Why do we need a president? Articles of Confederation (the failed first attempt at govt. plan) No strong central govt. Difficult to enforce laws Needed someone to keep the legislative branch (Congress) in check.
Article II of Constitution Commander in chief of military Appoints heads of executive departments (cabinet members) Conducts foreign policy Treaties Appoints ambassadors Appoints federal judges Can pardon people Ensures laws are “faithfully executed” Delivers annual State of the Union Address Can propose new laws (but congress has to pass them)
Expansion of Power “I have used every ounce of power there was in the office and I have not cared a rap for the criticisms of those who spoke of my „usurpation‟ of power;…I believe that the efficiency of this government depends upon its possessing a strong central executive…” -Theodore Roosevelt, 1908
Presidents who have expanded power Thomas Jefferson- (group 1- p.247) Abraham Lincoln- (group 2- p.247) Franklin D. Roosevelt- (group 3- p.248) George W. Bush- (group 4- p. 248)
Public Opinion Important to maintain a good relationship with the people- need strong popular support to keep power Exposure through the Media!! Television Newspapers Magazines Radio
Limits to Power Congress can override veto Impeachment (Johnson and Clinton- Nixon resigned before he was impeached) Supreme Court can declare actions unconstitutional Public disapproval Max. of 2 terms