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Hail to the Chief The Power of the American Presidency 100% male 100% Caucasian 97% Protestant 82% of British ancestry 77% college educated Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Presidents 69% politicians 62% lawyers >50% from the top 3% wealth and social class 0.5% born into poverty

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hail to the chief
Hail to the Chief

The Power of the

American Presidency

demographic characteristics of u s presidents
100% male

100% Caucasian

97% Protestant

82% of British ancestry

77% college educated

Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Presidents
  • 69% politicians
  • 62% lawyers
  • >50% from the top 3% wealth and social class
  • 0.5% born into poverty
  • 69% elected from large states
fortunate son recorded by creedence clearwater revival 1969
Some folks are born made to wave the flag,

Ooh, they’re red, white and blue.

And when the band plays, “Hail to the Chief,”

Ooh, they point the cannon at you, lord,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son.

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no.

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,

Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh.

But when the taxman comes to the door,

Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, son.

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no.

Fortunate SonRecorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
fortunate son recorded by creedence clearwater revival 19694
Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,

Ooh, they send you down to war, lord,

And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”

Ooh, they only answer more! more! more! yo,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son.

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, one.

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son, son.

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son, no, no, no.

Fortunate SonRecorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
constitutional qualifications
Constitutional Qualifications
  • Must be at least 35 years old
  • Must have lived in the United States for 14 years
  • Must be a natural born citizen
presidential benefits
Presidential Benefits
  • $400,000 tax-free salary
  • $50,000/year expense account
  • $100,000/year travel expenses
  • The White House
  • Secret Service protection
  • Camp David country estate
  • Air Force One personal airplane
  • Staff of 400-500

Christmas at the White House, 2004

head of state
Head of State

Queen Elizabeth and President Reagan, 1983

President Kennedy speaks at Berlin Wall, 1963

chief executive
Chief Executive

President Clinton with Janet Reno, the first female Attorney General,

February, 1993

President Bush holds cabinet meeting

in October, 2005

commander in chief
Commander-in-Chief

President Johnson decorates a soldier

in Vietnam, October, 1966

President Bush aboard U.S.S. Lincoln, May, 2003

chief legislator
Chief Legislator

President Clinton delivers the State of the Union Address, 1997

President Roosevelt signs into law the Social Security Act, 1935

political party leader
Political Party Leader

President Reagan & Vice-President Bush accepting their party’s nomination in 1980

crisis manager
Crisis Manager

President Bush at Ground Zero after 9-11

Vice-President Johnson sworn in aboard Air Force One

after President Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

moral persuader
Moral Persuader

President Roosevelt and the “Bully Pulpit,” 1910

President Lincoln during the Civil War, 1862

formal powers of the president
Formal Powers of the President
  • Constitutional or enumerated powers of the presidency
  • Found primarily in Article II of the Constitution
formal powers commander in chief
Formal Powers: Commander-in-Chief
  • Commander in Chief of the Army & Navy
  • Commander in Chief of the state militias (now the National Guard)
  • Commission all officers
formal powers chief executive
Formal Powers: Chief Executive
  • “Faithfully execute” the laws
  • Require the opinion of heads of executive departments
  • Grant pardons for federal offenses except for cases of impeachment
  • Nominate judges of the Supreme Court and all other officers of the U.S. with consent of the Senate
  • Fill vacancies that may happen during recess of the Senate
formal powers foreign affairs
Formal Powers: Foreign Affairs
  • Appoint ambassadors, ministers and consuls
  • Make treaties subject to Senate confirmation
  • Receive ambassadors
formal powers chief legislator
Formal Powers: Chief Legislator
  • Give State of the Union address to Congress
  • Recommend “measures” to the Congress
  • Upon “extraordinary occasions” convene both houses of Congress
formal powers chief legislator cont
Formal Powers: Chief Legislator (cont.)
  • Presidential Veto
    • Veto Message within 10 days of passing the House of origin
    • Pocket Veto - President does not sign within 10 days
    • Congress can override with 2/3 majority from both Houses
  • Veto Politics
    • Congressional override is difficult (only 4%)
    • Threat of veto can cause Congress to make changes in legislation
informal powers
Informal Powers
  • Those powers not explicitly written in the Constitution
  • Similar to “necessary and proper” powers of Congress
  • In the modern era (since 1933), the President’s informal powers may be significantly more powerful than his formal powers
executive orders
Executive Orders
  • Orders issued by the President that carry the force of law
  • Clinton’s “Don’t ask don’t tell” gays in the military policy
  • FDR’s internment of Japanese Americans
  • GWB trying suspected terrorists in military tribunals

Notice for Japanese “relocation,” 1942

executive agreements
Executive Agreements
  • International agreements, usually related to trade, made by a president that has the force of a treaty; does NOT need Senate approval
  • Jefferson’s purchase of Louisiana in 1803
  • GWB announced cuts in the nuclear arsenal, but not in a treaty; usually trade agreements between

US and other nations

executive privilege
Executive Privilege
  • Claim by a president that he has the right to decide that the national interest will be better served if certain information is withheld from the public, including the Courts and Congress
  • United States v. Nixon (1973) – presidents do NOT have unqualified executive privilege (Nixon Watergate tapes)
questions for discussion
Questions for Discussion
  • Why are informal powers more important than formal powers, particularly to modern presidents?
  • Identify several advantages and disadvantages of the use of the president’s informal powers.
  • Has the use and perhaps abuse of the informal powers created an “Imperial Presidency?” Defend your answer.
president harry s truman
President Harry S. Truman

"I sit here all day trying to persuade people to do the things they ought to have the sense to do without my persuading them. That's all the powers of the President amount to."

Truman, 33rd President, 1945-53

president john f kennedy
President John F. Kennedy

“No easy problem ever comes to the President of the United States. If they are easy to solve, somebody else has solved them.”

President Kennedy’s nationally televised address during the Cuban Missile Crisis, October, 1962

president lyndon b johnson
President Lyndon B. Johnson

“The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands.”

President Johnson,

36th President, 1963-69

president richard m nixon
President Richard M. Nixon

"Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the manner in which the president personally exercises his assigned executive powers is not subject to questioning by another branch of government."

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, President Nixon departs the White House after his resignation, Aug., 1974

president george w bush
President George W. Bush

“To those of you who received honors, awards, and distinctions, I say 'Well done.' And to the C students, I say 'You, too, can be president of the United States.'”

President George W. Bush, speaking at Yale University's 300th commencement ceremony

President Bush, 43rd President, 2001-present