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American Presidency

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Thomas Camozzato

on 25 January 2014

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Transcript of American Presidency

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
American Presidency:
foreign figurehead or Home-rule hero?

Formal Sources of Power
Domestic Affairs in 1990s & 2000:
Obama & Obamacare
Obama & Obamacare
Challenges and Conclusions

Uniqueness of American System: fragmentation and efficiency;
Presidency & the Congress:
Imperial Presidency
Imperial Congress
(Jones and Marini: 1988);
Global interdependence;

Power to persuade: the President as a
Human beings;
New attitude from American people or a Constitutional reform?

Maybe a female president in the future?
Future Perspectives
Two possible scenarios in the future:
enhancement of the Presidential Power;
predominance of the Congress;
but still, the necessity of
"It's essentially a time-bound "snapshot" of a pattern of presidential-congressional relations at a particular moment in political time."
Current & Future Presidencies
"Even in America people are waiting for a woman president."

(Malala Yousafzai)
“Children born in the last eight years will know an African-American man being president of US.”

(Michelle Obama)
Importance of Personality
The horizontal checks and balances prevent the concentration of power on federal level.
According to the
Article 2
, the President:
is part of the executive branch and the Head of the State;
has broad powers to manage affairs and the working of the federal government;
To declare war;
Provide for the common defense;
To rise and support armies.

Make treaties;
Appoint ambassadors;
Is the commander-in-chief



Policy making
The President can make foreign policy through:
responses to foreign events;
proposals for legislation;
negotiation of international agreements;
policy statements;
policy implementation;
independent action.

Way to make policy work
He has the negative power of
over Congressional legislation;
The Congress, in turn, can overthrow a veto with two-third majority in both Houses;
President's ability to persuade key actors in Washington
to counter his constitutional limitations.
Republicans win a majority in the house and start attacking Obamacare
23rd of March 2010: a slightly compromised version of Obamacare is signed in to law - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Keystone of election campaign
Republicans vote to abolish Obama careand 1099 mandate and Class Act, IPAB and Medical Device Act
Obamacare website crashes, and people are left without medical insurance. Obara starts, and continues to, fight a new PR battle ...

After shut down Obamacare finally implement
1st October 2013: Government shut down for 16 due to Obamacare spending row
Then taken to the supreme court, and found constitutional, but more compromises were made
Clinton Health Security & Obamacare
Clinton Health Security Act
President: Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
Congress (1995-2001):
House of Representative:
To provide Healthcare to Everyone

President: Barack Obama (2009-present)
House of Representative:
To provide Healthcare to the non-insured
The Affordable Care Act
Taxes for high-earners and Large business without supporting their Health Care;
The federal government can introduce the system but cannot force states to apply it.
Difficulties of ObamaCare
Republican's use of media effects;
economic situation was in a boom since 1994.
$200 billion in 1992, about 14% of the federal budget
Supreme Court decision upheld the Heath Care law;
Global economic crisis in 2008.
$458billion to $1413 billion from 2008 through 2009
Today's Presentation
Formal Sources of Power of the President;
Informal Sources of Power;
Domestic policy issues in 1970s: the Watergate;
Foreign policy in 20th and 21st century: The Imperial Presidency Theory;
Domestic policy issues in 1990s and nowadays: Healthcare by Clinton and Obama;
Challenges of the Presidency nowadays and in the future;
Conclusion and debate.
How applicable do you think the Imperial Presidency theory is to the office of the President?
Do you think the lack of presidential power has limited Obama's health Care reform or have circumstances played a bigger role?
In your opinion, is a Constitutional reform necessary in order to clarify the role of the President? If so, would you consider it as threat to the original Founding Fathers' aim?
Informal sources of power
Foreign Policy in 20th & 21st Century
Imperial Presidency
Arthur M. Schlesinger's theory (1973);
Nixon's Presidency;
Growing power;
Constitutional limits.
Emergency powers;
Invasion of Iraq.
George W. Bush' Presidency
Still relevant nowadays?
End of Imperial Presidency?
Powers not written specifically in the Constitution;
Similar to necessary and proper powers of Congress;
Since 1993, informal Powers of the president have increased his overall Power.

Chief Diplomat
Chief of Party
Chief of State
Two key tools to shape foreign policy:
Executive agreement
: agreement made with foreign leaders that does not require Senate approval;
Diplomatic recognition
: formal acknowledgment of a government as legitimate which allows the exchange of ambassadors.
Presidents help members of their Party:
get elected or appointed to office;
make campaign speeches needed for re-election;
head fundraising for the Party;
select the Party’s national chairperson.

Symbolic leader of the nation and representative of the nation;
Presides over commemorations of war heroes, throws out first pitch at baseball games, attends funerals of world leaders...

Domestic affairs in 1970s:

What happened?
Process of wiretapping phones and stealing secret documents;
Investigations showed that the break-in was one of several activities carried out by
Nixon’s personnel;
Nixon was never prosecuted for his involvement in the Scandal.
Abuse of Power:
Articles of Impeachment
Abuse of Power:
Articles of Impeachment
(July 27, 1974)
(Article 2)
(Article 2)
"He endeavored to obtain from the internal revenue service confidential information contained in income tax returns, for purposes not authorized by law. This caused, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."
Point 1:
Abuse of Power:
Articles of Impeachment
(Article 2)
Point 2:
Point 3:
Point 4:
Point 5:
"He misused the FBI, the secret service & other executive personnel by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct/continue electronic surveillance or other investigations or purposes unrelated to National Security."
"He has authorized & permitted to be maintained a secret investigative unit within the office of the president. This was financed in part with money derived from campaign contributors to him. This unlawfully utilized the resources of the CIA, engaged in convert and unlawful activities & attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial."
"He has failed to take care that the laws were faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew/had reason to know that is subordinates endeavored to impede and frustrate the law."
"He has knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch. Including the FBI, Criminal Division & the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force of the department of Justice."
Full transcript