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week 4 notes

by: Kirsten Swikert

week 4 notes Political Science 110

Kirsten Swikert
GPA 3.2

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notes so far after Exam 1
American National Government
Jeffrey Budziak
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kirsten Swikert on Thursday March 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Political Science 110 at Western Kentucky University taught by Jeffrey Budziak in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at Western Kentucky University.

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Date Created: 03/03/16
The Role of the President in a Democracy • What does it mean to be an executive? o In charge, you’re the head o A person with senior managerial responsibility in an organization • The dual roles of the president today o Head of State: symbolic representation of the country o Head of Government: individual primarily responsible for making government function o The US is the only country to do this, give one person both roles • Presidents are also charged with making a variety of groups happy o Example of presidential constituencies: § National Constituency: the president’s greatest asset, only the president can claim to speak for the nation § Partisan Constituency: must satisfy party faithful § Congressional Constituency: must keep members of Congress happy to achieve legislative goals Article II of the Constitution • Article II of the Constitution is broken into four sections o 1: Vesting Clause and the Electoral College § “the executive power shall be vested in a president of the USA” • Many presidential scholars suggest that this creates inherent executive powers. It means that the executive powers are all given to the president, there are certain powers that this person must have and that are expected of them to have. • Ex: o Executive Orders: directives afforded weight of law unless contradicted by Congress (managing the bureaucracy), this is not just the president making a law, he is telling the bureaucracy how to implement a policy Congress has created. o Executive Agreements: agreement by heads of government not ratified by legislature, the president cannot do something going completely against Congress § The Electoral College • Creates a unique system of choosing the president • States designate a number of “electors” equal to their representation in Congress (House+Senate) o Only these individuals directly vote for the President o Purpose? Framers don’t trust too much democracy; it is in place because the electors are more involved or know more about politics. Electors in most states cannot vote against the popular vote of their state. • To win the presidential election, you must have the majority of votes in the Electoral College, if you don’t the vote is sent to the House of Representatives o 2: Powers of the President § While most of the powers of the president are outlined in Article II, the first power actually stems from Article I § Every bill that makes it through the House and Senate is presented to the President, who has the power to pass or veto it § Pocket veto: letting a bill sit for 10 days so that it is automatically passed or vetoed § President is Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, has the power to pardon people in a federal court for offences against the United States (except in Impeachment cases), and has the power to make formal treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate and as long as 2/3rds of the Senator’s agree o 3: Obligations of the President § take care that the laws be faithfully executed o 4: Impeachment of the President • Formal Powers of the presidency: powers explicitly listed in or derived from the Constitution The Informal Powers of the Presidency • Informal powers: powers the President has that are not explicitly stated or derived from the Constitution • Examples of informal powers: Neustadt’s Presidential Power o Power to persuade: president’s ability to convince others to cooperate with his/her goals o Power to recommend: ability of the president to purpose policies § Ex: Obamacare, Office of Management and Budged (executive department charged with creating the President’s budget) § Why does congress go along with it: we all had a say in voting for him so we must support him, campaigning • Potential limitations on informal powers o Klein’s The Unpersuaded: Who listens to a President? Working with the Bureaucracy • Formal powers over the bureaucracy o “…he shall nominate…all other officers of the United States” (Article II, Sect. 2) • Informal powers over the bureaucracy o Executive office of the president: organization that help implement presidential policy objectives o Office of management and budget: oversees the budget of departments and agencies Working with Congress • Formal powers over Congress o “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States” (Article I, Section 7, Clause 2) • Informal powers over Congress o Power to persuade: try to convince members of Congress to support the presidential agenda The Existence of “Two Presidencies?” • Modern Presidency o Presidential powers have evolved to deal with an increasingly complex world o Some commentators have suggested this had led to the existence of “two presidencies” in practice § Primary distinction: domestic vs foreign affairs • Example: o Lyndon Johnson: domestic policies (Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965), foreign affairs (presided over protected, unpopular involvement in Vietnam) o George H.W. Bush: foreign affairs (desert storm), domestic policies (increased taxes which put the economy into a recession)


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