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The Presidency


The Presidency When we think of government, ... shared powers Fear of presidential bribery to ensure reelection Concern was balance of power How long do they serve ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Presidency

The Presidency
  • When we think of government, we think of the
    President of the United States
  • Considered the most powerful man in the world
  • Weve discussed his roles, from ceremonial head
    of state to commander in chief (you must remember
  • Theres just so much more

The Founding Fathers
  • The feared both anarchy and monarchy
  • Fear of corruption by Senate shared powers
  • Fear of presidential bribery to ensure reelection
  • Concern was balance of power
  • How long do they serve 2 term precedent but
    22nd Amendment ensures that
  • Establishment of legitimacy of office
  • and orderly transfer of power
  • One solution the Electoral College

The Electoral College
  • A blessing and a curse
  • Created to ensure fair and balanced way to select
    a president
  • Each state chooses delegates and met in their own
    capital to pick a president (now they meet in a
    national convention)
  • Winner takes all approach and if no one wins a
    majority, then the House picks the president!!
  • Needs to be reformed as the electorate is more
    informed and educated maybe a percentage of
    electoral votes to each candidate??

The beginnings
  • Power of early presidents gave legitimacy to
    office(Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison)
  • Not a lot of activism so people didnt fear the
    president (like a monarch)
  • Good relations with Congress, basically
  • Jackson believed in very strong presidency!!!
    Used his veto power, was very popular!!
  • Congress regains power from president until FDR
    and since then its been pretty even

Powers of the President
  • Powers are found in Article II of the
  • Presidents power can also be found in the
    ambiguous clauses of the Constitution including
    his C and C powers, duty to execute the laws, etc
  • The Presidents greatest source of power comes
    from politics and public opinion (authority and

Other powers include
  • Executive powers execute laws, direct
    administration, appoint officials, foreign policy
  • Legislative powers recommend legislation, veto
    legislation and call special sessions
  • Judicial powers grant reprieves, grant pardons,
    commute sentences, grant amnesty

The White House Office
  • This is the presidential staff which the
    president really didnt have until 1857
  • The office is made up of the presidents closest
  • Three types of structures of the Office
  • Pyramid structure hierarchy, Chief of Staff
  • Circular structure all report to president
  • Ad hoc structure informal, committees
  • Typically a mix of all of these structures

More on the office
  • Presidents staff typically worked on the
    presidents campaign supports presidential
    agenda and priorities!!!!
  • Lots of jockeying everyone wants to be as close
    as possible to the president
  • Proximity plays a huge role in power outside of
    the president be near the president and you
    think you have power, too

The Executive Office of the President
  • Known as the EOP
  • Shaped like an umbrella and is composed of
    agencies that report directly to the president
    such as
  • The OMB Office of Management and Budget
  • Independent agencies (regulatory commissions or
    corporations that carry out business like
    activities created late 1800s)

The Cabinet
  • Part of the EOP
  • Composed of 14 executive departments
  • Closest advisors to the president, but can act
    outside of his authority, advocate for their
  • Each one headed by a Secretary except Dept. of
    Justice which is headed by Attorney General
  • Oldest and most prestigious is the State Dept and
    the biggest is the DOD (Pentagon)
  • While the Cabinet is not specifically mentioned
    in the Constitution, it wields a lot of power and
    influence!!!! (school example principals staff
    are his closest advisors while the department
    chairs are the cabinet, out for themselves as
    well as the school)

Characteristics of presidents
  • Recent personalities and characteristics
  • Eisenhower orderly, military style
  • Kennedy bold, articulate, improviser
  • Johnson master legislative strategist,
  • Nixon expert foreign policy, hated personal
  • Ford discussion oriented, genial
  • Carter Washington outsider, micromanager
  • Reagan set priorities let staff work, leader of
    public opinion
  • Bush, Sr. Washington insider, hands-on manager
  • Clinton good communicator, followed
    liberal/center agenda
  • Bush, Jr. tightly controlled White House,
    foreign affairs have dominated since 9/11

Power to persuade
  • President has huge ability to use office to
    persuade public and fellow politicians
  • Relies on prepared speeches the bully pulpit
  • Can use popularity to gain congressional support
    for bills and agenda
  • Riding presidents coattails has been declining
    for years, minimal affect now
  • Popularity affected by many factors, look at
    Bushs rating after 9/11 to now
  • Usually highest during honeymoon period

Other powers to remember
  • Veto power includes pocket veto and overriding
    of a veto by Congress
  • Executive privilege need for advice but not
    absolute (Nixon v US)
  • Impoundment of funds president can choose not
    to spend money appropriated by Congress, but
    there are rules to this

Presidential transition
  • Only 15 of 43 presidents have completed 2 terms
    8 have died in office (4 assassinated?)
  • Vice presidents job rather empty President
    of Senate and only 5 have been elected pres.
  • Succession determined by 25th Amendment now but
    not before
  • President ill?? VP in charge but who decides?
  • A new president after a death must choose a new
    VP and he or she must be confirmed by a majority
    of BOTH houses!!!!!

  • More judges than presidents get impeached
  • Only Andrew Johnson, Nixon and Clinton could have
    been impeached
  • Nixon resigned but surely would have been
  • Johnson and Clinton indicted by House but not
    convicted in Senate

How powerful is the President?
  • Less now than before many constraints on the
  • Complex issues
  • Constant watch by the media
  • More interest groups with more power!
  • Responses to constraints include
  • Get things done during honeymoon
  • Just a few priorities on agenda
  • Give power to White House staff and supervise
    closely THE END!! But wait

The Federal Bureaucracy
  • Definition a large complex organization of
    appointed officials
  • US system unique in that power is shared by
    president and congress and that federal agencies
    work with state and local agencies
  • Constitution had little to say about
    bureaucracy or how to make it work go figure!
  • REMEMBER we are talking about people who work
    for the government, on almost any level, as a
    civilian employee

Brief history
  • The bureaucracy has played many roles over the
  • Place to give jobs to your friends
  • Service oriented to the federal government
  • The Depression led to a more active role in
  • Income taxes supported a huge bureaucracy and
    its growth
  • 9/11 has also increased size and scope of

Its ALIVE!!!
  • There is a bureaucracy everywhere
  • government, of course
  • schools
  • churches
  • your work place
  • your family
  • even among your friends
  • because we need lots of help and guidence to
    get jobs done

They must
  1. Answer to competing sources of political
  2. Function in a constitutional system that
    fragments power (decentralization)
  3. Achieve vague and often competing goals (save the
    environment - produce fuel??)
  4. Deal with few incentives that value efficiency

The Bureaucracy continued
  • The power of a bureaucracy must be measured by
    its authority, not by the number of employees or
    size of its budget
  • War and depression have been the main sources of
    bureaucratic growth over time
  • How bureaucrats use their authority can be
    explained by their recruitment and job security,
    their political views and by the nature of the
    tasks their agencies perform

  • When we think of bureaucracy we think of
  • Red tape - complex and conflicting rules
  • Conflict - agencies work against each other
  • Duplication - agencies do the same thing
  • Imperialism - agencies grow regardless of budget,
    benefits or costs
  • Waste - a famous by-product of bureaucracy

Civil service now anyway
  • Jobs in government used to be a reward for
    helping out a winning candidate - called
    patronage !!!!!
  • Now jobs are merit based - through the civil
    service system
  • This is due, in part, to the 1883 Pendleton Civil
    Service Act which established a civil service
    board and testing procedure for advancement
  • (remember political machines and giving jobs to
    favored assistants at the governments expense???
    No, rats)

Does it work??
  • Look at the cartoon on page 425 - it shows that
    there is an entire language of the bureaucrat
  • One of the rules - never use ordinary words
    where unusual ones can be found!
  • On page 426 are the laws of bureaucrat
    procedure such as there is never time to do it
    right the first time, but always time to do it
  • People make fun of the bureaucracy but should

Does it work?
  • Yes, actually, surprisingly well
  • Look at the mail service or the fact that we made
    it to the moon -
  • But it could be better and more efficient perhaps

  • Lots of attempts - 11 just in the 1990s
  • Most revolve around centralizing authority
  • Employee initiatives
  • Fewer detailed rules and more customer
  • But difficult to accomplish
  • Most rules and red tape are struggles between the
    president and Congress or are a by-product of
    divided government and micromanagement

A final note
  • You must read this chapter - there is information
    on recruitment, growth, the changing role, the
    buddy system, the Iron Triangle, firing a
    bureaucrat, constraints on the job, a career in
    government, the benefits and drawbacks, and vocab
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