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Government - Unit 3, Chapter 13: The Presidency
Transcript of Government - Unit 3, Chapter 13: The Presidency
The President's Job Description
Presidential Selection: the Framers' Plan
The President's roles are...
Chief of State:
Head of the Government of the United States
Chief Executive: the President is given an immense amount of
in domestic and foreign affairs.
Chief Administrator: director of the huge executive branch of the Federal Government. The President is the
boss or CEO of the entire Executive branch
(2.7 million employees and $2.5 trillion budget a year).
Chief Diplomat: the main architect of American foreign policy and our nation's chief spokesperson to the rest of the world.
Commander in Chief: direct and immediate control of the nation's armed forces.
Chief Legislator: the main architect of the nation's public policies/laws.
Chief of Party: the acknowledged leader of his political party.
Chief Citizen: the representative of
Which role do you think is most important?
The President of the U.S. has
more duties than the heads of other states.
The formal qualifications of the President include; being a natural born citizen, 35 years old, and residency in the United States for 14 years.
However there are plenty of informal qualifications for President...
The President serves a four-year term and can be re-elected for a second four year term.
The President gets paid around $400,000 a year in salary and other benefits. He also gets access to Air Force One and the Secret Service for life.
The Vice President's only stated Constitutional duties are to preside over the Senate and to help decide the question of presidential disability.
The Vice President is usually chosen to "balance the ticket" in the election.
Candidates for President usually choose a Vice Presidential candidate who can offset their weaknesses...
So an older, Catholic, moderate, white Presidential candidate from the Northeast might choose a Vice President who is a minority, liberal/conservative, Protestant Vice Presidential candidate from the South.
Take for instance...
While Vice Presidents in the past (before 2000) have usually done little to nothing...V.P.'s are becoming more powerful and being relied on by President's to do more.
We start with Presidential primaries...
Each state holds a Presidential primary for both Republicans and Democrats. The winner (in each political party) of these primaries wins the nomination for their party and will run for President under that party's ticket.
New Hampshire and Iowa have the first Presidential primaries.
Candidates are trying to win delegates (specified voters from each state that will vote for them at their party's National Convention). This is an example of an indirect democracy because the voters of each state aren't directly responsible for picking the winner in their state, the delegates are.
The delegates then vote for the candidate that won the vote in their state at their party's national convention. The candidate who gets the most votes at the party's national convention wins the nomination of their party for President.
Explanation of the Electoral College:
So what are the flaws in the Electoral College?
The most common flaws cited by political theorists, politicians, and others include:
The winner-take-all format...
Electors are not bound to the results of their state (so the electors could actually vote for whoever they wanted to)...
A strong third party could keep any candidate from gaining the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency...
The popular vote doesn't decide the election so the Electoral College system is an example of indirect democracy...
The Constitution provides for the election of the President by the Electoral College, in which each State has as many electors as it has member of Congress...
Number of Senators
Electoral Votes for each state
Number of Representatives
Electors are chosen by the state's political parties...Democrats choose 6 electors for Kansas, Republicans choose 6 electors for Kansas.
Then on election day the party who wins the popular vote in that state for President also wins the electors...so if the Republican candidate for President wins in Kansas then the electors the Republican state party selected will be Kansas' electors when the Electoral College takes their vote.
Whichever candidate wins a majority of electoral votes (270) wins the election.
If neither candidate gets a majority the election will be decided by the U.S. House of Representatives, not the popular vote.
All that being said, the popular vote and the Electoral College vote usually reflect the same result...and most see the Electoral College as a "rubber stamp" of the popular vote.
The National Popular Vote Plan
Each State would need to change their Constitution to bind their electors votes to the National Popular vote.
The District Plan
Each district (U.S. House of Representatives district) would receive one vote and electors would be chosen by the voters of that district.
The Proportional Plan
Each presidential candidate would receive the same share of a State's electoral vote as he or she received in the State's popular vote.
If a state had 10 electoral votes and the vote was 60/40 then the electoral votes are split 6/4.
Direct Popular Election
The popular vote decides the election.
The Electoral College System...why have it?