The Presidency Chapter 12 AP U.S. Government and Politics.
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The PresidencyChapter 12AP U.S. Government and PoliticsFoundations of the Modern PresidencyThe Presidents powers are defined in Article II of the Constitution.Over the course of American history, the presidents power has been expanded beyond the framers expectation.Ex. Of the 15 major wars the U.S. has been involved in, only 5 were declared by Congress.The modern president serves several key roles.The executive branch includes the presidents personal staff, the Cabinet, the vice president, and many other agencies that report to him.
Over time, presidents have taken more control over foreign policy.Executive agreements are just as legally binding as treaties, but dont require Congressional approval.The presidents administrative authority, his power to execute laws, is also significant.The president also has legislative authority, the use of the veto and the ability to propose legislation to Congress.Modern presidents have assumed a very active legislative role.
Changing Conception of the PresidencyNational election and singular authority have enabled presidents to claim national policy leadership.The president is elected by the entire country and can claim to be the nations leader.Andrew Jackson was first to claim national policy leadership in an effort to challenge Congress authority.The 19th century conception of the presidency was expressed in the Whig theory, which held that the presidency was a limited office.Powers were confined to those directly expressed in Constitution.Upon taking office in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt embraced the stewardship theory.The theory advocates for a strong assertive president, with authority limited only at points specifically prohibited by law.The Presidency is a strong office, made so by the federal governments increased policy responsibilities.The presidency is structured in a way that allows the president to oversee government activity.As the size of a government increases, all democracies have seen a shift in power from the legislative branch to the executive branch.The presidency has been strengthened by the expanded scope of foreign policy.The presidents role as commander of armed forces and chief diplomat has allowed him, not Congress, to assume the dominant role in foreign policy since World War II.Americans look for decisive action and quick decision making in foreign policy the president, not Congress provides this.Presidential AmendmentsSeveral Constitutional amendments have impacted the Presidency throughout U.S. history.12th Amendment electors vote separately for president and vice-president.20th Amendment set inauguration date as January 20th.22nd Amendment no president may serve more than two terms. If you succeed to the presidency and serve more than two years, you can only be elected once more.23rd Amendment Gave District of Columbia 3 electoral votes.
No representation in Congress, however.Electoral College = 435 (HoR) + 100 (Senate) + 3 (DC) = 538 electoral votes.270 needed to win.25th Amendment deals with presidential succession.VP becomes president if president dies (or resigns or is removed from office).If this happens, president can appoint a new vice-president.If the president cannot carry out duties of the office, he is to inform Congress in writing and the VP becomes acting president.Section 4 deals with being unable to carry out duties of office and inform Congress of this.Electing the PresidentThe process of electing a president has changed throughout the nations history.The U.S. has had 4 systems of electing the president each has been more democratic than the previous.Originally, the president was chosen by electors picked by the states.Andrew Jackson was able to pass reform so that the candidate who wins a states popular vote wins all of its electoral votes.Jackson also advocated for the national party convention to nominate a partys presidential candidate.Prior to this, nominations were made in party caucuses in Congress and in state legislatures.
In 1968, the nomination process was changed to require states to use primary elections or open party caucuses to choose their presidential nominees.An open party caucus is a meeting open to any registered party voter who wants to attend.The presidential election system has changed from an elite-dominated process to one based on voter support.This has strengthened the office of the president.The Nomination ProcessThe fact that voters pick the party nominees has opened the nominating races to nearly any prominent politician.A key to success is momentum a strong showing in early contests can contribute to voter support in later ones.Fast starters have the advantage because they get press attention, money from contributors, and more voter consideration.Presidential candidates want to do well in the first caucus (Iowa) and the first primary (New Hampshire).Money is critical in presidential nominating races.$50 million needed to run a strong nominating campaign.Candidates in primaries can receive federal funding if they meet certain criteria.The government will match the first $250 of each private donation received by a primary election candidate.
If a candidate receives matching funds, they are limited to a set amount of money they can spend in the nominating phase.They can also decline matching funds, allowing them to raise an unrestricted amount of money.Since 2000, an increasing number of candidates have declined matching funds so they can raise and spend more money.National Party ConventionsThe summertime national party conventions mark the end of the nomination process.Since the delegate selection process was changed in 1972, the strongest candidate has acquired enough delegates through primaries and caucuses to secure nomination prior to convention.It allows formal nomination of a partys candidate.The choice of vice-presidential nominee falls with presidential nominee.
Today, candidates rely on the media to run their campaigns.The internet is used mostly for fundraising and organizing.TV is used mostly as a way to persuade undecided voters.Televised debates usually dont have a large impact on a candidates support.Candidates can be eligible for funding in their general election campaigns, just like the primaries.If they accept, they cannot spend additional funds on the general election campaign.2008 Barack Obama became first major party nominee to decline public funding, realizing he could raise higher amounts on his own. To be president a candidate must be at least 35, a natural-born citizen, and have been a U.S. resident for at least 14 years.The General Election CampaignCandidates strategies are shaped by several factors.Electoral college A candidate must receive 270 electoral votes to win election.If no candidate receives the majority, the election is decided in the House of Representatives.1824 John Quincy Adams was last president to be elected this way.The importance of electoral votes is magnified by the unit rule.All states except Maine and Nebraska grant all electoral votes to the candidate who wins that states popular vote.Competitiveness the fall campaign becomes a battle for toss-up states.Candidates spend nearly all of their time and money in these battleground states during the general election phase.
Roles of the PresidentPresidential powers can be classified as either expressed or inherent.Expressed are found in Article II of the Constitution or given to president through Congressional legislation.Inherent inferred from the Constitution.Once a president creates a new inherent power, later presidents have that precedent on their side.Many inherent powers are expressed through executive orders, which have the force of law unless overturned by Congress or the courts.Examples: Trumans desegregation of the military and Roosevelts internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.Powers of the PresidentPresidential power is exercised in several different roles most of these powers are expressed.Head of State includes all ceremonial functions for which the president is responsible.Receiving visiting heads of state, bestowing awards on war heroes, representing the U.S. at times of national mourning.Chief Executive The Constitution makes the president chief executive he is responsible for the enforcement of policies created by Congress.Appointment and removal the president controls a bureaucracy of over 2.5 million employees.There are 2,000 jobs a president can appoint anyone to fill.Reprieves and pardons The president has the power to grant reprieves and pardons for crimes.Examples President Carter pardoned all Vietnam War draft dodgers; President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for crimes he may have committed while in office.Signing statements Once Congress passes a bill, the president must sign it into law often presidents include a statement in the process, adding instructions to the laws implementation.Commander in Chief President is overall commander of American military forces.He makes decisions when and where to use military force.War Powers Resolution every president has viewed this as unconstitutional, but Congress has never used it to force troops to return home.Despite this, presidents power as commander in chief has grown.Chief diplomat the president has the lead position on formulating foreign policy.Diplomatic recognition the president has the power to grant or withdraw formal recognition of a foreign government. Example The U.S. had no relations with China between 1949 and 1978 because the Communist government there.Treaties President has sole authority to negotiate treaties with foreign countries.Needs a 2/3 majority in the Senate to take effect.Executive Agreements These agreements between the president and the head of a foreign state have the force of law but do not require congressional approval. Chief Legislator every president has sought to implement a legislative agenda by recommending that Congress pass certain pieces of legislation.Usually, in the State of the Union Address, the president will call for Congress to create policy initiatives that he believes to be in the best interest of the country.The president can use the power of persuasion to bring public pressure on Congress.He can use the bully pulpit to go public through televised addresses or speeches while touring the country.When a bill makes it through Congress, the president can:Sign it into lawVeto the bill Congress can override the veto with a 2/3 vote in both houses.Do nothing allowing the bill to become law after 10 days without a signature.If Congress adjourns within 10 days of the bill being sent to the president and he has not signed it, it dies.This is called a pocket veto and it cant be overridden.The President as Party ChiefThe president also plays the role of his partys leader.He is the face and chief spokesperson of his party.He chooses his partys national chairperson and is the partys chief spokesperson.He often campaigns in support of other members of his party.The president must have the ability to persuade.He usually cant persuade large numbers of the House and Senate, so he relies on using his influence when legislation is closely contested.He must also use public opinion to strengthen his position.Special Powers of the PresidentPresidents have special powers at their disposal.The use of these powers has strengthened the presidency over time.Emergency Powers In times of national crisis, the president may exercise powers not found in the Constitution.Examples: Lincolns suspension of civil liberties during Civil War (had Southerners arrested), G.W. Bush authorizing wiretapping to fight terrorism.Executive Orders The president can issue an executive order to enforce existing laws, treaties, or modify rules for existing agencies.Examples: rationing of food during wartime, creation of affirmative action programs.An executive order has the force of law but can be rescinded by future presidents.Executive privilege Presidents have claimed the right to withhold certain information or prevent executive officials from testifying.They argue that testifying would be a violation of separation of powers.The Supreme Court has limited the application of executive privilege.U.S. v. Nixon (1974) ruled that executive privilege does not grant the presidents an absolute right to all presidential documents.Forced Nixon to turn over tape recordings of his conversations.
The Executive BranchAs the presidency has grown in power, the executive branch has expanded to carry out new duties.Presidential appointees are an extension of the presidents authority.Presidents fill positions with party loyalists who are committed to the administration's policy goals.Executive Office of the President (EOP)The EOP was created by Congress in 1939 to provide the president the staff necessary to coordinate the activities of the executive branch.It is a collection of various advisory boards and groups.Its exact configuration is determined by the president, but some units carry over from one president to the next.Members of the EOP make up the White House Staff.Of the EOPs organizational units, the White House Office (WHO) serves the president most directly.It is filled with aides and advisors closest to the president.
These individuals do much of the legwork for the president and are a main source of advice.Their close proximity to the president makes them some of the most powerful people in Washington.Overseen by Chief of Staff, the WHO includes press secretary and chief legislative liaison.The Office of Management and the Budget (OMB) is in charge of developing the budget the president submits to Congress.The National Security Council is made up of the presidents top defense and foreign relations advisors.The heads of the fifteen executive departments make up the presidents cabinet.
The cabinet was once the main advisory body to the president, but no longer plays this role.Cabinet heads typically have little influence.They are chosen for political reasons, not for their expertise.Presidents are more reliant on the WHO, whose members are more personally loyal to the president.Many cabinet heads are more concerned with gaining resources for their department than the presidents agenda.The most prestigious cabinet spot is secretary of state.The Vice-PresidentOnly formal Constitutional power of vice president is to preside over the Senate.Today, the vice president serves important functions.Many vice presidential running mates are chosen to balance the ticket they address a perceived weakness on the part of the presidential candidate.Example: Obama choosing Joe Biden as his running mate to counter arguments regarding his lack of experience.Recent vice presidents have been given important policy initiatives to lead in support of the presidents agenda.Example: Al Gore oversaw environmental issues; Dick Cheney had a large influence on G.W. Bushs policies on the War in Iraq.The vice president also takes over as president if the president dies or resigns.The 25th Amendment allows the president to temporarily turn power over to the vice president.Early in American history, the vice president was a much less powerful and influential position.Jimmy Carter helped redefine the role of vice president in 1977.He gave the vice-president an office in the White House and assigned him important duties.Factors in Presidential LeadershipWhether a presidents initiatives succeed depend on several factors.The force of circumstance has a significant impact on the president.When conditions are favorable, the power of the president increases greatly.If a president serves in an era when resources are scarce or problems are beginning to surface, it will work against the presidents efforts to enact significant policy changes.The stage of the Presidents term also impacts what the president can accomplish.Most newly elected presidents enjoy a honeymoon period, when Congress, the press, and the public are more likely to support their initiatives.Honeymoon period typically lasts first 100 days.Later in their terms, many presidents lose momentum and have a tough time accomplishing their goals.Presidents have an edge in dealing with foreign policy as opposed to domestic policy.They have more authority to act on their own and are more likely to get Congressional support.Presidents acquire leverage in foreign and domestic policy because of their relationship with diplomatic, defense, and intelligence agencies.
Presidents Relations with CongressTo get help from Congress, the president must respond to their interests.Cooperation is needed to accomplish legislative goals.If presidents expect to have Congressional support, they must serve Congress.Neustadt argues that a president must have the power to persuade.The president will benefit from a Congress filled with members of his own party.A president will be successful if he serves during a time of unified government when his party controls both houses.
Presidents will have a more difficult time passing legislation if they have to contend with divided government.On occasion, Congress has taken steps to curb presidential power.Congress ultimate method of checking the presidents power is through impeachment.Impeachment is very rare.More often, Congress responds legislatively to unwarranted actions by the president.Example: The Budget Impoundment and Control Act of 1974, which prohibits a president from indefinitely withholding funds that have been appropriated by Congress.Presidential signing statements have been area of controversy between Congress and the President.War Powers Act issued to stop presidential wars.Congress felt it was misled by the President during the Vietnam Era.New York Times printed the Pentagon papers (classified documents) that revealed the Vietnam situation was not going as well as President Nixon claimed.A U.S. district court in New York issued a temporary injunction that the NYT not publish the documents, so the NYT appealed to the Supreme Court.New York Times Co. v. United States (1971) the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the New York Times Co. stating that an attempt by the government to prevent expression carried a heavy presumption against its constitutionality.Presidential acts to circumvent Congressional authority heightens congressional opposition.Even if the president gains in the short term, they undermine their ability to lead in the long run since Congress is a coequal branch.Public SupportStrength of a presidents power is based on public support.Presidential approval ratings are a measure of the degree to which the public approves or disapproves of the presidents performance.They are typically high at the start of a presidents term.If the public backs the president, his leadership cannot be easily dismissed by other Washington officials.When his support sinks, officials are less inclined to accept his leadership.
Public support of presidents is impacted by developments at home and abroad.International crises produce a rally around the flag reaction that leads to increased public support.Economic conditions also impact a presidents public support.Presidential access to the media, especially television, helps their efforts to gain public support.Presidents can go public and bypass Congress in promoting their policies.The publics expectations of the president are high presidents receive too much credit when things go well and too much blame when things go badly.