2Introduction Demands on the presidency are numerous and contradictory. Presidential influence and power has varied since the 1950s.
3The President and Symbolic Leadership The president serves as both the ceremonial chief of state and the actual head of government.The ceremonial presidency is the symbol of national unity.The “honeymoon period” is one of general public goodwill and often results in political victories.International crises rally presidential support.The fusion of symbolic and political authority sometimes fuels public criticism as well.
4Public Approval Ratings of Presidents, Roosevelt to Obama Public approval ratings usually vary widely during a president’s time in office. Sometimesratin gsreflect the president’s handling of events. At other times, they reflect public frustration over events largely out of a president’s control.
5The President and the Constitution Executive PowerPresidents have interpreted “executive power” differently.The stewardship theory suggests broad powers.The constitutional theory suggests narrow, limited powers.The steel seizure case established a middle ground:“When the President acts in absence of either a congressional grant or denial of authority… there is a zone of twilight in which he and Congress may have concurrent authority.” – Supreme Court Justice Robert H. JacksonJackson implied that the Court would decide such constitutional boundary disputes on the basis of “the imperatives of events and contemporary imponderables rather than on abstract theories of law.”
6The President and the Constitution (continued) The plasticity of the presidency means that the office can be molded according to a particular president’s personality and events.The Power of AppointmentThe President nominates ambassadors, judges, and other officials, usually with the advice and consent of the Senate.The Senate may delay or defeat a nomination.The Removal PowerThe Supreme Court has ruled that the President’s removal powers apply only to purely executive offices.The President can place pressure on officials to resign.The Power to PardonThe President’s pardon powers are limited to federal offenses.Ford’s pardon of Nixon was one of the most controversial uses of this power.
7The President and the Executive Branch The CabinetThe cabinet is not a high-level decision making body.Although the president is not obligated to share responsibility with his cabinet, and its officers serve at the president’s discretion, individual officers can still have a significant influence on the president.Cabinet officers may be politically independent and often more responsive to constituent groups than the president.The inner cabinet consists of the secretaries of state, defense, and treasury, and the attorney general—all who work closely with the president.The outer cabinet consists of the remaining officers who deal with sharply defined programs and are subject to pressure from client groups.Recent presidents have chosen their cabinets based on criteria such as loyalty and professionalism.
8The Cabinet, 2011The cabinet is composed of the heads of the fifteen executive departments and certain other officials in the executive branch to whom the president has accorded cabinet rank. The vice president also participates in meetings of the cabinet, and from time to time the president may invite others to participate in the discussion of particular subjects.
9The White House StaffStaff members are loyal to the president and are usually people who were close to the president prior to his assuming office.Staff aides offer advice, set legislative strategy, keep the bureaucracy in check, review the performance of the cabinet, plan the president’s time, and say “no” for the president when someone asks for something he cannot give.Presidents manage their staffs to suit their own personalities.
10The Executive Office of the President The Executive Office of the President (EOP) is the managerial arm of the presidency.The structure of the EOP reflects the dominant issues of the time, and presidents use the office according to their own styles.The Office of Management and Budget helps the president develop the budget and monitors the implementation and administration of the president’s programs.The National Security Council provides advice and policy coordination on questions of national security.The Council of Economic Advisers analyzes economic issues, makes economic forecasts, and prepares the president’s Economic Report to Congress.The Office of Policy Development focuses on the formulation, coordination, and implementation of economic and domestic policy.
11The President and the Executive Branch The Vice PresidentHistorically, vice presidents performed largely ceremonial tasks making the office a target of some ridicule and disdain.However Vice President Walter Mondale played a more important role as an advisor to President Carter when it came to policy making.Presidential SuccessionThe Twenty-fifth Amendment allows the vice president to become acting president when the president is disabled and provides a procedure for filling a vice presidential vacancy.The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 establishes the line of succession in case of simultaneous vacancies.
12The President and Congress: Foreign Policy IntroductionCongress can influence foreign policy, but the president controls it.Since Vietnam, Congress has become more assertive in foreign policy.Negotiating TreatiesTreaties are negotiated and signed by the president, but they are subject to approval by two-thirds of the Senate (Article II of the Constitution).Most treaties have been approved by the Senate without question (a major exception was the Treaty of Versailles).Since President Wilson, presidents have also included senators in treaty negotiations.These days, approval of important treaties is rarely routine and often requires presidential concessions.
13Executive AgreementsAn executive agreement is an understanding between heads of state requiring no Senate approval.Executive agreements can be serious tools of foreign policy, and they were often classified and kept from Congress.The Case Act (1972) requires the secretary of state to submit to the Senate the final text of any executive agreement, sometimes privately to the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees if the agreement contains sensitive information. It is designed to prevent the abuse of executive power.
14The President and Congress: The War Power IntroductionCongress alone has the constitutional power to declare war.The commander-in-chief clause establishes civilian control over the military, making the president the civilian head of U.S. military forces.
15The President and Congress: The War Power (continued) The Mexican and Civil Wars – Use and Misuse of the War PowerJames Polk manipulated Congress into declaring war on Mexico using the war power.Lincoln’s actions before the Civil War, however, were mostly backed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court in the Prize Cases.The Two World Wars – Congress Declares WarIn 1917 and 1941, Congress formally declared war and delegated vast discretionary powers to the president.Roosevelt made broad use of his wartime powers, including the detention of all Japanese Americans (an action later upheld by the court in Korematsu v. United States).
16The President and Congress: The War Power (continued) The Cold War and Beyond – Presidential Assertion of PowerTruman’s actions during the Korean War bypassed Congress entirely and fell outside the framers’ original understanding of the president’s war powers. Congress later implicitly ratified Truman’s decision.During the Cold War, Congress acquiesced to the president’s war powers, including with Eisenhower’s request to use force if needed to protect Taiwan.The Vietnam TraumaPresidential war actions in Vietnam went largely unchallenged.At Johnson’s request, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which recognized the president’s claim to unilateral war-making authority.As the war lost public support, Congress attempted to regain its authority primarily through its control of spending power; however, the task was arduous and the result ambiguous.
17The President and Congress War Power (continued) The War Powers ResolutionThe War Powers Resolution states that the president cannot commit troops to combat for more than 60 days unless authorized by Congress.The resolution has had little effect on presidential behavior and has been successfully used only in the Gulf War.The Iraq WarBush received broad authority from Congress to take action against Iraq based on the claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. This claim was later found to be inaccurate.The war continues, in part, because Congress has been unwilling or unable to end it.
18The President and Congress: Domestic Policy Legislative SkillsPresidents should do the following to be successful leaders of Congress:Know the legislative environmentHave a good sense of timingEstablish their prioritiesHave a high-quality legislative liaison officeConsult with both party leadersEstablish broad bipartisan support
19The President and Congress: Domestic Policy (continued) The Presidential VetoA president can veto a bill within ten days, after which it can be overridden by a two-thirds majority of each house.A pocket veto, which cannot be overridden, occurs if Congress adjourns within the ten-day period.The veto is a powerful weapon, as only about 4 percent are actually overridden.The president does not possess an item veto, where only sections of a bill are rejected.Executive PrivilegeExecutive privilege is the right of the president to refuse information requested by Congress and the courts.Nixon attempted to enlarge this power during the Watergate affair, but the court ruled in United States v. Nixon that executive privilege was not absolute.Congress has become more assertive and suspicious about claims of executive privilege in recent years.
20Presidential Vetoes and Overrides The veto remains one of the president’s most significant constitutional powers. Yet the president does not posses the authority for an item veto—the power to reject part of a bill. The president must accept or reject the entire bill.
21Impeachment Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution: “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”Impeachment is the ultimate congressional weapon in the struggle between the president and Congress.The House brings the impeachment charges and acts as grand jury.The chief justice presides over the impeachment.A vote of two-thirds of the Senate is required for conviction and removal.
22The President and the Media Introduction:Presidents and the media have a love-hate relationship.Presidents want to control information, while reporters want to acquire and publicize as much interesting information as possible.The media tend to oversimplify issues and reduce personalities to stereotypes.
23The President and the Media (continued) Phases of the RelationshipStage 1: The administration’s honeymoon stage is often characterized by a period of cooperation between the president and the media.Stage 2: As the administration settles in, internal conflicts sometimes arise, and sensitive information might be leaked. This initiates a period of conflict between the president and the media.Stage 3: Detachment is the third phase, during which time the president becomes less accessible to the press and the media becomes more aggressive, often resorting to sources outside the White House.
24The Imperial President vs. The Imperial Media Presidents can do the following:Orchestrate their appearancesDecide what format to use in presenting their case to the publicUse news leaks as a tool by leaking information to reporters they favor while withholding it from those they disdainThe media can do the following:Use investigative reporting to take advantage of leakers within the administrationPressure presidents using the Freedom of Information ActBarrage them with persistent questions at press conferencesPortray the president any way they wishThe result is usually a stand off between the president and the press.