The Presidency. President and Vice President Presidents have enormous power and responsibility in government Presidential Responsibilities ◦ Make
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- The Presidency
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- President and Vice President
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- Presidents have enormous power and responsibility in government Presidential Responsibilities Make sure national laws are fully executed. Serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. Appoint top officials, federal judges, and ambassadors to meet with foreign governments.
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- The 22 nd Amendment George Washington set a long-held precedent that the president would serve only two terms. Franklin Roosevelt was elected four times. The 22 nd Amendment limited the president to two terms. Salary and Benefits Congress determines the Presidents salary. The president has been paid $400,000 since 2001. The President is also provided with a $100,000 non- taxable travel allowance, the use of a helicopter, airplane, limousines and a 132 room mansion. He or she also receive free health care and a pension.
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- Constitutional Requirements A candidate must be a natural-born citizen. Must be 35 year of age Must be a resident of the United States for 14 years. The same requirements apply to the vice president. Government Experience Candidates who served as US Senators or state governors are most likely to win. A political career provides the opportunity to form alliances needed to obtain a party's nominate as well as the name recognition necessary to win votes.
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- Importance of Money Candidates for office must have access to sources for raising large amounts of money in the presidential election campaign. There are caps on the amount of money that can be spent during a candidate's run for president. $33.78 million in the primaries $67.56 million in the general election This money is used to pay for television ads, hiring campaign staff and consultants, and sending out mailings.
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- Political Beliefs Successful presidential candidates usually hold moderate political beliefs. This allows them to reach the greatest number of potential voters. Personal Characteristics Presidents generally have been white, married, Protestant, financially successful men. No women nor any person of Hispanic or Asian ancestry has been elected president. Personal Growth To be President of the United States is to be lonely, very lonely at times of great decision. Harry Truman The presidency reveals strengths and weaknesses.
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- The 25 th Amendment established the order of succession to the presidency. Vice President Speaker of the House President Pro Tempore of the Senate Secretary of State Other cabinet member The 25 th Amendment also spells out what happens when the vice presidency is vacant.
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- The vice presidents work depends on what jobs, if any, the president assigns. Although presidents before Eisenhower generally ignored their vice presidents, presidents since then have tried to give their vice presidents more responsibility. They are involved in diplomatic activities such as representing the president overseas.
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- Electing the President
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- Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution provided that the candidate receiving a majority of the electoral votes became the president. Each state would have as many electors as it had senators and Representatives in Congress. Elector: member of a party chosen in each state to formally elect a president and vice president. The Candidate with the second-highest number of votes became vice president.
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- The election of 1800 was decided by the House of Representatives who voted Thomas Jefferson ahead of Aaron Burr. To prevent a tie vote for president in the Electoral College, the 12 th Amendment provided that electors must cast separate ballots for president and vice president.
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- The Electoral College is still used to choose the president and vice president. The College uses a winner take all system. All of a states (except Maine and Nebraska) electoral votes go to the candidate receiving the largest popular vote. The Electoral College vote is cast in December.
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- Winner Take All The Electoral College system today makes it possible for a candidate who loses the total popular vote to win the electoral vote. Third Party Candidates A third-party candidate could win enough electoral votes to prevent either major party candidate from receiving a majority in Electoral College.
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- Election by the House When the House of Representatives must decide a presidential election, each state casts one vote. The House may face several serious problems: States with small populations have as much weight as states with larger populations. Under the rules, if a majority of representatives from a state cannot agree on a candidate, the state loses its vote. If some members of the House favor a strong third- party candidate, it could be difficult for any candidate to get the 26 votes needed to win.
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- Ideas for Reform Electoral votes by district rather than by state. Two statewide electoral votes would go to the candidate carrying the most districts. Candidates receive percentage of Electoral vote based on popular vote in the state. Direct popular Election Critics argue the Electoral College should be replaced with direct election of the president and vice president.
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- The new president is sworn into office in an inauguration ceremony. All leading officials from the three branches of government attend the January Ceremony.
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- The Cabinet
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- Cabinet: secretaries of the executive departments, the vice president, and other top offices that help the president make decisions and policy Secretaries should have some credible expertise in the policy areas their department will manage. They should provide geographic balance as well as racial and gender representation.
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- Major Factors in Making Appointments: Do the members backgrounds suit their cabinet post? Do they bring geographical balance to the cabinet? Do they satisfy interest groups? Do they have high level administrative skills? Are ethnic and racial minorities and women included in the group?
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- Background of Cabinet Members Cabinet members today are usually college graduates and leaders in various professional fields. Cabinet secretaries earn $161,200 annually. Many could make more money in the business world but take Cabinet positions anyway. Nominations and Confirmations The Senate must approve cabinet appointees, and it usually does so out of courtesy to the president. The nominee appears before the Senate committee that oversees the department to answer questions about his or her background and views.
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- As individuals, cabinet members are responsible for the executive departments they head. As a group, the cabinet is intended to serve as an advisory board to the president. The cabinet meets when the president calls it together. Meeting occur in the cabinet room of the White House and are usually closed to the public and the press.
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- The Cabinet in History The cabinets role in government depends on what each presidents wants. Stronger presidents such as Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, and FDR have paid the cabinet less attention. The Modern Cabinet Several recent presidents have attempted to increase the role of the cabinet. Most end up using other sources for advice. Bush and Clinton have used their cabinets as sounding boards rather than advisors.
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- The Influence of Cabinet Members Some cabinet members who work closely with the president wield influence because they head departments that are concerned with national issues. The secretaries of state, defense, and treasury, plus the attorney general form the inner cabinet and influence the presidents decisions on matters related to their departments area of interest.
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- Conflicting Loyalties The president does not command full loyalty of cabinet members. Cabinet members are pressured by career officials in their departments, interest groups, and members of Congress. This pressure may result in disagreements within the cabinet over the presidents policies and plans.
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- Secrecy and Trust With 14 cabinet members, it is difficult to maintain secrecy in matters the president considers sensitive. The president may not know and trust all the members of the cabinet because the president must weigh so many factors in appointing them.
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- The Executive Office
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- The Executive Office of the President (EOP) was created by Congress in 1939. The EOP consists of individuals and agencies that directly assist the president. The EOP was the result of FDRs attempts to add government programs in order to make the government more efficient
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- Organization and Growth Today the EOP consists of the White House Office and several specialized agencies that report to the president. The EOP has grown rapidly for three reasons: Presidents adding new agencies to it as problems arise. Presidents want experts nearby to advise them about complex issues. Federal programs sometimes require special staff to coordinate the efforts of several executive departments and other agencies working together.
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- The Office of Management and Budget Largest agency in the EOP Prepares the national budget that the president submits to Congress each year. Review all legislative proposals that executive agencies prepare in a process called central clearance The National Security Council Advises the president and helps coordinate the nations military foreign policy Headed by the president but also includes the vice president, secretary of state, and secretary of state.
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- The National Homeland Security Council Created in 2001 following the terrorists attacks of 9/11. Responsible for developing a national strategy to protect the US from future terrorist attacks. The Council of Economic Advisers Helps the president formulate the nations economic policy.
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- Other EOP Agencies Presidents add and sometimes eliminate agencies to the EOP to help carry out policy. Domestic Policy Council National Economic Council Office of Environmental Policy Environmental Protection Agency Office of Science and Technology Policy
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- Early presidents had little help with everyday activities. Washington hired his nephew at his own expense. Cleveland and McKinley personally answered phone calls to the White House. A 1937 study determined that the president required a personal staff. The president appoints White House staff without Senate confirmation.
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- Organization and Growth The White House Office has become the most important part of the Executive Office of the President. Key aides are usually longtime personal supporters of the president. The White House Office grew from about 50 people under Roosevelt to nearly 600 people under Nixon. Staff size has dropped during the last 3 decades.
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- Duties of the White House Office The White House staff perform whatever duties the president assigns them. Duties could include: Gathering information and providing advice on key issues Ensuring that executive departments and agencies carry out key directions from the president Presenting the presidents views to the outside world Deciding who and what information gets through to the president
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