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The American Presidency Qualifications, Benefits, and Roles.

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1 The American Presidency Qualifications, Benefits, and Roles

2 “(The Presidency) is a place of splendid misery.”- Thomas Jefferson “No one can experience with the President of the United States the glory and agony of his office.”- Lyndon Johnson “Oh, that lovely title, ex-president.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

3 FEDERALIST NO. 70 “Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy.” -Alexander Hamilton

4 Warm up 1. Is the view of the presidency a positive or negative one? 2. What are the positive and negative aspects of holding the position of the presidency? 3. Do you think that the presidents’ perception of his office is influenced by the great amount of power and responsibility associated with it as compared to other offices, eg. Senators? 4. How do the two quotations from Taft and Roosevelt differ? Which one do you agree more with?

5 QUALIFICATIONS IN ARTICLE II OF THE CONSTITUTION “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected…” “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

6 AMENDMENT XXII “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.” “This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.”

7 DISCUSSION QUESTION If the president is limited to two four-year terms, How can a president theoretically serve more than eight years? Hint: refer to the 22nd Amendment

8 EXECUTIVE CHECKS ON OTHER BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT Legislative o Veto power o Special Sessions o Recommendations to Congress “These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Other” – James Madison Federalist No. 48

9 EXECUTIVE CHECKS ON OTHER BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT Judicial o Clemency (pardons, commutations, etc.) o Appointment of federal judges and Supreme Court Justices with consent of the Senate o Executes the laws and enforces court decisions “The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community…The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever.” -Alexander Hamilton Federalist No. 78

10 COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS Salary is 400,000 USD per year o Plus 50,000 USD per year for Whitehouse expenses Use of the Whitehouse, Camp David, vehicles etc…

11 PENSION AND RETIREMENT Pension o Currently the executive receives 186,600 USD for their lifetime pension o Also, the executive is allotted for the first 30 months a salary of 150,000 USD for staff and office expenses, then after the 30 months it decreases to a maximum of 96,000 USD Widows Benefits o The president’s widow also receives 20,000 USD per year after the president’s death

12 DISCUSSION QUESTION In present day terms, is the executive compensated fairly? Should the executive receive a pension after he or she leaves office? Why or why not?

13 ROSSITER’S ROLES OF THE PRESIDENT Chief of State o Living symbol of the nation. This role requires the president to be an inspiring example for the nation to follow. o Example  Greeting visitors at the Whitehouse Chief Executive o The boss of government workers within the executive branch. Enforcing and executing the laws of the other branches. o Example  Appointing positions to carry out the duties of the executive branch. Chief Diplomat o Decides with the help of advisors dealing with nations and diplomats. o Example  Appoint a diplomat to serve in a foreign country

14 ROSSITER’S ROLES CONT… Commander and Chief o The president is the head of the armed forces. All military generals and admirals take their orders from the president. o Example  Deciding in war time what cities to bomb. Chief Legislator o Only Congress has the actual power to make laws. But the Constitution gives the president power to influence Congress in its lawmaking. Presidents may urge Congress to pass new laws or veto bills that they do not favor. o Examples  Inviting member of Congress to the Whitehouse for lunch.

15 ROSSITER’S ROLES CONT… Chief of Party o In this role, the president helps members of his political party get elected or appointed to office. The president campaigns for those members who have supported his policies. o Example  Choosing a leading party member to serve in his cabinet. Chief Guardian of the Economy o The president is concerned with such things as unemployment, high prices, taxes, business profits, and the general prosperity of the country. The president does not control the economy, but is expected to help it run smoothly. o Example  Meeting with economic advisors to help reduce unemployment.

16 The Power to Persuade  Because there is not much guaranteed or constitutional authority, the pres. Has to rely a lot on the power of persuasion to get things done  3 audiences Washington, D.C.- fellow politicians and colleagues- pres. Needs to appear to have the ability to get things done Party activists and stakeholders outside of D.C.- want the pres. To exemplify their ideals, trumpet their slogans Public- actually it is many publics and he needs to please them all- and therefore many pres. Have turned to prepared speeches

17 Popularity and Influence Object is to convert personal popularity into congressional support for the pres. Legislative programs since members of congress don’t really need the pres. To get reelected or for their own popularity; personality is the only thing that can persuade Presidential cottails- members of congress ride on the success of the pres. Political party- this has declined in recent years partly because of weakening party affiliation and partly each election is so different Pres. Popularity, however, does affect how of his program gets passed through Congress. The more popular, the more bills of his Congress passes.

18 Decline in Popularity Pres. Popularity tends to decline from inauguration until leaving office (except Eisenhower) Honeymoon period- high approval ratings right after taking office Since 1938 in off-year elections the pres. Party has lost seats

19 Veto Power Veto message- statement within 10 days of why he isn’t signing the bill; this can then be overridden by Congress Pocket veto- after 10 days and congress out of session (not just recess); this is dead and Congress would have to pass the bill again to get it back to the pres. For approval Line-item veto- until 1996 no such provision existed. Bills had to be passed or vetoed in full. So, members of Congress would put provisions into the bill and the pres. Couldn’t do anything about it line-item veto power on spending bills but Supreme Court ruled that this was unconstitutional- the pres. Cannot carve up bills Most vetoes are not overridden, giving the pres. More substantial political pull

20 Executive Privilege Has to do with private communications between pres. And his advisors No formal thing written but sep. of powers and principles of prudent administration allows this 1973 Supreme Court dealt directly with the issue in United States v. Nixon, when the prosecution requested the tapes of conversations between Nixon and his advisors related to the Watergate Scandal. 1997/1998 Clinton sued by Paula Jones- (private person). Federal Courts held that the pres. Can be sued and that his advisors could not claim executive privilege Now there are few people the pres. Can talk to confidentially

21 Impoundment of Funds Pres. Refuses to spend money appropriated by Congress Constitution is silent on the matter. It only says pres. Cannot spend money Congress had NOT appropriated Nixon tested this when he vetoed a bunch of spending bills Congress responded by passing the Budget Reform Act of 1974, which requires the pres. To spend all appropriated funds or tell Congress within 45 days and Congress agrees to delete the items Federal courts have upheld this rule

22 The President’s Program  Putting Together a Program Interest groups Aides and campaign advisors Federal bureaus and agencies Outside experts 2 ways to develop a program: tackle everything (Clinton, Carter) or pick a few major issues (Reagan) Often pres. Will leak information to the press to gauge public reaction to a particular policy (this is called “floating”) Other constraints on building a program include all the other functions of the president and the crises that always develop, federal budget can only be changed marginally All the constraints mean that the pres. Must be selective in what he does while also considering public opinion and getting reelected

23 Problems of succession- How can a president leave office?  Death  Disability  Resignation  Impeachment

24 Impeachment  President can leave office early if impeached  Impeachment is similar to indictment in a criminal trial – set of charges voted by House of Reps.  But to be removed from office impeached officer must be convicted by a two-thirds vote of the Senate  Only 2 presidents ever impeached  Andrew Johnson in 1868  Bill Clinton in 1998  Nixon would have been but he resigned  Senate didn’t convict either Johnson or Clinton

25 Rules learned over the years-  If you want to do something, do it early  Create priorities – you can’t do everything  Cabinets don’t get things done- but people do, so choose staff wisely and entrust them to accomplish things


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