POSC 225- Presidency Study Guide
POSC 225- Presidency Study Guide
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Faith Stackpole on Wednesday January 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to a course at James Madison University taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 18 views.
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Date Created: 01/20/16
THE PRESIDENCY Expectations from Presidents - Policy Leadership: keep us prosperous and safe, want leadership and direction - Global Leadership: Embodiment of America in the world, projecting a strong and compassionate image in line with how may of us like to view our global presence. - Crisis Management: Expect him to be in command during a crisis. Expect him to use his expertise and political skills to end a crisis successfully and in short order. With minimum harm to Americans. - Symbolic Leadership: Someone we can look up to and identify with. Embody the best of us, through his words and actions. - Legitimacy for the System: to confer legitimacy on our collective sense of ourselves. Act honorable so that his actions reflect well on American democracy. Article 2 of the constitution, established the presidency. - 35 years’ old - natural born citizen - Lives in the US 14 years. - Presidential term is 4 years - At most 2 terms Formal Presidential Powers - Appointments: appoints ambassadors, Supreme Court justices, other federal officers, like federal court judges, cabinet secretaries, and agency heads. - Treaties: can negotiate treaties with other nations, subject to ratifications by 2/3 of the Senate - Commander in chief of the Army & Navy: Civilian commander of the military - Veto Power: veto an act of congress, through congress can override the veto with a 2/3 vote from both houses - Recess Appointments: Appointments made while the Senate is out of session, and do not require ratification. - Convene Congress: may call a session of congress at any time - Receive Ambassadors: officially greets representatives of other nations on behalf of the US. - Pardon Power: Pardon anyone suspected, accused, or convicted of any crime for any reason without explanation. - Executive Privilege: The power of the president, established by custom, to keep Congress, the courts, and the public from having access to presidential documents and communications Informal Presidential Powers - Persuasions: an informal source of presidential power that gives skilled presidents the opportunity to influence the decisions of members of Congress and others in Washington whose support the president needs to accomplish his political objectives. - Professional reputation: the Sense among Washington officials of the president’s political skills and abilities Malleable Public Opinion - Mandate: A directive by voters to the president to move ahead with the program he promised when he was a candidate. - Honeymoon: The initial weeks of a new presidential administration when enthusiasm and good press typically translate into high public approval ratings. - Rally effect: the tendency for Americans to unite around the president during a crisis, temporarily bolstering his job approval ratings. The Media as a Presidential Resource - “going” Public: The presidential strategy of using the media to appeal directly to the public to support presidential initiatives. - ex: Making a Televised speech - media events: activities stage by campaigns or political officials that have enough news value to draw press attention to a message the politician wants to communicate. Media Operations: - Communication office: the white house office responsible for coordinating te president’s media operations, including speechwriting, and liaison with national and local reporters. - The office coordinated the following: - Contact with national reports: -Press Secretary: The liaison between the White House and the national press covering the president -Press briefings: Formal exchanges of information between the press secretary and the national press veering the president. - Contact with local reports and special interest media: - Handling request by local television and radio stations, newspapers, and specialized media. - Speech Writing - Employs a number of people who put words in his mouth, scripting everything from formal addresses to talking points for presidential appearances. - New Leaks: - Press Conferences: Scheduled meetings between reporters and political figures like the president which give the press access to the official and an opportunity to ask him or her questions first hand. - “Backgrounders”: Off-the record exchanges between the president or administration officials and reporters. Chief Executive - Definition of chief executive - Make appointments to upper-level positions in the bureaucracy. - A lot of limits to the president’s appointment power - Only gets to appoint a few thousand out of 1.85 million people - The rest are civil servants, who get and hold their jobs independent of political considerations and are not indebted to the president. - Presidents can not remove appointees who have fixed terms of office. - He has a lot more ability over political assistants and cabinet members - Does not have permission to appoint a cabinet. - Cabinet: The name given to the collection of secretaries of the executive departments - Despite commonly held beliefs to the contrary, the cabinet rarely serves as an advisory body to the president. - Executive Office of the President (EOP): The large staff of advisors to the president that comprises the president’s political and policy operations. Preparing Budgets - The President as chief executive naturally assumed a larger role in creating the budgets for these departments - Budget and Accounting Act of 1921: The act providing the legal basis for presidential participation in the budget process - The requirement that the president submit and annual budget proposal to congress, reflecting his spending priorities and estimating how much money its going to take to keep the executive branch operational - Office of Management and Budget (OMB): The executive office responsible for developing the president’s annual budget proposals by evaluating requests for funding among departments and setting the presidents spending priorities. - The establishment of a congressional investigative office, the general accounting office (GAO), designed to ensure the accountability of the executive branch. Issuing Executive orders - “Take care that he laws be faithfully executed” - executive orders: Presidential directives to the bureaucracy that are legally binding and do not require congressional approval. - usually procedural or of little interest, but on occasion, presidents have used them to do an end run around congress and create policy. Chief Legislator - The role the president plays when he offers a legislative agenda and attempts to win congressional approval for it. - Proposing an agenda - Usually found in the election campaign- in the platform drafted at the party convention where the president was nominated and the rhetoric of his campaign speeches. - Advancing agendas can be difficult - Legislative liaison: White house lobbyist who maintain regular contacts with members of congress and congressional committees, in order to help guide the president’s legislative agenda. Vetoing Legislation - President’s strongest legislative weapon - Gives power to veto legislation sent to him by congress, which has to muster a 2/3 vote in both houses to override the veto and make the legislation into law without the president’s approval. - Reshape veto, if president threatens to veto it Chief of Staff and Foreign Policy Leader - Chief of Staff: One of the President’s top political advisors and the formal head of the White house staff - Light the official white house Christmas tree - Grants honorary recognition to celebrities - Speaks for the nation and is the nation’s representative around the globe Chief Diplomat - A constitutional role of the president in which he has the power to recognize ambassadors from other nations. - Diplomatic recognition: Formal acceptance of the legitimacy of another nation or its representatives - Build instant global credibility for a new nation or a regime that takes power following a revolution or uprising Negotiating Treaties and making executive Agreements - Treaties have to be ratified by 2/3 vote of the senate. - Usually harder to negotiate the senate then the actual nation. - Executive Agreements: Legally binding presidential agreements with other nations that do not require congressional approval. - Once signed, the agreement has the force of law. Supervising Intelligence Activities - The secretive world of intelligence gathering falls under the auspices of the president through the director of central intelligence, whom the president appoints with senate approval. - Been that way since 1947 when the Central intelligence agency (CIA) was established. - Who are responsible for providing the president with information on security threats, under the supervision of the director of central intelligence. - CIA also reports to the National Security Council (NSC) - National security council: The group of senior policy advisors responsible for helping the president shape national security policy. - The NSC includes select cabinet officials and received military briefings from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the president’s primary military advisor. - Development of the department of Homeland security. Commander in Chief - Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, but it gives the president the power to wage war. - Commander in chief: The president’s constitutional role as civilian leader of the armed forces - President has the formal power to move American forces overseas and commit them to battle - Has information that Congress does not have - War Powers Act of 1973: A Congressional attempt to reassert the role of the legislature with respect to the present in military affairs by restricting the president’s ability to wage war. Chief of Party - President is the head of his political party - To five a face and a voice to his party, if he enjoys popular support, contribute heavily to party campaigning and fundraising functions - When it comes to raising money, the president can be a party’s biggest weapon. - Coattails: The ability of a victorious presidential candidate to sweep congressional candidates of the same party into office on the strength of people voting for one political party. Inside the Executive Office of the President - White House office: That portion of the executive office of the president organized to serve the president’s immediate needs - Usually includes the president’s personal secretary, legal advisors, political advisors, and in recent administrations has grown to include the communications office and offices that handle contracts between the white house and congress, interest groups, and the president’s political party. - Usually longtime associates or personal friends including people who worked with the president when he held lower offices and people who had high level positions in the president’s election campaign. The Office of the First Lady - No official role of the first lady, but the wife of the president is an important symbolic figure in American life. - Social role, hosting guest at the white house - Now more than a host.
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