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Old Chapter 14: The Presidency

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Laura Wilson

on 2 January 2018

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Transcript of Old Chapter 14: The Presidency

"DO NOT create political parties!"
- George Washington,
famous last words*
* paraphrased
The Evolution of the Presidency
Who Becomes President?
The Office of the President
The Power to Persuade

Who Becomes President?
: when one party controls the executive branch (Presidency) and another party controls one or both of the houses of Congress
Divided Government
outlined in _______ of the Constitution
The Powers of the President
Concerns among the framers

The Evolution of the Presidency
Chapter 10: The Presidency
natural-born citizen
35 years old
resident of the US for at least 14 years
Usually have substantial political background...but not necessarily at the federal level
: when the same party controls both the Presidency and Congress
Disadvantages to Divided Government
partisan bickering
policy gridlock
is when government has a seemingly inability to act
...but divided government is not always bad...

Unilateral Powers
takes care that the "laws are fully executed"
Shared Powers
appoint ambassadors, judges, and high officials
1. too much power in one person
2. overwhelming powers of the people
Resolve among the framers
separation of power and checks & balances
creation of the Electoral College
The Electoral College
select individuals cast each state's votes in a presidential election
Jacksonian Democracy
era of Andrew Jackson's administration (1829-1837) change the relations between the president and Congress
vetoes based on policy grounds (not just constitutional)

challenged Congress

strong and independent presidency
The Reemergence of Congress
After Jackson, Congress became the predominant institution

Partisanship began to rise, public opinion divided
Primary exceptions: Lincoln and Roosevelt, who expanded "inherent"/"implied" powers
The Power to Persuade
Richard Neustadt
Presidential Power
argued that the president can use his national constituency and ceremonial duties
Fellow politicians/leaders
Party activists/office holders outside DC
"The Public"
Fellow politicians and leaders
they want his "ear"
Party activists and Officeholders OUTSIDE Washington
president wants them to get him reelected
"The Public"
bully pulpit
: president's use of his prestige/visibility to guide or enthuse the American public
Popularity and Influence
power of persuasion = congressional support for president's legislative programs
presidential coattails are declining...
...but presidential popularity can be important for Congressional support of his programs
The Ups-and-Downs of Popularity
Overall, almost every president is less popular by end of administration *
* exceptions: Eisenhower, Reagan, & Clinton
"honeymoon" or first 100 days
The Power to Say "No"
Presidents can act against Congress in 3 main ways
Executive Privilege
Signing Statements
Congress rarely overrides
when the President does not sign a bill within 10 days and Congress has adjourned
* if Congress is still in session, the bill becomes a law
blocking particular provisions in a bill while approving others
allows president to claim confidentiality
challenged in
United States v. Nixon
privilege is void sensitive military or diplomatic matters are involved
document stating what a president thinks of a new law and how it should be enforced
note that the President believes part of a bill is unconstitutional
The Office of the President
The White House Office
The Executive Office of the President
The Cabinet
The White House Office
the President's closest assistants
offices in the West Wing (office size & proximity)

oversee the political and policy interests of the president
do not have to be confirmed ("at will")
Pyramid structure
+ provides orderly flow for info and decisions
- risks isolating or misinforming the president
used by Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, W. Bush, & (sometimes) Clinton
Circular Structure
+ gives the president a lot of information
- can be confusing and cause conflict among cabinet members
used by Carter
Ad hoc structure
+ allows flexibility and generates ideas
- risks cutting the president off from officials responsible for decisions
used by Clinton
usually from campaign staff & longtime associates, sometimes experts
The Executive Office of the President
report directly to the president but not located in the WH
filled by appointments (traditionally nonpartisan) confirmed by Senate
most prolific: OMB (Office of Management and Budget)
creates the President's budget proposal, studies organization & operation of the executive branch, and plans for departmental reorganization
The Cabinet
: heads of 15 executive branch departments of the federal government
But you are probably wondering...
proximity to president based on department age
Who Gets Appointed?
cabinet members usually:
come from private business, universities, think tanks, law firms, and Congress or state/local government
have some prior federal experience
usually known more for their expertise than political following
Presidential Transition
Eight times, a vice president has become president because of death
25th Amendment - if the President becomes disabled, the Vice President will serve as "acting president;" the old vice president will nominate a new vice president
After the vice president, the secretary of the state would become president , then other cabinet members in order of seniority (The Succession Act of 1886)
: charges against a president approved by a majority in the House
to be removed from office, the impeached officer must be convicted by a 2/3s vote of the Senate
like an indictment in a criminal trial
only two presidents impeached
most are governors, military leaders, or vice presidents
some are senators
divided government
unified government
unified governments do not typically pass more legislation
party ID does not guarantee ideology
gridlock is the product of representative democracy
Article II
grants reprieves and pardons
receives ambassadors
make treaties
(with Senate)
approve legislation
(with Congress)
(with Senate)
electoral votes = # of MCs
midterm decline
slight rise at end of administration
(4% of 2,500 vetoes)
pocket veto
line-item veto
tells the executive branch how to implement
i.e. many "publics"
each has different interests and views
they want the president to acknowledge them
president wants a good reputation among Washington colleagues
to enlarge his power through persuasive powers
Women in Politics
Explanations for gender gap
Women in Gov't
Gendered politics
Social barriers
Political barriers
Institutional barriers
(associated with men)
(associated with women)
foreign affairs
health (reproductive)
...99 women ( )
76 D
23 R
( )
...5 women ( )
( )
1 D
4 R
State Legislatures
(IN - 20%)
Full transcript