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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

AP Government -Module Notes- Chap 6 Parts 1-4

Lesson 19: The Nature of a President 3/31/08 (35 minutes)

Section One - Qualifications and Qualities

  • 35+ years old, natural born US citizen, and living in the US for 14 years before they become president (does not have to be consecutive years, just total)
  • must satisfy three audiences
    • politicians
    • party activists
    • the public
  • has five main roles
    • head of state
    • chief executive
    • commander-in-chief
    • diplomat
    • legislator
  • Richard Neustadt: political science/historian who said that a president's most vital power is the ability to persuade
    • Harry Truman said he spent all of his time trying to get people to do what they were supposed to do in the first place
  • Clinton Rossiter: political scientist who said a president has to be able to multitask
  • James MacGregor Burns: presidential biographer who said presidents must have a clear, focused agenda that can be achieved during his term
  • James David Barber: political scientist who said presidents who have a clear agenda and purpose, are active, and have a positive perception of the position are more likely to be seen as strong leaders

Section Two - Rules and Contingencies

  • there are two ways to become president
    • election: must recieve a majority of votes in the Electoral College; most common method
    • succession: vice president gains presidential powers (but not title) if the president is unable to complete his term
      • VP John Tyler: In 1841 took title and presidential powers when President William Henry Harrison died; set precedent for succession
      • Twenty-fifth Amendment: made in 1967 it stated that if a president passes away, resigns, or is impeached by both houses of Congress, the vice president will become president. It also says that the vice president can assume presidential responsibilities if he and a majority of the Cabinet members concur that the president is incapacitated or if the president declares himself incapacitated (vice president and Cabinet members must send a written declaration to the Senate President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House to gain power. president must send a written declaration to the Senate President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House to regain his powers, but Congress can keep him from regaining his powers with a two-thirds vote if the majority of the cabinet do not think the president should regain his power)
      • Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Gerald Ford have become president through succession in the twentieth century
      • Presidential Succession Act of 1947: if the vice president cannot fulfill role of president it goes to the the Speaker of the House, then the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, then the members of the cabinet until someone is able to fill the role
        • Gerald Ford took on role when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned and then President Nixon resigned for his involvement in the Watergate scandal
      • vice presidents can also be succeeded, a new vice president is nominated by the president and then the nominee must be approved by Congress
  • impeachment: a way to remove a president from power. This includes filing formal charges against the president and conducting a trial, and requires a majority vote from the House followed by a two-thirds vote fromt the Senate
    • a president can be impeached for treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors
    • Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton are the only presidents to be impeached (for both the House voted to impeach, Senate did not convict); Richard Nixon would have been impeached but he resigned first
  • president is paid a salary and an expense allowance set by Congress; president cannot accept gifts for fulfilling his office (to avoid bribery)
    • salary cannot change while he is in office (so Congress cannot control the president by increasing or decreasing salary)
    • salary changes based on inflation, but in 2004 was $400,000 with a $50,000 expense allowance. The president also has access to a Boeing 747 and a helicopter, is given Secret Service protection for himself and his family, has total health care, and receives a pension. President must pay income tax on both salary and expense allowance as he is a citizen.
  • term limit: president can only serve two four-year terms in office
    • precedent set by George Washington and continued by the first 31 presidents
    • Twenty-second Amendment: in 1951 the term limit was added to the Constitution following President  Franklin D. Roosevelt being elected four times
      • vice president who succeeds a president can serve up to 10 years if succession occurs toward the end of the presidential term







+Roles of the President: Commander-In-Chief, Chief Executive, Head of State, Chief Diplomat, and Legislator

+Commander-in-Chief: Article II, section 2; the president controls the military by working through the Department of Defense

+Established by the first Congress to advise the president on military matters

+Members of the Department of Defense include the secretary of defense (Also a cabinet members and the Joint Chiefs of Staff)

+Responsible for giving the president advice in his role as Commander-in-Chief

+President also works closely with the House and Senate committees on armed services and the appropriation committees that designate funding for the military

+Power of control over the military is shared with Congress

+Congress has the power of appropriations and to declare war

+Used this power in 1941 for WWII

+War Powers Resolution stipulates that a president must get Congressional approval if he wants to commit troops on an emergency basis

+President appeals to the public prompt Congress to give him powers to conduct war when he sees fit

+President also exercises power over military leaders to ensure that national security goals are met

+Chief Executive: Article II, Section 1 and 3; Champion of the U.S. Constitution

+Sworn to uphold and defend its laws and make sure that they are executed

+Administrator and Crisis Manager can be seen as extensions

+Admin: President is the head of an immense Bureaucracy, which includes the Cabinet, government agencies, commissions, and other entities

+Crisis Manager: President handles national crises

+Pres. is judged by the world and the nation on how well he handles these situations

+Head of State and Chief Diplomat: Article II, Section 3; Attends state dinners, acts as the ceremonial leader of the nation, and meets with foreign leaders/meeting with foreign diplomats, appointing ambassadors, and fulfilling obligations to negotiate treaties, agreements, and understandings with foreign powers

+Represents the U.S. at official functions, such as funerals or weddings of important foreign officials, treaty signings, and goodwill trips abroad

+Pres can enter into executive agreements which do NOT require the senate's approval

+Expand existing legislation or treaties

+Legislature: Article II Section, 3; the president must present to Congress a State of the Union message each year


+Having so many roles limits the president's time

+They are usually so busy that they react to crisis situations as they occur

+The demands on his time usually requires the pres to set aside his Agenda, limiting his time for promoting his policies




+Pres is the national head of his political party

+Role carries special privileges and responsibilities

+Privileges: Having a heavy influence on the party's platform, choosing party leaders at the national committee level, and becoming the goodwill ambassador for the party by building relationships with states and local party leaders

+Enjoys an unchallenged bid for the second term

+Responsabilities: Making speeches on his party's behalf, traveling around the U.S> to help state and local party affiliates raise money, and campaigning in off-year elections

+Presidential coattails







Executive Offices and Staff

-Main executive offices are located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (Next door to the white house)

-Offices are runned by official appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate

-Three main offices:

-Office of Management and Budget: Helps the president draft proposed budget for Congress by reviewing legislation, regulations, and proposed budgets

-National Security Council: Created in response to intelligence lapses during WWII as an effort to better coordinate intelligence gathering

-Oversees American foreign policy and security issues, helps the president manage crisis, and makes sure national security policies and implemented

-Council of Economic Advisors: Helps the president develop an economic plan for the nation

-Creates the economic report of the President

-Also houses the office of the United States Trade Representative: Negotiates trade with foreign powers and create implements and trade policies

-President's staff is located in the West Wing of the White House

-The president appoints staff members and they do not require congressional confirmation

-Chief of Staff: Highest ranking member of the white House staff

-Maybe be very powerful and firmly control the White House or may just be one of the president's advisors and have a less powerful role

-Staff is divided into a number of specific functions that help the president organize and manage the executive branch

-Ex: Political advisors: Speech writers, ect.

-Ex: Policy officers: Advisors to the presidents for specific policy issues (National security council and Council of economic Advisors)

-Appointed by the president and do not require Senate confirmation

-Ex: Support staff: Secretarial staff, kitchen personnel, ect.



Presidential Management Models:

-Political scientists have examined several models or how the presidents run the White House and control administrations

-Pyramid Model: Based on a strict military-like chain of command that emphasizes a powerful Chief-of-Staff

-President is on top of the pyramid with the Chief of Staff running the White House staff with a great deal of authority and acts as a clearing house for information and access to the president

-Advantages: receives information through the Chief of Staff and is not burdened with the details of running their white House

-Disadvantages: President may not get all of the information he might need

-Chief of Staff could neglect to of choose not to send on information to the president

-Hub-and-Spoke Model: Can be visualized as a circular structure

-Based on the New Deal White House system of management

-Has the president playing a dominant role in the everyday happenings in the White House

-Chief of Staff has diminished power and importance and is usually less well known to the public

-Demands that the president have very strong leadership skills and an eye for detail

-Advantage: President directly controls his administration

-Disadvantage: President can loose sight of the "forest for the trees"

-Too many sources for one person to act upon

-Ad Hoc Structure: Combines leadership and management tactics that the CEO of

a large corporation might use

-Circular Structure: Staff and advisors report directly to the Oval Office






Approval Ratings and Public Perception:

-New president have high approval ratings for the first 100 days

-because the electorate expected that the new pres will address the problems of the nation with vigor and carry out promises made during the campaign

-During this time the pres can honestly say that he has the mandate of the people since they have just elected him to office

-exceptions to this theory occur when a president is elected president even though he did not receive the popular vote

-Mandate Theory: Does not work in this case

-President tries to gauge the publics response to his policies and proposals

-They turn to approval polls: Private polling organizations regularly conduct

-Media also tracks the presidents approval ratings and reports it to the people

-Polls help the president to shape policy, the media to spot problems in the new administration, and the people to make judgments about the president

-Presidents are no longer automatically granted concessions from Congress during their first 1100 days in office

-They no can expect to have to negotiate to the their legislative agenda positively considered by Congress

-A strong economy nearly always leads to high approval ratings

-Low taxes and inflation, high employment rates, steady cost of living, absence of recession and a strong stock market are all elements the encourage a positive view of the president

-National Crisis can raise a presidents rating if he handles it well

-Americans traditionally "rally around the flag" and support the president in emergency

-Foreign travel can boost a president's popularity because a trip abroad and also trigger a "rally around the flag" effect

-Americans feel a sense of pride when they see foreign crowds cheering for a US president and are angry when foreign nationals demonstrate against their Commander-in-Chief

-Foreign difficulties can address a president's public approval as well

-Failure in foreign policy can cause the public to extend disapproval to a president's policies in general

-Scandal can dampen public enthusiasm for a president

-Perception that the president is unable to fulfill campaign promises can damage his approval rating

-During the heat of campaign politicians can often make lofty pledges that are difficult to keep even in ideal situations

-Prolonged war or overseas conflict that has no foreseeable end can damage a president's approval rating

-People will give high approval at the start, it will drop





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