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Presentation on theme: "UNIT 9 THE PRESIDENCY."— Presentation transcript:


2 I. ORIGINAL INTENT A. Founders wanted to create an executive branch with strong, but LIMITED, powers to support itself against the legislature, but also to prevent the rise of a powerful central figure. a. First 3 presidents shaped it into an influential position.

3 Original Intent (cont’d)
B. President was to be the Chief Executive and thereby the chief law enforcer. He was also considered to be the head-of-state.

4 Original Intent (Cont’d)
C. Executive powers mostly found in Article II. - Few presidential powers to avoid potential tyranny. - Powers are broad, but were designed to have “flexibility” in application. - Cooperation with Congress would be necessary to make policy.

5 D. Formal Powers 1. Appointment powers, but checked by the need for 2/3 Senate confirmation (“advice & consent”) 2. Diplomatic powers a. Head of State Recognizes foreign gov’s, and their ambassadors. A sole power of the Executive b. Treaty-making, but requires 2/3 of Senate to confirm them.

6 EXECUTIVE AGREEMENTS Pacts between the President and other heads of state that are NOT treaties. - Often sensitive and secret - No ratification by Senate required. - Not binding on future presidents (can cancel them at any time) Examples: FDR’s “Lend-Lease”; Bush basing troops in countries to fight drug lords & terrorists;

7 Formal Powers (cont’d)
3. Commander-in-Chief - Head of all U.S. armed forces. - Executes war, but only with a declaration of war from Congress. - Can use armed forces without congressional consent in limited ways.

8 Formal Powers (cont’d)
4. Veto power. Override by Congress is a check on him. 5. Chief Executive powers a. Grant pardons/reprieves for federal offenses with one exception: ____________ b. Sign bills into law and enforce them (the federal bureaucracy was created to assist in the latter). c. Can call Congress into session.

9 E. Requirements to be President:
Be at least 35 years old Natural-born U.S. citizen (by soil or blood) Lived at least 14 years within the U.S. (don’t have to be consecutive, but at least two of those years after the age of 14)

10 F. TERM LIMITS Per the 22nd Amendment: two, 4-year elected terms (do not have to be consecutive) A vice president who has less than 2 years remaining in the previous president’s term may run for two terms of his own, but can serve no more than 10 years total!

11 II. President v. Prime Minister
A. Is the President of the U.S. politically the same as a Prime Minister of a democratic country?

12 B. How do the two positions compare?
PRIME MINISTER PRESIDENT Is a member of the legislature Cannot be a member of the legislature Elected by legislature’s majority party Elected by the Electoral College Has combined legislative and executive functions combined. Has separation of powers between legislative & executive branches

13 Comparisons (Cont’d) Directly introduces policy within legislature
Can’t introduce policy directly within legislature Completely controls the legislative agenda Legislative agenda is decided by Congress Cabinet is composed of members of the legislature Cabinet is appointed by president, but cannot have serving members of Congress in it His party’s policies mostly guaranteed to pass due to block-voting by party No guarantee President’s policy will pass even if his party controls Congress

14 III. INFORMAL POWERS Party leader
- Head of his political party; sets party agenda and is keeper of party ideology. Morale builder - People turn to the President for unity, assurance, sense of purpose and healing; rally to him in time of crisis (e.g. 9/11) - Presidents must build on public trust and opinion - He represents our common heritage

15 Informal Powers (cont’d)
Coalition builder for bipartisan solutions - Failure to do so (especially with divided government) may doom his presidency Leader of the Free World - Expand democracy - Resolve world conflicts, punish oppressors - Exert moral authority

16 Informal Powers (cont’d)
- Communicator of ideas through power of persuasion and moral purpose * Agenda setting (e.g. New Deal) * Use of the “bully pulpit” (e.g. State of the Union Address * diversity in appointments * discourage partisanship * energize citizen efficacy

A. Leadership from the front by Cooperation and compromise with Congress; avoid “gridlock” Solve economic problems using reasonable solutions Keep the peace, but use military force to protect and defend us

18 B. Demeanor Exemplify good character and morality (no Clintons or Nixons). Exercise good judgment in policies and decisions. - Be tough but fair, decisive not waffling. - Be accountable for his actions and their results. Follow the Constitution!

19 C. Presidential Popularity
1. Character and policy can become blurred over time. 2. “It’s the economy, stupid!” The economy has been the biggest overall factor in presidential approval ratings over last 40 years. 3. Foreign policy or military successes can’t guarantee reelection. (e.g. Bush ’92) 4. “Court of Public Opinion” can be brutal at times; just look at polls on Obama’s approval ratings.

20 V. Checking Presidential Power
Congress can: 1. Override vetoes with 2/3 vote of both houses 2. Senate can reject his appointments and treaties (XL Pipeline Treaty) 3. Use budgetary controls to weaken or deny the president his agenda 4. Diminish commander-in-chief role by reducing defense funding, resizing the military, using War Powers Act 5. Use or threaten impeachment (Watergate; Lewinski scandal; Iraq War abuses)

21 Checking the President (Cont’d)
B. President is also checked by divided gov’t: - President must deal with a Congress not fully supportive of his agenda. (e.g. Cap and Trade (2009); Affordable Health Care Act (2010) ) - More potential for a veto override exists if the majority party has a large majority in both houses. C. Also checked by Supreme Court on his actions.

A. How does the president choose those he wants to appoint to government jobs? - Inclusiveness (minorities, women, etc.) - Ideological compatibility - Ability and experience - Patronage (spoils system) - Coalition building with interest groups & opposition

23 B. Supreme Court Nominations
Supreme Court appointments are the most controversial of all appointments because of political fights over the nominees’ perceived ideological leanings and the length of time those justices could sit on the court applying those beliefs.

24 Supreme Court Nominations (cont’d)
Wedge issues can be used by ideological opponents to block judicial appointments (e.g. their Constitutional interpretations, previous bench decisions, or personal statements and behavior) Judge Kagan at her Supreme Court appointment hearing.

25 Supreme Court Nominations (cont)
- Extremism in judicial choices can lead to Congressional opposition to those type of appointments. Opposition is often centered on constitutional “hot button” issues” like: Abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, capital punishment, eminent domain, gun control, etc.

26 C. Judiciary appointees
Hold similar ideologies /party membership to the President Can help create a legacy for him (e.g. first to nominate a woman to Supreme Court) Communicate presidential priorities in social agendas or constitutional interpretation of them

27 VII. Chief Administrator Role
A. The Cabinet is the President’s main means of formulating and carrying out the President’s policies. - It is not mentioned in the Constitution, but exists through Congressional acceptance & presidential needs.

28 Cabinet Organization Composed of 15 executive departments each headed by a Secretary (one by the Attorney General). They advise the president on foreign, domestic, military, legal, and economic policies All 15 are appointed for their experience, acceptability to Congress, or loyalty (patronage). Cabinet members can be fired at any time without Congress’ concurrence.

29 The “Inner Cabinet” - Secretary of Defense - Secretary of State
These are the most important cabinet officers. The President meets with these four often, but the other 11 not so much. - Secretary of Defense - Secretary of State - Secretary of Treasury - Attorney General

30 B. WHITE HOUSE OFFICE - The “nerve center” of the White House. - Composed of POTUS’s most trusted aides appointed by him and not subject to Senate approval. - They report directly to him and direct his political affairs, formulate policy and agenda, and speak on his behalf.

31 C. Executive Office of the President
About 1700 employees who indirectly work for, or report directly to, the President in four policy areas: budget, domestic, foreign and intelligence affairs. All top advisory positions are Senate confirmed.

32 The E.O.P. includes these major advisors and organizations:
- Director of National Intelligence (oversees all intelligence agencies) - National Security Advisor & the National Security Council - Domestic Policy Advisor & the Domestic Policy Council - National Economic Council - United States Trade Representative and the largest EOP organization of all...

33 Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
President uses the budget to advance his political agenda, control the bureaucracy, influence Congress to give him the funds he wants. OMB is partisan in that it: - writes the President’s annual budget and works with Congress to fund presidential priorities - Makes economic policy recommendations - Analyses economic data; makes predictions based on estimates of incoming revenues and outgoing spending

34 D. POLICY CZARS Presidentially appointed, but not Senate confirmed, “experts” who formulate and execute particular strategies for a key area of the government or specific economic concern. Examples: - Auto czar, drug czar, banking czar, health czar, energy czar, compensation czar, nuke czar - Positions have expanded from Bush Jr’s 8 to Obama’s 34.

35 VIII. Office of the Vice President
Does anyone really care about this guy? “I do not choose to be buried until I am already dead.” - Daniel Webster

36 A. Vice President and President run as a team on the same ballot
A. Vice President and President run as a team on the same ballot. This was changed by the ____ Amendment. B. The V.P.’s 4 constitutional roles: - Assume the presidency (9 times to date) - Act as President of the Senate - Break tie votes in the Senate - Certify the electoral vote C. Other duties: Head policy development boards and projects, represent U.S. on state affairs, other duties as per his expertise and relationship with POTUS.

Presidential Succession Law 1st: Speaker of the House 2nd: President Pro Tempore 3rd: Secretary of State 4th: Secretary of Treasury 5th: Secretary of Defense … and continued on from there by Cabinet seniority

38 E. Presidential Disability & Removal
Per the 25th Amendment, the V.P. must notify Congress in writing that the President is incapacitated as to not being able to carry out his duties and must be replaced. A majority of the Cabinet must concur with the VP. If the President does not concur, Congress decides. The President may volunteer to temporarily relinquish his powers by notifying leaders of both houses of Congress that he’s making the VP Acting President. He must state when he expects to resume his duties.

39 F. Vice Presidential Succession
The V.P. must be replaced upon his death, resignation, or removal (impeachment). - President must nominate a candidate and have him confirmed by a majority vote of each house of Congress. - The new V.P. can serve only until the end of the original V.P.’s term and then must get reelected to retain the office. X

40 X. IMPEACHMENT Carried out per Article II, of the Constitution.
- Two impeachments to date (A. Johnson-1868; B.Clinton-1998); neither was convicted *You should already know the reasons why! - One “almost” impeachment (Nixon-1974) Impeachable offenses are: - Treason - Bribery - High crimes (felonies) & misdemeanors

41 Impeachment results from…
Malfeasance is an impeachable act. - “To knowingly commit a wrongful act as an elected or appointed official.” Ex: Taking a bribe; committing perjury; willfully subverting the law. Misfeasance may or may not be impeachable. - “To perform a lawful act, but in an illegal manner.” Was it done knowing it was wrong, or done in ignorance of the law? Ex: Wiretaps without a court order; campaign finance abuse

42 Who Decides If Impeachment is Necessary?
1. What is considered constitutional grounds for an impeachable offense is left to the House of Reps to decide. 2. Impeachment is as politically motivated as elections and usually divided along partisan lines.

Charges are filed with the House of Representatives. Charges are investigated by the House Judiciary Committee to determine if impeachment is warranted. Case is sent to House floor for a vote of impeachment if a simple majority of the Judiciary Committee recommended such action.

The full House hears and debates the charges and then votes on impeachment. With a simple majority voting to impeach, the case goes to the Senate for trial. Senate hears the trial acting as the jury; the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice sits as trial judge. If 2/3 of all Senators vote guilty, the President is removed from office immediately. NO APPEAL! - The ex-president is eligible to be tried for his crimes in a court at a later time.

45 End of Unit 9 (Part 1) The Presidency

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