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The Executive Branch - Middle School Level
Transcript of The Executive Branch - Middle School Level
how the president and VP are elected
who can be president
what his powers are
what happens if he dies
what happens if he behaves badly
It even tells what he must say in the oath he takes during his inauguration! Article II tells the powers of the President. The Executive Branch enforces the laws! Article II says
the President is
Commander in Chief
Foreign policy leader
Chief of State What's that mean? He's in charge of the military.
He's in charge of foreign policy.
He suggests legislation.
He's the symbol of our country How can one man (or woman) do all that? He can't! That's why he has a CABINET - a group of advisors who oversee areas of the government (departments) that are specialized. Are there very many cabinet members? George Washington INVENTED the whole cabinet idea. GW only had 4 in his cabinet. Today there are 15 cabinet positions. The newest federal department was created under President George Bush - The Department of Homeland Security. Does the president have any COOL powers? He can ask for a declaration of war
He can draft a treaty.
He can appoint diplomats and justices. He can give a reprieve, he can pardon people, and he can commute someone's sentence. Are some cabinet secretaries more important than others? Maybe The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State are in charge of two of the most important government departments - the diplomats around the world and the military. So, can I become President? That depends... The constitution says
you must be 35.
you must be a resident of the USA for 14 years.
You must be a native born U.S. Citizen. What's native born mean? You must have been "Born in the USA"... sort of You can also be born in another country if one of your parents is a U.S. citizen. or You can be born in the USA if NEITHER of your parents are citizens! How long is a president's term? 4 years but since 1951, terms have been limited to only two. The 22nd amendment is all because of this man... He was elected to 4 terms!!! What does the vice president do? be there... and wait for the president to die???? that's what happened to FDR and 7 other presidents. Today, the vice president is an important part of the president's leadership team. One vice president became president without the president dying. Do you know who that was? It has to do with this man... Not ELVIS! Richard Nixon is the only president to resign the office. That's how Gerald Ford became president without anyone dying! I hate to be rude, but how much money does the president get paid? Now he makes $400,000.
He also gets A LOT of perks ! The vice president makes half as much as the president. Anything else he has to do for ALL that money? Well, it is a 24 hour a day job! Article II says he has to give a speech to congress once a year - the "State of the Union" address. Anything else I should know about Article II? only one thing -
and it's the hardest to understand! What does that mean? it's complicated... Individual votes count within the voter's state.
Then the state casts a proportional number of electoral votes for the candidate who won the most votes. See,
I told you it was complicated! Maybe this will help... To become president, a candidate needs 270 Electoral College votes. Sometimes, a candidate can get more national votes and lose the election because of the electoral votes. Like this man in 2000 Al Gore Gore lost the state of Florida by 500 votes and lost the whole election even though he defeated George Bush by 48.3% to 47.8% in the national vote. So why have the Electoral College? Because it's in the Constitution, and it's hard to change the Constitution, but more about that later!