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The US Presidency


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  • 1. The President of the United States
  • 2.  Obviously, only one person is President of the United States at one time. Yet that person must fill a number of different roles…8 to be exact !!! The manner in which a President plays any one role can have a powerful effect on his ability to play the others – he must do all simultaneously! The Presidency 2
  • 3. Chief Citizen Chief Chief Of Party of State Chief ChiefLegislator Executive Commander Chief in Chief Administrator Chief Diplomat The Presidency 3
  • 4.  Ceremonial head of the government of the United States. The symbol of all the people of the nation. The Presidency 4
  • 5.  President is vested by the Constitution with “the executive power” of the United States. The Presidency 5
  • 6.  President heads on of the largest government machines the world has ever known:  The US Federal government The Presidency 6
  • 7.  The President is the main architect of American foreign policy. The nation’s chief spokesperson to the rest of the world. The Presidency 7
  • 8.  President is the commander of all armed forces and entire military arsenal. “The Football” The Presidency 8
  • 9.  President is the main architect of nation’s public policies. Sets the agenda of Congress. The Presidency 9
  • 10.  President is the acknowledged leader of the political party that controls the executive branch. Appointment and fundraising are keys here. The Presidency 10
  • 11.  The President is expected to “represent” all of the American people. Key role in times of national tragedy. The Presidency 11
  • 12. US Constitution Natural 35 years Lived in USBorn Citizen old for 14 years The Presidency 12
  • 13.  Who was the youngest President in American history?  Theodore Roosevelt  42 years 322 Days Who was the oldest elected President in American history?  Ronald Reagan  69 years 349 Days The Presidency 13
  • 14.  The Framers considered term lengths of 4-years with chance of reelection and a single 6 or 7 year term. We know today they choose the 4 year option. The Presidency 14
  • 15.  Until 1951, the Constitution placed no limit on the number of terms a President might serve The no 3rd term tradition started with whom?  George Washington The Presidency 15
  • 16.  Franklin D. Roosevelt broke this tradition in 1940 (3rd) and 1944 (4th). What Constitutional amendment prevented this from happening again?  22nd Amendment The Presidency 16
  • 17.  A president may presently serve a maximum of 2 terms. A president who succeeds to the office (midpoint of term) may serve a maximum of 10 years. The Presidency 17
  • 18.  What is an argument against the 22nd Amendment?  It undercuts the authority of a two-term president (lame duck). What is an argument for the single 6 – year term?  Free a president from the pressures of the campaign trail and allow him/her to focus on being president. The Presidency 18
  • 19.  Congress determines the President’s salary and in 2001 it was set at $400,000. Also gets a $50,000 yearly expense account. The Presidency 19
  • 20.  The White House = 132 room mansion in the nation’s capital. Suite of offices and a sizable staff. A fleet of automobiles and Air Force One + Marine One. Camp David = a weekend hideaway in Maryland. The finest medical, dental and other healthcare. 20 The Presidency
  • 21.  Define:  Presidential succession refers to the procedure for replacing the president in the event of death or some other form of removal. The Presidency 21
  • 22. The Presidency 22
  • 23.  The Vice President can succeed to the office if the President: (1) dies (2) resigns (3) removed from office by impeachment. The Presidency 23
  • 24.  Originally, the Constitution did not provide for succession. It declared that the “powers and duties” of the office of the Presidency transferred to the VP. The Presidency 24
  • 25.  The tradition of the vice-president succeeding to the Presidency evolved starting with whom?  John Tyler The 25th Amendment made the succession official in 1967. The Presidency 25
  • 26.  Congress fixed the order of succession following the Vice-President with the Presidential Succession Act of 1947: 1. Vice President 2. Speaker of the House 3. President Pro Tempore of the Senate 4. Cabinet officials in the order of when the office was created The Presidency 26
  • 27. The Presidency 27
  • 28.  Before the 25th Amendment there was no provision in the Constitution for deciding when a President was disabled (or who would decide that!) Throughout American history, several Presidents had seriously health issues that hindered their ability to do their job. The Presidency 28
  • 29.  Sections 3 and 4 of the 25th Amendment fill the disability gap: 1. President informs Congress that he is unable to do the job 2. Vice-President and majority of cabinet feel President cannot do the job. The Presidency 29
  • 30.  The President may resume the powers and duties of the office by informing Congress that no disability exists. The president may be challenged; how?  VP and majority of Congress The Presidency 30
  • 31.  “I am Vice President. In this I am nothing, but I may be everything.” So said John Adams; the nation’s first vice – president. The Presidency 31
  • 32.  What are the two formal duties listed in the Constitution? 1. Preside over the Senate. 2. Help decide if a presidents is disabled. The Presidency 32
  • 33.  The office of the vice-president has not been taken seriously throughout most of American history. How have vice-presidents traditionally been selected?  Someone who can “balance the ticket”. The Presidency 33
  • 34.  The position has been vacant 18 times:  9 succession, 2 resignations, 7 deaths 25th Amendment states that the President would nominate a Vice President who would then be confirmed by a majority of Congress. The Presidency 34
  • 35.  Who was the first Vice President selected by a majority of the Congress?  Gerald Ford The Presidency 35
  • 36.  The more recent presidents (from Eisenhower on) have made greater use of their vice-presidents. Vice President Dick Cheney is regarded as the most influential Vice President ever. The Presidency 36
  • 37. The Presidency 37
  • 38.  An incumbent President is almost certain to get the nomination and usually with no real opposition from within the party. What advantages does the President have?  Majesty, publicity of office  Control of party machinery The Presidency 38
  • 39.  When a president is not in the field, up to a dozen or so contenders may surface for both political parties. The Presidency 39
  • 40.  Who among the contenders will win the nomination? The historical record argues the one who is?  Most ELECTABLE The Presidency 40
  • 41.  Most presidential candidates come to their nominations with substantial and well-known records in public office. What should these records be free from?  Controversial issues, both public/private. The Presidency 41
  • 42.  Seldom does a candidate step directly from the business or military world  Dwight D. Eisenhower is a notable exception. Historically, the governorships of larger states have produced the largest number of presidential candidates (especially recently) The Presidency 42
  • 43.  Most leading contenders for have had (2) things in common: 1. Protestants 2. Large States Television has reshaped the 2nd reason (above) in recent elections. The Presidency 43
  • 44.  Both parties nominee’s usually have a pleasant and healthy appearance, seem to be happily married with an attractive family (rarely divorced). Speaking ability and good projection over television are also keys. The Presidency 44
  • 45.  What about minorities and religion?  Women, racial minorities and non- protestants have not been considered until recently. The Presidency 45
  • 46.  The Electoral College is one of the least understood parts of the American political process. People vote not for a candidate, but for presidential electors. The Presidency 46
  • 47.  The electors are chosen by popular vote in every state and on the same day everywhere  Tuesday after 1st Monday every fourth year How does a candidate win the electors support? - Win the popular vote of the state The Presidency 47
  • 48.  12th Amendment states that the electors are to meet in their State capitols on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December. The ballots are signed, sealed, then sent by registered mail to the President of the Senate. The Presidency 48
  • 49.  Although the outcome is usually known by midnight of Election Day  When is the formal election of the President? January 6th If no candidate has won a majority (270 today) the election is thrown into the House of Representatives. The Presidency 49
  • 50.  Many political scientists feel the he electoral college system is plagued by (3) major defects: The Presidency 50
  • 51.  Altogether 15 presidents have been elected who did not win a majority of the popular vote. (see next slide) What are the (2) factors that allow for this to happen: 1. Winner take all feature of electoral college. 2. Distribution of electoral votes : population/voter participation . The Presidency 51
  • 52. The Presidency 52
  • 53.  Nothing in the Constitution requires the electors to vote for the candidate favored by the popular vote in their states. The “faithless elector” has actually happened on 9 occasions, but this has had no impact on the outcome of a presidential election, yet… The Presidency 53
  • 54.  This has happened only twice but when there is a strong 3rd party, it could happen. There are (3) main problems with the House deciding: The Presidency 54
  • 55.  Voting is by state, not the individual members. Why is this a problem?  State with SMALL population would have same weight as BIG state. The Presidency 55
  • 56.  Representatives from a State were divided. Why is this a problem?  Statewould lose its vote. The Presidency 56
  • 57.  Constitution requires a majority of States for an election. Why is this a problem?  If a strong 3rd party were involved, possibility of no decision by Inaugural Day. The Presidency 57
  • 58.  Observers have longed recognized there defects and reforms are often proposed: The Presidency 58
  • 59.  (2) from state at large and (1) from each congressional district. The Presidency 59
  • 60. The Presidency 60
  • 61.  State electoral vote would be based on the proportion of the popular vote. Popular Vote Pennsylvania 2012 Obama 46% Romney 52% The Presidency 61
  • 62.  Each vote counts equally – winner would always be the majority. The Presidency 62
  • 63.  102 electoral votes to winner of national popular vote and add to state counts. The Presidency 63
  • 64.  The present electoral college system does have its defenders and they focus on the two major strengths of the present arrangement: 1. It is a known process…the suggested (and untried) reforms may also have defects that could not be known until they appeared in practice. 2. The winner is identified quickly and certainly (in most cases) The Presidency 64
  • 65.  As chief executive, the President executes (enforces, administers, carriers out) the provisions of federal law. What are the constitutional provisions that is power rests on? 1. Oath of Office 2. Constitution - take care that the laws be faithfully executed. The Presidency 66
  • 66.  The job of administering and applying most federal law is the day to day work of all the many departments, bureaus, offices, boards, etc. What is an executive order?  Rule or regulation that has effect of law. The Presidency 67
  • 67.  A President cannot hope to succeed without loyal subordinates who support the policies of the President’s administration. The President names only a handful federal civilian employees – usually the top ranking offices (with consent of the Senate). The Presidency 68
  • 68.  Ambassadors, cabinet members, agencies, federal judges, US marshals and attorneys and all officers in the armed forces. What is needed confirmation of the appointments by the President?  A SIMPLE MAJORITY The Presidency 69
  • 69.  With his legislative powers, and the skillful playing of his roles as chief of party and chief citizen, the President can have a considerable influence on Congress. The Presidency 70
  • 70.  Often called the message power: the Chief Executive regularly sends three (3) major messages to Capitol Hill: The Presidency 71
  • 71. 1. State of the Union2. Budget and Annual Economic Report3. Sends lawmakers messages on a wide range of topics. The Presidency 72
  • 72.  President has (4) options when a bill comes to the White House. Why is the threat of a veto often strong enough to defeat a bill or to prompt changes in the bill?  Congress seldom gets the 2/3 majority needed. The Presidency 73
  • 73.  If the President decides to veto a bill, he must reject the entire measure. Most presidents have recently favored the expansion of the veto power with the line- item veto. The Presidency 74
  • 74.  Define – power to cancel specific monies in spending bills. What is the big fear if the president gets this power?  Giving the executive branch too much power. The Presidency 75
  • 75.  The President may call the Congress into special session. Most recently President Truman did so in 1948.  post WW II economic measures. The Presidency 76
  • 76. Reprieve• Postponement of the execution of a sentence.Pardon• Total legal forgiveness.Clemency• Mercy or leniency (federal crimes only)Commutation• Reduce the length of sentence or a fine.Amnesty• A group pardon The Presidency 77
  • 77. The Presidency 78
  • 78.  DEFINE – formal agreement between 2 or more sovereign states. The President, usually acting through the Secretary of State, negotiates these international agreements. The Presidency 79
  • 79.  The Senate must give its approval (2/3 vote) What happened with the Treaty of Versailles (1920)?  Rejected by the United States Senate. The Presidency 80
  • 80.  DEFINE – pact between the President and head of foreign state. These do not require Senate consent – for example Lend Lease Act of 1940. The Presidency 81
  • 81.  When the President receives the diplomatic representatives of another sovereign state, the President exercises the power of recognition. What does this mean?  President acknowledges the legal existence of a country and its government. The Presidency 82
  • 82.  Some important examples of the use of this power: Panama (1903), Israel (1948) How may the President show American displeasure with the conduct of another country?  Recall that nation’s ambassador persona non- grata. The Presidency 83
  • 83. The Presidency 84
  • 84.  The Constitution makes the President the commander in chief of the nation’s armed forces. Congress does have extensive war powers, but the President dominates the field of military policy. The Presidency 85
  • 85.  Presidents have used the armed forces abroad, and in combat, without a declaration of war – in fact most Presidents have done so. What were the longest undeclared wars?  Korean War (3 years) Vietnam War ( 8 years) The Presidency 86
  • 86.  Congress has not declared war since World War II. However, on 8 occasions since then it has enacted joint resolutions to authorize to meet certain international crises with military force: The Presidency 87
  • 87.  1964 Congressional Resolution to defeat Communist aggression in Southeast Asia. The Presidency 88
  • 88.  1991 Congressional Resolution to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. Operation Desert Storm. The Presidency 89
  • 89.  2002 – Operation Enduring Freedom  Invasion of Afghanistan to find those responsible for 9/11 2003 – Operation Iraqi Freedom  Remove Saddam Hussein to prevent another 9/11. The Presidency 90
  • 90.  Also since WW II, there have been many other critical situations in which Presidents have deployed troops WITHOUT congressional resolutions. Panama in 1989 and Bosnia (1995) and Kosovo (1999) The Presidency 91
  • 91.  2011 – President Obama ordered air strikes on Libya without congressional approval. The Presidency 92
  • 92.  Passed in 1973 over President Nixon’s Veto. Response to American involvement in Vietnam. The Presidency 93
  • 93. 1. 48 hours after committing American forces, President must report to Congress why troops are being deployed The Presidency 94
  • 94. 2. 60 days maximum, unless Congress agrees to a longer period of deployment The Presidency 95
  • 95. 3. Congress may end the combat commitment at any time by passing a concurrent resolution to that effect. The Presidency 96
  • 96. The Presidency 97
  • 97.  Much of the work of the Federal Government is done by the 15 executive departments – often called the Cabinet departments. Can be created (or abolished) by Congress. The Presidency 98
  • 98.  Who heads each of these departments?  A SECRETARY except for Justice which has an ATTORNEY GENERAL Each department head is the primary link between presidential policy and his or her own department. What else does the department head strive to do?  Strive to protect and promote their departments. The Presidency 99
  • 99.  Each department is made up of a number of sub-units and under them, even smaller working units. EXPLAIN how these are structured geographically.  Regional or district offices. The Presidency 100
  • 100.  The Cabinet is an informal advisory body brought together by the President to serve his needs. The Cabinet is the product of custom and usage. The Presidency 101
  • 101.  What were the (4) offices that George Washington sought the advice of? 1. State 2. Treasury 3. War 4. Attorney General The Presidency 102
  • 102. By 2002, the Cabinet has expanded to 15 executive departments. The Presidency 103
  • 103.  President appoints the head of each agency and each of these appointments is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Historically, how does this process usually go? Nominees are rarely rejected The Presidency 104
  • 104. Party is important Gender Qualificationand Race and Experience Interest Groups Geography The Presidency 105
  • 105.  Women and minorities have only gradually become represented in the Cabinet. Recent presidents (Clinton, Bush, Obama) have appointed a variety of minorities in both of their Cabinets. The Presidency 106
  • 106.  Cabinet members have (2) major jobs: 1. Administrative head of an executive department 2. An advisor to the President. The Presidency 107
  • 107.  It really comes down to the individual President and how much he power or say he wants to give to his Cabinet. Some Presidents have leaned on unofficial advisory groups:  Andrew Jackson = Kitchen Cabinet  FDR = Brain Trust The Presidency 108