Dr Simon Boucher ~ The Presidency Government and Politics of the USA Lecture 9:
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DESCRIPTIONSchedule to end of term Week 7 The institution of the Presidency Media in US politics Week 8 Sunbelt suburbs (Mark Little) Life as a Washington journalist (Mark Little) Week 9 New media / Congress Congress / End of term review
Dr Simon Boucher ~ The Presidency Government and Politics of the USA Lecture 9: Mike Huckabee Another Man from Hope Ordained southern Baptist minister Outspoken on health Not really considered a heavy weight Weak fundraising BUT: Attractive to right wing values voters Unlikely to be nominee, but could be influential in Iowa? Potential VEEP candidate? Schedule to end of term Week 7 The institution of the Presidency Media in US politics Week 8 Sunbelt suburbs (Mark Little) Life as a Washington journalist (Mark Little) Week 9 New media / Congress Congress / End of term review What is meant by American exceptionalism? Does America remain exceptional in the 21st century? How? Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the US Constitution. How well has it stood the test of time? Examine the strengths and weaknesses of Barbers Presidential Character typology, with detailed reference to at least two recent Presidents. Essay titles Choose ONE of the following... Strict word count: 2,000 words Deadline 5pm, Monday Submit viaHigher marks for evidence of outside reading Required reading McKay chap 10 Singh chap 9 LGS epilogue Additional resources Richard Neustadt, Presidential Power: The Politics of Leadership Stephen Skowronek, The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to George Bush. Jeffrey Tulis, The Two Constitutional Presidencies in Michael Nelson (editor) The Presidency and the Political System. Readings for today Agenda General overview Historical development of the Presidency Constitutional powers and duties Informal powers and resources Checks and balances relationship to other branches of US government Measuring presidential effectiveness Modern challenges Impeachment Overview 43 incumbents 4 year term Re-electable once Only US political figure elected by all the people A unifying and centralising institution- symbol of national unity ALL executive federal power vested in the office Huge expectation, glamour, mystique associated with the role Exceptionally demanding position For all the institutional resources, powers, constraints the individual is crucial : Legislative era. President as Chief Clerk? 1930s: Roosevelt watershed. Birth of modern Presidency : Commander-in-Chief Post 1945: Imperial Presidency? Post Watergate: Expectations too high, challenges too great? Disillusionment Post Lewinsky: Presidential dignity undermined? 2000s: Reasserting Presidential power Historical development of the Presidency Art 2 sec 1: Executive power Art 2 sec 2: Commander-in-chief Art 2 sec 2: Chief diplomat Art 2 sec 2: Chief recruiting officer Art 2 sec 3: Legislator Art 1 sec 7: Veto player Head of State Constitutional powers and roles But deliberately vague: Article 2 is the most loosely drawn chapter of the Constitution Powers of the President over Congress and Judiciary Can veto Congressional bills Can call either house for an emergency session Appoints judges Separation of powers and the Presidency Powers of the Congress and Judiciary over the President Congress can over-ride a Presidential veto by a 2/3 rd majority vote in each House Congress decides how much the President gets paid The House can impeach the President and the Senate can try him The Senates approval is required for senior executive and judicial appointments made by the President The Judiciary can strike down laws signed by the President which it deems unconstitutional Separation of powers and the Presidency Informal powers / roles include Party leader Agenda-setter National leader World leader Resources include The public The media Institutional back up Personality and skills The Vice President Mystique Beyond the Constitution Mystique of the Presidency The presidential identikit Born in the US, resident for 14 years White Middle aged (at least 35 years old) Protestant Wealthy Southern Not necessarily well travelled Executive experience over legislative experience Top-class campaign skills Who becomes President? Modern Presidents have employed various styles and techniques to manage Whitehouse- Berlin Wall Importation of cronies Good cop bad cop Constructive competition Delegation Best and brightest Management of the Whitehouse Lessons from the Whitehouse management of recent Presidents Chief of Staff crucial Danger of groupthink Staff need to be on same page Importance of loyalty No approach completely successful Management of the Whitehouse Three particularly important criteria for Presidential assessment: The state of the economy The extent of American involvement in foreign wars Public approval Together these factors have a major bearing on Re-election prospects Ability to use bully pulpit Assessing Presidential performance Modern presidential challenges A variety of contemporary factors have complicated the Presidents already difficult role Growing complexity of government The nationalisation of politics and society The changing nature of American economic and political power The decline of party / rise of issue & ideological politics Several modern Presidents tempted into abuses of power to achieve goals, including: Excessive impoundment of funds appropriated by Congress Over-use of Presidential veto Over-use of executive privilege Nomination of unsuitable individuals to executive posts Abuse of civil liberties Congress has responded with variety of legal measures Presidential staff (EOP) also source of occasional abuses of power Abuse of power Ongoing debate: where does Presidential power begin and end? 6 years with a loyal Republican majority in House, 7 years at war, plus internal views on Presidentialism Claimed a unilateral executive right to suspend treaties and ignore U.S. laws; exercised a pre-emptive, unilateralist foreign policy Asserted President could go to war without Congressional approval Insisted that the President can seize U.S. citizens without due process of law and imprison them Patriot Act lacked proper Congressional oversight; allowed domestic wiretapping,checks Bitter fights over freedom of information Bush and Presidential power The most massive and rapid expansion of presidential might America has ever known The bottom line is the President is as imperial as the Congress, the press, and the public allow him to be. A President may be impeached for Treason Bribery Other high crimes and misdemeanours Definition decided by Congress? Impeachment Impeachment is the first of two stages in a process whereby a legislative body removes a government official from office without their consent. Impeachment Impeachment is the first of two stages in a process whereby a legislative body removes a government official from office without their consent. House of Reps passes Articles of Impeachment by a simple majority Senate tries the accused. 2/3rds majority required STEP 1 STEP 2 Conviction? removed from office. Acquitted? No punishment STEP 3 Andrew Johnson and Clinton only impeached Presidents Following 2006 midterms, calls for impeachment of Bush Constitutional roles Assume Presidency in the event of death / resignation / incapacity Act as the Presiding Officer in the Senate Informal roles Ceremonial duties Lightening rod Political advisor Policy management The Vice-Presidency A heartbeat from the Presidency Used electorally to balance the ticket Age Experience Charisma Geographic background Or sometimes reinforce a theme Fast track to the oval office? The Vice-Presidency A heartbeat from the Presidency Veep as a lightening rod The Vice-Presidency Veep as a lightening rod The Vice-Presidency Veep as a lightening rod The Vice-Presidency Public expectations havent diminished But complexity and difficulty have Role many powers and potential resources, but hardly meet challenge Much depends on quality of individual Practically no individual could conceivably be a clear success by traditional yardsticks in the modern environment Overall on the President He remains the person that the public and history will hold accountable.
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