Chapter Six The Presidency Mr. Ognibene AP Government OR
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Chapter SixThe PresidencyMr. OgnibeneAP GovernmentOR
Key Questions for Presidency ChapterHow did the framers view executive power?What is the current state of executive power?How has the presidency changed since 1789?How is the Executive Branch organized?How is the character of the President related to the accomplishments of various presidents?What FORMAL and INFORMAL powers does the president possess?
Electoral CollegeAlmost all states use a winner-take-all system (Nebraska 5 and Maine 4 can split their votes)If no candidate won a majority, the House would decide the electionThe Electoral College ultimately worked differently than expected, because the Founders did not anticipate the role of political parties
Map 12.1: Electoral Votes per State
As of 10/25/12 Obama 294 Romney 244
The First PresidentsThe office was legitimated by men active in independence and Founding politicsMinimal activism of early government contributed to lessening the fear of the presidencyRelations with Congress were reserved: few vetoes; no advice from Congress to the president
Powers of the PresidentPotential for power found in ambiguous clauses of the Constitutione.g., power as commander in chief, duty to take care that laws be faithfully executed (executive power)The Military Commisions Act of 2006Part 2CNNs view of Presidential Signing StatementsFox News Point of View on Signing StatementsBill OReilly responds!Greatest source of power lies in politics and public opinion
The Power to PersuadePresidents try to transform popularity into congressional support for their programsPresidential coattails have had a declining effect for yearsPopularity is affected by factors beyond anyones control consider Bushs approval ratings following the September 11th attacks
Figure 14.2: Presidential PopularityThomas E.Cronin, The State of the Presidency (Boston: Little, Brown, 1975), 110-111. Copyright 1975 by Little, Brown and Company, Inc. Reprinted by permission. Updated with Gallup poll data, 1976-2004. Reprinted by permission of the Gallup Poll News Service. What happens to a presidents popularity over time? Why?How might this trend affect a presidents power and strategy?
Figure 14.2: Presidential PopularityThomas E.Cronin, The State of the Presidency (Boston: Little, Brown, 1975), 110-111. Copyright 1975 by Little, Brown and Company, Inc. Reprinted by permission. Updated with Gallup poll data, 1976-2004. Reprinted by permission of the Gallup Poll News Service.
Figure 14.3: Presidential Victories on Votes in Congress, 1953-2002
Discussion Questions for Theme A
The text concludes that presidential authority began to increase as a result of national crises. Why didnt presidential power increase after the nations first three wars (War of 1812, the Mexican American War, and the Spanish-American War)? Were the wars different or the nation different?If the expansion of presidential power occurred because of political events and has been fostered by public opinion, under what circumstances might presidential power begin to be limited? Will the historical in favor of expanding presidential power be reveresed?How did George W. Bush expand executive power? Is the new powers he claims constitutional? Is it a good thing that President Bush has expanded the executives power?The text suggests that Congress generally hesitates to challenge a popular president. Under what circumstances might this not hold true? How can you explain the Clinton impeachment, given the presidents successful re-election campaign and strong approval ratings? How does that compare to the Democrats support of President Bushs decision to go to war with Iraq?
White House OfficeRule of propinquity: power is wielded by people who are in the room when a decision is madePyramid structure: most assistants report through hierarchy to chief of staff, who then reports to presidentEisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton (late in his administration)THEME B: THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE PRESIDENCY
White House OfficeCircular structure: cabinet secretaries and assistants report directly to the presidentCarter (early in his administration)Ad hoc structure: task forces, committees, and informal groups deal directly with presidentClinton (early in his administration)
Figure 14.1: Growth of the White House Staff, 1945-2002Harold W. Stanley and Richard G. Niemi, Vital Statistics on American Politics, 2003-2004 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2003), 254-255.
Figure 12.1: Growth of the White House Office, 1935-1985
The Importance and Power of White House Staff: A Case StudyKarl Rove
The CabinetNot explicitly mentioned in ConstitutionPresidents have many more appointments to make than do prime ministers, due to competition created by the separation of powerPresidential control over departments remains uncertainsecretaries become advocates for their departments
Table 14.1: The Cabinet DepartmentsWhat are the responsibilities of each cabinet department?
Which departments are most important? Why?
Presidential CharacterKennedy: bold, articulate, amusing leader; improviser who bypassed traditional lines of authorityNixon: expertise in foreign policy; disliked personal confrontation; tried to centralize power in the White House
Presidential CharacterReagan: set policy priorities and then gave staff wide latitude; leader of public opinionClinton: good communicator; pursued liberal/centrist policiesGeorge W. Bush: tightly run White House; agenda became dominated by foreign affairs following the September 11th attacks
The Veto PowerVeto message sent within ten days of the bills passagePocket veto (only before Congress adjourns at the end of its second session)Congress rarely overrides vetoes Commentary on Bushs first veto and Congresss failure to overide.President does not hold line-item veto power
Table 12.5: Presidential Vetoes, 1789-2000
The Presidents ProgramResources in developing a program include interest groups, aides and campaign advisers, federal departments and agencies, and various specialistsConstraints include public and congressional reactions, limited time and attention, and unexpected crises
Discussion Questions for Theme BWhy has the presidents staff grown? Many presidents enter office with a commitment to cutting the size of their staff. Why isnt this goal achieved? Why do presidents rely more on the White House staff than on the various other offices in the Executive Office of the President? Why dont presidents rely on their cabinets?The text describes the connections between presidents character and their staffing arrangements. But why would a presidents personality have much to do with the staffing method (circular, pyramidal or ad hoc)? Why must the president rely on staff to devise policy when the executive branch bureaucracy already exists for this purpose?Presidents frequently sign legislation with which they disagree. Why doesnt the president simply veto such laws, since Congress seldom manages to override a veto? What kinds of veto strategies would you recommend to a president whose party controlled Congress? Or whose party was in the minority in Congress?Should the president be grated absolute executive privilege? Have the courts placed too many constraints on the White House staff, in denying them confidentiality in so many of their communications?
Presidential TransitionOnly fifteen of forty-four presidents have served two full terms (Barak Obama will be the 16th if he finishes his full 2nd term)Eight vice presidents have taken office upon the presidents deathTHEME C: PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION
The Vice PresidentPrior to 2000, only five vice presidents won the presidency in an election without having first entered the office as a result of their presidents deathThe vice president presides over Senate and votes in case of tie
The 25th Amendment (1967)Allows vice president to serve as acting president if president is disabledIllness is decided by president, by vice president and cabinet, or by two-thirds vote of CongressThe new vice president must be confirmed by a majority vote of both houses
This is a list of the current presidential line of succession, as specified by the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19).#OfficeOfficer1Vice President and President of the SenateDick Cheney2Speaker of the House of RepresentativesNancy Pelosi3President pro tempore of the SenateRobert C. Byrd4Secretary of StateCondoleezza Rice5Secretary of the TreasuryHenry M. Paulson, Jr.6Secretary of DefenseRobert Gates7Attorney GeneralAlberto Gonzales8Secretary of the InteriorDirk Kempthorne9Secretary of AgricultureMike Johanns--Secretary of CommerceCarlos Gutierrez(ineligible; not a natural-born citizen)--Secretary of LaborElaine Chao(ineligible; not a natural-born citizen)10Secretary of Health and Human ServicesMichael Leavitt11Secretary of Housing and Urban Dev. Alphonso Jackson12Secretary of TransportationMary Peters13Secretary of EnergySamuel W. Bodman14Secretary of EducationMargaret Spellings15Secretary of Veterans AffairsJim Nicholson16Secretary of Homeland SecurityMichael Chertoff h
ImpeachmentIndictment by the House, conviction by the SenatePresidential examples: Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon (pre-empted by resignation), Bill ClintonVIDEO: Summary of Clinton ImpeachmentNeither Johnson nor Clinton was convicted by the Senate
Constraints on the PresidentBoth the president and the Congress are more constrained today due to:Complexity of issuesScrutiny of the mediaGreater number and power