The presidency
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The Presidency. Chapter-13. The President’s Roles. Chief of State Ceremonial head of the government Chief Executive Constitutionally the given the executive power of the United States Chief Administrator Head of governmental machines – employees 3 million people Chief Diplomat

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The Presidency

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The presidency

The Presidency

Chapter-13


The president s roles

The President’s Roles

  • Chief of State

    • Ceremonial head of the government

  • Chief Executive

    • Constitutionally the given the executive power of the United States

  • Chief Administrator

    • Head of governmental machines – employees 3 million people

  • Chief Diplomat

    • The main architect of foreign policy

  • Commander in Chief

    • Head of all armed forces

  • Chief Legislator

    • The main architect of public policies

  • Chief of the Party

    • The acknowledged head of his party

  • Chief Citizen

    • The representative of all the people


Formal qualifications

Formal Qualifications

  • The President must be:

  • A natural-born citizen

  • At least 35 years old

  • Lived in the United States at least 14 years

    • The youngest to take office – Theodore Roosevelt - 42

    • The oldest to take office – Ronald Regan - 69


Term pay

Term & Pay

  • Until 1951 it was customary for a president to serve only two terms (8 years). However, Franklin Roosevelt ran and was elected for four terms. In 1951 the 22nd amendment was passed allowing only 10 years.

  • The President’s salary is set by Congress and can neither be decreased or increased during a term. The current salary is $400,000.00 per year plus expenses.


Presidential succession

Presidential Succession

  • If a President dies, or resigns, or is removed from office by impeachment, the Vice-President succeeds to the office. After that the succession to the President is as follows:

    • Speaker of the House

    • President pro tempore of the Senate

    • Secretary if State

    • Secretary of the Treasury

    • Secretary of Defense

    • Attorney General

    • Secretary of the Interior

    • Secretary of Agriculture

      Followed by Commerce, Labor, Health, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veteran Affairs and Homeland Security


Presidential disability

Presidential Disability

  • The 25th Amendment provides for a disability. The Vice President will become President either temporarily or permanently if any of the following occur:

    • If the President informs Congress in writing “that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”

    • The Vice President and a majority of the members of the cabinet inform Congress in writing, that the President is so incapacitated.

      In either case, the President may resume the powers and duties of the office by informing Congress that no inability exists. The Vice President and a majority of the cabinet may challenge the President and Congress has 21 days to decide.


The office of the vice president

The Office of the Vice President

  • The Constitution pays little attention to the office. It assigns the Vice President only two formal duties.

  • To preside over the Senate

  • To help decide the question of presidential disability

    Remember however, that the Vice President is only a heartbeat away from the presidency. Eight Presidents have died in office and one was forced to resign.


Conventions and candidates

Conventions and Candidates

  • The two major parties have nominated their presidential candidates at national conventions since 1832. At the conventions, delegates from each State’s party organizations chose a ticket (candidates) for the upcoming election.

  • The Constitution is silent on the subject of presidential nominations. There is almost no law on this matter. In short, the convention is largely a creation and responsibility of the political parties themselves.


Presidential primaries

Presidential Primaries

  • Today, more than three-fourths of the delegates to those conventions are chosen in some form of the presidential primary. In some States delegates are picked by caucuses and State or district conventions. Delegates pledged to a particular candidate go to the convention based on the vote count on their candidate.


At the national convention

At the National Convention

  • Conventions are grand events full of speeches and displays of party enthusiasm. They are held to:

    • Adopt the party platform

    • Nominate its presidential and vice presidential candidates

    • Unify the party behind the ticket for the upcoming campaign.


The election

The Election

  • Voters finally cast presidential ballots in November. However, their votes do not actually elect the President. Actually the voters select presidential electors who in turn choose the President.


Understanding the electoral college

Understanding the Electoral College

  • The President is indirectly elected to the office by the people. The Framers of the Constitution after lengthy debate decided that the President should be chosen by a special body of electors. The most votes obtained became the President and second place became the Vice President. The 12th amendment clarified the original document stating these electors would cast their votes for the President and Vice President.


The flawed electoral college

The Flawed Electoral College

  • The electoral college system is seriously flawed. It is possible that the loser in the popular vote will nonetheless win by the electoral vote.

  • There are 538 electoral votes. Each State is given an elector for every vote they have in Congress (a minimum of three) plus three electors for Washington D.C.

  • The Flaws:

    • Winner take all (the electors) and the distribution of Congress

    • Nothing (legally) can force an elector to vote for the chosen candidate

    • If no majority of electors is won the House of Representatives chooses the President


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