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The Presidency


The Presidency The Presidents Great Expectations Americans want a president who is powerful and who can do good: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Presidency

The Presidency
The Presidents
  • Great Expectations
  • Americans want a president who is powerful and
    who can do good
  • Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and
  • But at the same time, they dont want the
    president to get too powerful since we are
    individualistic and skeptical of authority.
  • Nixon
  • Clinton

The Presidents
  • Who They Are
  • Formal Requirements
  • Must be 35 years old
  • Must be a natural-born citizen
  • Must have resided in U.S. for 14 years
  • Informal Requirements
  • White, Male, Protestant (except one JFK)
  • All manner of professions, but mostly political
    ones (former state governors, for example)

  • 22nd amendment established 2 terms/10 years
  • Govnt experience (law)
  • Moderate viewpoints
  • Male
  • Lonely job

Salary and Benefits
  • Determined by Congress
  • 400,000 salary/50,000 expenses/120,000 travel
  • Air Force One
  • Free medical, dental, healthcare
  • White House (132 room mansion) swimming pool,
    bowling alley
  • 80 domestic staff
  • Retirement Pension - 151,800 office staff -
    150,000 (former first ladies - 20,000)

  • 25th amendment (1967)
  • Order
  • VP
  • Speaker of the House
  • Pres. Pro-temp of the Senate
  • Cabinet Offices (secretaries)
  • Garfield, FDR, JFK, Harding all died in office
  • Disability
  • Pres informs Congress (vp takes over)
  • VP and majority of Cabinet indicate if president
    is disabled

  • 2 duties
  • President over Senate (vote in case of tie)
  • Helps decide if pres is disabled and acts as pres
    should that happen
  • Other duties vary
  • Recently given more power and responsibility (ex

The Presidents
The Presidents
  • How They Got There
  • Elections The Normal Road to the White House
  • Once elected, the president gets a term of four
  • In 1951, the 22nd Amendment limited the number of
    terms to two.
  • Most Presidents have been elected to office.

The Presidents
  • How They Got There
  • Succession and Impeachment
  • Vice-President succeeds if the president leaves
    office due to death, resignation, or removal.
  • Impeachment is investigated by the House, and if
    impeached, tried by the Senate with the Chief
    Justice presiding.
  • Only two presidents have been impeached A.
    Johnson Clinton - neither was convicted.
  • The 25th Amendment clarifies what happens if the
    president becomes disabled.

The Presidents
System of Electing the President
  • Elector - a member of a political party chosen by
    a popular vote in each state to formally elect
    the pres and vp
  • Electoral vote - official vote for pres and vp by
    electors in each state
  • of electors per state of representatives
    of senators per state

  • Must win 270 of 538 votes (majority)
  • Elections 2000
  • If no one candidate wins majority than outcome
    determined by House of Rep. (ex 1800 -
    Jefferson, 1824 - John Quincy Adams)
  • Winner take all system
  • Widely debated
  • Electoral votes vs. popular votes

BUSH/ CHENEY 271 electoral vote 50,456,062 popular vote
GORE/ LIBERMAN 266 electoral vote 50,996,582 popular vote
Presidential Office
  • 20th amendment
  • Changed the month the president takes office from
    March to January
  • Noon on January 20th

Presidential Powers
  • Head of State
  • Represent nation
  • Ceremonial duties
  • Light tree
  • Host dignitaries
  • Meet public figures
  • Chief Executive
  • Carries out laws of Congress
  • Executive orders - rules that have the force of
  • Grant reprieve
  • Grant pardon
  • amnesty

  • Chief Legislator
  • Propose legislation to Congress
  • State of Union address
  • Work with members of Congress
  • Veto power
  • Economic Planner
  • Employment Act of 1946 (annual economic report,
    council of Economic Advisors)
  • Prepare federal budget

  • Party Leader
  • Help in election of members
  • Fund raising
  • Appointing party members (patronage)
  • Conflict of interest?
  • Chief Diplomat
  • Directs foreign policy
  • Struggle with Congress over power
  • Make treaties
  • Make executive agreements
  • Recognition of foreign governments
  • Commander in Chief
  • Power to make war
  • Military operation and strategy
  • Operations at home

Limitations on power
  • Congress - override veto by 2/3 vote (Ex War
    Powers Act - Nixons veto 1973)
  • Congress - impeach pres (Andrew Johnson, Bill
    Clinton - acquitted)
  • Supreme Court - Marbury v. Madison 1803
  • Some of FDRs new deal legislation was ruled
  • Schechter Poultry Corp vs. U.S.
  • Richard Nixons White House Tapes
  • Bureaucracy - intentional and unintentional
  • Fail to provide info, misinterpret instructions
  • Public opinion
  • War, economic state, moral character
  • Mass media

Executive Privilege
  • Right of pres to refuse to testify before, or to
    provide info to Congress or a court
  • US v. Nixon (1974)
  • Nixon secretly taped conversations with key aides
    about Watergate coverup
  • SC ruled that Nixon had to surredner tapes to
    special prosecutor investigating scandal
  • Question remains How far does executive
    privilege extend?

Presidential Powers
  • The Expansion of Power
  • Presidents may develop new roles for the office
  • Presidents may expand the power of the office
  • Perspectives on Presidential Power
  • Through the 50s 60s a powerful President was
    perceived as good.
  • From the 70s on, presidential power was checked
    and distrusted by the public.

Running the GovernmentThe Chief Executive
  • The Vice President
  • Basically just waits for things to do
  • Recent presidents have given their VPs important
  • The Cabinet
  • Presidential advisors, not in Constitution
  • Is made up of the top executives of the Federal
    Departments, confirmed by the Senate
  • Pres, VP, 14 secretaries (dept. heads), top
  • President Bush's Cabinet

Running the Government The Chief Executive
Cabinet Secretary Characteristics
  • Presidential advisors
  • secretaries head each major executive dept
  • Must please many (political party, Congress,
    interest groups)
  • Experience in area
  • Satisfaction of interest groups (ex education
  • NEA About NEA

  • Administrative skills (large departments)
  • Background (college grads, advanced degrees,
    leaders in field)
  • Salary 161,200 (often sacrifice for public

Nomination and Confirmation
  • List made by pres
  • Names may be leaked to assess views of public,
    Congress, interest groups
  • Confirmation hearings before committee that
    oversees particular dept
  • 2/3 vote of Senate

Role of Cabinet
  • Head of dept
  • Advisor to pres
  • Most Cabinets are sounding boards more than
  • Inner cabinet (state, defense, treasury, Attorney
    General) more influential

Limits of Cabinet
  • Conflicting loyalties (pres, career employees,
    Congress, interest groups)
  • Internal disputes (between secretaries - fight
    for control disagree with pres)
  • Secrecy and trust issues
  • Pres often turns to Executive Office instead

Running the GovernmentThe Chief Executive
  • The Executive Office
  • Made up of several policymaking and advisory
  • Three principle groups NSC, CEA, OMB

Running the GovernmentThe Chief Executive
  • The White House Staff
  • Chief aides and staff for the president - some
    are more for the White House than the president
  • Presidents rely on their information and effort
  • The First Lady
  • No official government position, but many get
    involved politically
  • Recent ones focus on a single issue

  • Individuals and agencies that directly assist the
  • Gather info advise pres help implement decisions

Executive Office Agencies
  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • Largest
  • Prepares pres budget to Congress
  • Reviews budgets of agencies
  • Central clearance - review all legislative

  • National Security Council (NSC)
  • Created in 1974
  • Coordinate military and foreign policy
  • Pres, vp, sec of state, sec of defense, other
  • National security advisor directs staff
  • National Security Council

  • National Economic Council
  • Created in 1946
  • Helps pres formulate natl economic policy
  • 3 top economists - 60 other economists,
    attorneys, political scientists
  • Assesses econ health, future econ conditions,
    aids other agencies
  • Proposes solutions to problems
  • Lawrence B. Lindsey

Running the Government The Chief Executive
  • Principal Offices in the White House (Figure

White House Office
  • Pres appoints (withOUT approval of Senate)
  • Often long time personal supporters
  • Inner circle
  • Chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, White
    House counsel, press sec
  • Press staff (headed by press sec)
  • Handles relations with White House press corp
  • Press conferences
  • Public statements

Presidential Leadership of Congress The Politics
of Shared Powers
  • Chief Legislator
  • Veto Sending a bill back to Congress with his
    reasons for rejecting it. Can be overridden.
  • Pocket Veto Letting a bill die by not signing it
    - only works when Congress is adjourned.
  • Line Item Veto The ability to veto parts of a
    bill. Some state governors have it, but not the
  • Vetoes are most used to prevent legislation.

Presidential Leadership of Congress The Politics
of Shared Powers
Presidential Leadership of Congress The Politics
of Shared Powers
  • Party Leadership
  • The Bonds of Party
  • The psychological bond of being in the
    presidents party
  • Slippage in Party Support
  • Presidents cannot always count on party support,
    especially on controversial issues
  • Leading the Party
  • Presidents can offer party candidates support and
    punishment by withholding favors.
  • Presidential coattails occur when voters cast
    their ballots for congressional candidates of the
    presidents party because they support the

Presidential Leadership of Congress The Politics
of Shared Powers
Presidential Leadership of Congress The Politics
of Shared Powers
Presidential Leadership of Congress The Politics
of Shared Powers
  • Public Support
  • Public Approval
  • Operates mostly in the background
  • Public approval gives the president leverage, not
  • Mandates
  • Perception that the voters strongly support the
    presidents character and policies
  • Mandates are infrequent, but presidents may claim
    a mandate anyway

Presidential Leadership of Congress The Politics
of Shared Powers
  • Legislative Skills
  • Variety of forms bargaining, making personal
    appeals, consulting with Congress, setting
    priorities, etc.
  • Most important is bargaining with Congress.
  • Presidents can use their honeymoon period to
    their advantage.
  • Nations key agenda builder

The President and National Security Policy
  • Chief Diplomat
  • Negotiates treaties with other countries
  • Treaties must be approved by the Senate
  • Use executive agreements to take care of routine
    matters with other countries
  • May negotiate for peace between other countries
  • Lead U.S. allies in defense economic issues

The President and National Security Policy
  • Commander in Chief
  • Writers of the constitution wanted civilian
    control of the military
  • Presidents often make important military
  • Presidents command a standing military and
    nuclear arsenal - unthinkable 200 years ago

The President and National Security Policy
  • War Powers
  • Constitution gives Congress the power to declare
    war, but presidents can commit troops and
    equipment in conflicts
  • War Powers Resolution was intended to limit the
    presidents use of the military - but may be
  • Presidents continue to test the limits of using
    the military in foreign conflicts

The President and National Security Policy
  • Crisis Manager
  • A crisis is a sudden, unpredictable, and
    potentially dangerous event.
  • The role the president plays can help or hurt the
    presidential image.
  • With current technology, the president can act
    much faster than Congress to resolve a crisis.
  • Working with Congress
  • President has lead role in foreign affairs.
  • Presidents still have to work with Congress for
    support and funding of foreign policies.

Presidential Isolation
  • Staff members are reluctant to voice criticism of
    the pres
  • Disagreement with the pres can sometimes lead to
    limited access to the pres
  • Top staffers control access to the pres

Power from the PeopleThe Public Presidency
  • Going Public
  • Public support is perhaps the greatest source of
    influence a president has.
  • Presidential appearances are staged to get the
    publics attention.
  • As head of state, presidents often perform many
    ceremonial functions, which usually result in
    favorable press coverage.

Power from the PeopleThe Public Presidency
  • Presidential Approval
  • Receives much effort by the White House
  • Product of many factors predispositions,
  • Changes can highlight good / bad decisions

Power from the People The Public Presidency
  • Average Presidential Approval for Entire Terms in
    Office (Figure 13.4)

Power from the PeopleThe Public Presidency
  • Policy Support
  • Being an effective speaker is important.
  • The public may still miss the message.
  • Mobilizing the Public
  • The president may need to get the public to
    actually act by contacting Congress.
  • Difficult to do since public opinion and
    political action are needed.

The President and the Press
  • Presidents and media are often adversaries due to
    different goals
  • Many people in the White House deal with the
    media, but the press secretary is the main
    contact person
  • Media are often more interested in the person,
    not the policies
  • News coverage has become more negative

Understanding the American Presidency
  • The Presidency and Democracy
  • There are still concerns over the president
    having too much power.
  • Others argue there are too many checks and
    balances on the president.
  • The Presidency and the Scope of Government
  • Some presidents have increased the functions of
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