls the executive branch.
2. Chief citizen
*“Representative of all of the people”
*Represent public interests against private interest.
Salary: $ 400,000 a year
Travel & Entertainment: $ 50,000
White House---132 rooms on 18.3 acres of land, staff of 80 including chefs, gardeners, maids, butlers, & a personal tailor.
Special fleet of automobiles, jets, & helicopters, including Air Force One .
Camp David, in Maryland
Medical & dental care
The 25 th Amendment provides that the vice president shall become acting president under one of two conditions.
1. The president informs Congress of an inability to perform in office.
2. The V.P. & a majority of the cabinet inform Congress, in writing, that the president is disabled.
In either situation, the president may resume the powers & duties of the office by informing Congress that no disability exists.
IF , however, the V.P. & a majority of the cabinet contend that the President has not recovered, Congress has 21 days to decide the issue by a 2/3 in the House & Senate.
Procedure by which the presidential vacancy is filled.
25 th Amendment
Presidential Succession Act of 1947 ---Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore, Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Defense, etc (18 total spots in the line.)
Current Presidential Line of Succession
Vice President- Dick Cheney
Speaker of the House- Nancy Pelosi
President pro-tempore of Senate- Robert Byrd
Secretary of State- Condeleeza Rice
Secretary of Treasury- Henry Paulson Jr.
Secretary of Defense- Robert Gates
Office of the Vice President
1. Preside over the Senate
2. Decide whether the President is disabled & to assume the duties of the presidency if necessary.
Same as the President
Mansion on the grounds of the Washington Naval Observatory
Air Force Two
Selection of the V.P.
Balance the ticket —V.P. candidate often comes from a region of the country or wing of the party that is different from that of the presidential candidate.
Elected by the electoral college.
Dick Cheney regarded as the most influential V.P. ever.
Vice President Vacancy
Vacant 18 times: nine times due to succession, twice by resignation, & seven times by death.
25 th Amendment
President nominates, confirmed by majority vote in both houses.
Cabinet —An advisory group chosen by the President to help accomplish the work of the executive branch. Homeland Security Veterans Affairs Transportation Energy Education Agriculture Interior Justice HUD Defense Labor Commerce Health & Human Services Treasury Secretary of State
Department of Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns
Mission Statement of Department
We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.
Department of Commerce
Secretary Carlos Gutierrez
The historic mission of the Department is “to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce” of the United States. This has evolved, as a result of legislative and administrative additions, to encompass broadly the responsibility to foster, serve, and promote the Nation’s economic development and technological advancement.
Department of Defense
Secretary Robert M. Gates
The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department's headquarters is at the Pentagon.
Department of Education
Secretary Margaret Spellings
ED's 4,500 employees and $71.5 billion budget are dedicated to:
• Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.
• Collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research.
• Focusing national attention on key educational issues.
• Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.
Department of Energy
Secretary Samuel W. Bodman
The Department of Energy's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex.
Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Michael O. Leavitt
HHS is the U.S. government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Alphonso Jackson
HUD's mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. To fulfill this mission, HUD will embrace high standards of ethics, management and accountability and forge new partnerships--particularly with faith-based and community organizations--that leverage resources and improve HUD's ability to be effective on the community level.
Department of the Interior
Secretary Dirk Kempthorne
The Mission of the Department of the Interior is to protect and provide access to our Nation's natural and cultural heritage and honor our trust responsibilities to Indian Tribes and our commitments to island communities.
Department of Justice
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
Department of State
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.
Department of Transportation
Secretary Mary E. Peters
Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.
Department of Treasury
Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
The mission of the Department of the Treasury is to promote the conditions for prosperity and stability in the United States and encourage prosperity and stability in the rest of the world.
Department of Labor
Secretary Elaine Chao
The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Secretary Jim Nicholson
Our goal is to provide excellence in patient care, veterans' benefits and customer satisfaction. We have reformed our department internally and are striving for high quality, prompt and seamless service to veterans. Our department's employees continue to offer their dedication and commitment to help veterans get the services they have earned. Our nation's veterans deserve no less.
Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff
We will lead the unified national effort to secure America. We will prevent and deter terrorist attacks and protect against and respond to threats and hazards to the nation. We will ensure safe and secure borders, welcome lawful immigrants and visitors, and promote the free-flow of commerce.
Every President has had a cabinet.
President appoints cabinet members.
Senate approves cabinet members.
Choosing Cabinet Members
1. Party affiliation
2. Supporters of the campaign
3. Balance the nominees geographically according to their backgrounds.
Ex.) Sec. Of Interior—Western state, w/experience dealing with land and conservation issues.
Sec. Of HUD—Urban Area
Sec. Of Agriculture—Farming state
4. Desires of interest groups.
5. Gender, race, ethnic background
*Resign after new president is elected.
Roles of the Cabinet
Some presidents use their cabinets often—(Washington, Buchanan, Eisenhower)
Others, little or not at all (Lincoln, Wilson)
Some had no cabinet at all.
Andrew Jackson—Kitchen Cabinet
FDR—”Brain Trust”—(Business executives, professors, research specialists, & others.)
Executive Office of the President
Set up by FDR
Made up of top advisers & assistants who help the president carry out major duties.
The White House Office is led by the Chief of Staff. Advises the president on important matters & directs the operations of the presidential staff.
*One of the most influential presidential aides.
Press Secretary —Meets w/ reporters & makes public statements for the President.
President’s staff includes speechwriters, researchers, the president’s physician, the director of the staff for the first lady, & a correspondence secretary. Over 400 people work for the White House staff.
Staff investigates & analyzes problems that require the president’s attention.
Gather information for the President & suggest solutions.
Screen the questions, issues, & problems that people present to the President.
Provides public relations support.
National Security Council (NSC)
Created in 1947
To provide advice on & managerial assistance w/ matters concerning American military & foreign policy, as well as national security.
Members include: president, vice president, secretary of state, secretary of defense, director of the CIA, & the chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
National Security Adviser appointed by the president, directs the staff of the NSC.
Role determined by each President.
The Electoral College
Electors are chosen by popular vote in every state.
Winner-take-all basis (Nebraska & Maine)
Each state has as many electors as it has members of Congress.
Formal election of President & V.P. is January 6 th , when the President of the Senate opens the electoral votes from each state and counts them before a joint session of Congress.
If no candidate wins a majority of the electoral vote (270), the election is thrown to the House of Representatives.
Occurred in 1800 & 1824
Each state receives one vote, & takes a majority to elect.
If House fails to elect before Jan. 20 th , the newly elected V.P. acts as President until a decision is reached.
If no person receives a majority for the V.P., the Senate decides between the two top candidates.
Only happened in 1837.
Flaws in the Electoral College
The winner of the popular vote is not guaranteed the presidency.
The popular vote winner has not won the presidency four times (1824, 1876,1888, 2000.)
Electors are not required to vote in accord with the popular vote.
Expected, but not legally bound to vote for winner.
Last happened in 1988.
Electoral Votes by State
Any election might have to be decided by the House of Representatives.
Last occurred in 1824.
Threat often caused by a third party candidate.
All states have one vote, meaning small population states have the same vote as large population states.
If a state cannot decide who to vote for, they lose their vote.
Proposed Reforms to the Electoral College
1. The District Plan —Electors would represent & support the popular vote winner in their district.
2. The Proportional Plan ---Each candidate would receive the same share of the State’s vote as he/she received of its popular vote.
3. Direct Popular Election ---The voters would directly elect the President.
4. The National Bonus Plan ---Would add to the current system by giving “bonus” electoral votes to the popular vote winner.