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The Presidency. Standard. SSCG13: The student will describe the qualifications for becoming President of the United States. Duties of the President.

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  • SSCG13: The student will describe the qualifications for becoming President of the United States

Duties of the president
Duties of the President

The constitutional duties of the nation’s first president, George Washington, and those of a modern president are much the same. However, presidents today have enormous power and responsibility.

Duties of the president1
Duties of the President

Among the duties of the president are:

  • Commander in chief of armed forces

  • Appoints (with Senate consent) heads of executive departments, federal court judges and other top officials

Duties of the president2
Duties of the President

3 Makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate

4 Meets with heads of state

5 Hosts foreign officials

Duties of the president3
Duties of the President

  • Appoints ambassadors to represent the United States in other countries

  • Ensures that all the laws of the United States are “faithfully executed” (a vast bureaucracy assists the president)

Duties of the president4
Duties of the President

  • Pardons people convicted of federal crimes, except impeachment

  • Reduces a person’s jail sentence or fine

Duties of the president5
Duties of the President

  • Delivers an annual State of the Union Address to Congress

  • Leadership role in proposing policy changes

President s term
President’s Term

  • Originally, the Constitution did not specify how many four-year terms a president could serve.

  • George Washington set a long held precedent when he served eight years and refused to run for a third term

President s term1
President’s Term

  • In 1940 and 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt broke this tradition when he ran and was elected for a third and fourth term.

President s term2
President’s Term

  • In 1951, Congress proposed and the states ratified the 22nd Amendment as a reaction to Roosevelt’s four terms and concern over too much executive power.

President s term3
President’s Term

  • This amendment secured the traditional presidential limitation of two terms, while allowing a vice president who takes over the presidency and serves two years or less of the former president’s term to serve two additional terms. Thus it is possible for a president to serve up to 10 years.

Salary and benefits
Salary and Benefits

  • Salary - $400,000 annually

  • Nontaxable travel allowance - $100,000 annually

  • Congress cannot increase or decrease a the salary during a president’s term

Salary and benefits1
Salary and Benefits

  • Air Force One, other planes, helicopters and limousines are made available

  • Free medical, dental and health care

Salary and benefits2
Salary and Benefits

  • Live in the White House, a 132-room mansion with a swimming pool, bowling alley, private movie theater and tennis courts


The presidency

  • Large White House domestic staff

  • Pays all expenses of operating the White House that relate to government business

  • Free office space, free mailing service and $96,000 annually for office help

Salary and benefits3
Salary and Benefits

  • Lifetime pension of $148,400 annually when they retire

  • After the death of the president, the spouse is eligible for a pension of $20,000 annually

Presidential qualifications
Presidential Qualifications

Constitutional Requirements

  • Natural-born citizen of the United States

  • At least 35 years old

  • Resident of the United States for at least 14 years before taking office

    These requirements are found in Article II, Section I of the Constitution. The same requirements apply to the vice president. Why?

Unwritten presidential qualifications
Unwritten Presidential Qualifications

  • Experience in government (provides the opportunity to form political alliances and gain name recognition)

  • Money (candidates must have the ability to raise money to pay for very costly campaigns)

  • Political views (both parties tend to choose people with moderate party views to appeal to a wide variety of people)

Personal characteristics of past presidents
Personal Characteristics of Past Presidents

  • Northern European family backgrounds

  • Middle – class backgrounds (some exceptions)

  • Male

  • White (Obama is exception)

  • Married

  • Protestant (exception – John F. Kennedy – Catholic)

The role of the vice president
The Role of the Vice President

The Constitution gives the vice president only two duties.

1) The vice president presides over the

Senate as President of the Senate and vote

in that house in case of a tie.

2) The vice president helps decide if the

president is disabled and acts as

president should that occur.

25 th amendment
25th Amendment

  • Article II is unclear about what will happen if a president is unfit to do his job. Congress amended the Constitution to include:

    • Section 4: Emergency provision that allows the Vice President and members of the Cabinet to declare the President unfit to carry out the duties of the Presidency.  

The presidency

Modern responsibilities
Modern Responsibilities

  • A vice president’s work and power depend upon what responsibilities, if any, the president assigns.

  • The presidents before Eisenhower usually ignored their vice presidents.

  • Since Eisenhower, presidents have tried to give their vice presidents more responsibility.

Vice President Joe Biden

Modern responsibilities1
Modern Responsibilities

  • Participate in policy discussions

  • Special assignments such as making speeches to defend the president’s policies

  • Diplomatic activities such as representing the president overseas

  • Member of the National Security Council

Electoral college clip
Electoral College (clip)


What do the following four men all have in common
What do the following four men all have in common?

  • A. Andrew Jackson

  • B. Samuel Tilden

  • C. Grover Cleveland

  • D. Al Gore

The answer
The Answer

  • They all won the popular vote in a Presidential election but did not become President.

The presidency

  • Popular Vote

    Andrew Jackson 43%

    John Q. Adams 30.5%

    Electoral Vote

    Jackson 99 votes

    Adams 84

    * Adams elected by House of Representatives when Jackson did not receive a majority of the Electoral votes

The presidency

  • Popular Vote

    Samuel Tilden 51%

    R. B. Hayes 48%

    Electoral College

    Tilden 184

    Hayes 185

    Winner: Hayes

The presidency

  • Popular Vote

    Grover Cleveland 48.5 %

    Benjamin Harrison 47.8 %

    Electoral College

    Cleveland 168

    Harrison 233

    Winner: Harrison

The presidency

  • Popular Vote

    Albert Gore 48.7%

    George W. Bush 48.5%

    Electoral College

    Gore 266

    Bush 271

    Winner: Bush

The presidency

  • We do not pick our President by direct ballot. We only select electors. These electors form what is called the Electoral College and are the people who officially elect the President.

Terms to know
Terms to Know

  • General election: held every four years and includes the presidential election as well as congressional, state, and local elections.

  • Electoral College: A group of people named by each state legislature to select the President and Vice President

Terms to know1
Terms to Know

  • Elector: member of a political party chosen in each state to formally elect the president and vice president

  • Electoral vote: official vote for president and vice president by electors in each state

  • Popular vote: the vote for a U.S. presidential candidate made by the qualified voters, as opposed to that made by the electoral college

Election day
Election Day

  • By US law the general election day is:

    • the first Tuesday after the first Monday of Nov.

The presidency

  • During the General Election when casting a popular vote for a particular candidate, voters are actually voting for whom the electors will cast a ballot. These electors in turn cast an Electoral vote for that candidate in the Electoral College.

Why was it created
Why was it Created?

  • Un-informed voter protection

  • States were given a voice in choosing the President

  • To maintain regional balance

The electoral college was devised for 3 reasons
The Electoral College was devised for 3 reasons

1. The framers of the Constitution feared direct democracy. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice.

“election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station” – James Madison

The electoral college was devised for 3 reasons1
The Electoral College was devised for 3 reasons

2. The founding fathers wanted to protect the interests of smaller states and rural areas

The electoral college was devised for 3 reasons2
The Electoral College was devised for 3 reasons

3. The Electoral College helps give everyone a say in the election by creating a balance between heavily populated areas that may not share the same concerns as other regions in the country

The presidency

ELECTORS parties in the summer before the Popular Vote on Election Day

The number of electors for each state is based on

# of senators + # of representatives

Georgia has 16 Electoral votes

All states have a minimum of 3 electoral votes

The presidency

The party that wins a state gets to cast all of the electoral votes. This is known as a Winner Take-all System(2 exceptions: Maine & Nebraska)

The presidency

The Presidential Electors meet in their respective state capitols in December, 41 days following the election, at which time they cast their electoral votes. Thus the "electoral college" never meets as one national body.

The presidency

Candidates must receive a majority of the electoral vote to be declared the President-elect or Vice-President-elect

Electoral votes

ELECTORAL VOTES be declared the President-elect or Vice-President-elect

435 U.S. Representatives


100 U.S. Senators

= 535 electoral votes

+ 3 electoral votes (Washington D.C.)


= 538 total electoral votes (majority: 270)

The presidency

If no candidate for President receives an absolute electoral majority 270 votes out of the 538 possible, then the House of Representatives is required to go into session immediately to vote for President. (an even split would be 269 votes)

The presidency

As of 2012, the House of Representatives has elected the President on two occasions, in 1801 (Thomas Jefferson) and in 1825 ( John Quincy Adams).

Wait a second
Wait a second…. President on two occasions, in

  • What are the drawbacks to the Electoral College???

What are the drawbacks to the electoral college
What are the drawbacks to the Electoral College? President on two occasions, in

  • Encourages low voter turnout

  • Diminishes third party influence

  • Person with most popular votes may not win

  • Leads to tactical, insincere voting

  • If there is no majority winner in the Electoral College, the election goes to the H.o. R and there is a loss of separation of powers

Why low voter turnout
Why low voter turnout? President on two occasions, in

  • The Electoral College is a winner take all system of deciding who receives a states electoral votes. Consequently, if a person gets 50.1% of the popular vote (in a two man race), he get 100% of the electoral votes. Therefore, many people feel that their vote does not matter and choose to not vote.

Third parties
Third Parties President on two occasions, in

  • The Electoral College discourages 3rd parties because a candidate must have a broad based, national platform to have a chance to gain the highest office. Rarely are 3rd parties financially and politically able to do this.

Tactical voting
Tactical Voting President on two occasions, in

  • Voters often resort to tactical voting in Presidential elections because the person they truly support cannot win the all of the electoral votes. For instance, many people would have preferred Ralph Nader (of the Green Party) in the 2000 Presidential election but knew that he was not going to win. Instead, they often voted for Al Gore because he was the major candidate with the platform closest to Nader.

Electoral map after the 2000 election
Electoral Map after the 2000 Election President on two occasions, in

The 2008 presidential election
The 2008 Presidential Election President on two occasions, in

In class activity
In-Class Activity President on two occasions, in

  • Given the electoral map on the previous slide, students will be asked the following hypothetical question; If you were running for President with limited money and could only focus on a few states, where would you focus your campaign?

  • (Only 11 states are needed to become President.)

The electoral map
The Electoral Map President on two occasions, in

  • Which state has the most electoral votes? How many?

  • What is the least number of electoral votes per state? Explain

  • Do you think that the Electoral College is a good way to elect the

  • president? Why or why not?

Presidential powers
Presidential Powers President on two occasions, in

  • Many presidential powers are not listed in the Constitution.

  • The Office of the President and it’s powers are influenced by the actual person in the office.

Roles of the president
Roles of the President President on two occasions, in

  • Head of State

  • Chief Executive

  • Chief Legislator

  • Economic Planner

  • Party Leader

  • Chief Diplomat

  • Commander in Chief

The presidency

  • The president has broad powers. President on two occasions, in

  • The president can issue rules, regulations, and instructions called executive orders, which have the binding force of law upon federal agencies but do not require congressional approval.

  • The president may also negotiate with foreign countries "executive agreements" that are not subject to Senate confirmation.

Head of state
Head of State President on two occasions, in

  • The president represents the nation and performs many ceremonial roles.

  • The president is both head of state and chief executive. In most countries, these two roles are held by separate people.

  • Hosts kings, queens, and heads of governments…throws out first pitch.

Chief executive
Chief Executive President on two occasions, in

  • Carries out laws passed by Congress.

  • The executive branch employs more than two million people to enforce the laws and programs passed by Congress.

Chief legislator
Chief Legislator President on two occasions, in

  • President proposes legislation to Congress.

  • The president describes his legislative program in the annual State of the Union address.

Economic planner
Economic Planner President on two occasions, in

The Employment Act of 1946 expanded the president’s role as economic planner by

  • requiring the president to submit an annual economic report to Congress

  • creating a Council of Economic Advisors

  • requiring the government to promote the economic development of the country

  • requiring the president to prepare an annual budget

Party leader
Party Leader President on two occasions, in

  • He may give speeches or attend fundraisers to help raise money for the party.

  • President appoints chairperson, and plans future elections.

  • Presidents are expected to appoint party members to available jobs. (patronage)

Chief diplomat
Chief Diplomat President on two occasions, in

  • The president (and Congress) make key decisions about the relations the United States has with other countries.

  • The president has an advantage because s/he has more access to information than Congress.

Commander in chief
Commander in Chief President on two occasions, in

  • Although other military leaders run the military on a day-to-day basis, the president is responsible for key military decisions.

  • The president may also use the military to control serious disorders in the nation.

The cabinet
The Cabinet President on two occasions, in

  • One of the president’s first duties is to organize and staff the executive branch of government.

  • Today, the president appoints the secretaries that head the 15 major executive departments.

  • The 15 secretaries, the vice president and several other top officials make up the president’s cabinet.

Major factors in appointments
Major Factors in Appointments President on two occasions, in

  • A major consideration is that the appointee have a compatible background with the department he or she will lead.

  • Another consideration is geographic balance.(ex: Secretary of Ag is typically from a farm state, Sec of HUD is from a big city.)

  • Acceptability to interest groups is also important. (Secretary of Labor must be acceptable to labor groups)

  • Experience in the role they are assuming is also important, along with race and gender balances.

The presidency

  • As women and minority groups have gained political power, presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • Robert Weaver became the first African-American department leader when Lyndon Johnson appointed him as the head of HUD. FDR appointed the first woman to the cabinet with Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.

The role of the cabinet
The Role of the Cabinet presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • The cabinet is intended to serve as an advisory body to the president.

  • The cabinet meets when the president calls it together.

  • Recent presidents have used their cabinets as more of a sounding board for ideas rather than the advisory body that President Washington had envisioned.

The executive office
The Executive Office presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • The Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of individuals and agencies that directly assist the president.

  • Today’s EOP consists of the White House Office and several specialized agencies that all report directly to the president.

  • The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) is the largest agency in the EOP.

  • The OMB prepares the national budget that the president proposes to Congress each year.

The white house office
The White House Office presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • The White House Office has become one of the most important parts of the EOP.

  • These top assistants become the inner circle around the president.

  • Positions include the president’s chief of staff, White House counsel, and press secretary.

  • Key aides to the president decide what or who gets through to the president.

Presidential succession
Presidential Succession presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • Eight presidents have died in office (four were assassinated and four died of natural causes)

  • After Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, the country realized that the rules for presidential succession established by the Constitution were inadequate.

  • The Twenty-fifth Amendment ratified in 1967 established the order of succession to the presidency and spelled out what happened when the vice presidency becomes vacant.

  • This amendment was first applied in 1973 after Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned and was replaced by Gerald Ford. Less than a year later, Nixon resigned and Ford became president and nominated Nelson Rockefeller as vice president. This has been the only time in our nation’s history that neither the president nor the vice president were elected.

Presidential succession1
Presidential Succession presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • The Vice President

  • Speaker of the House

  • President Pro Tempore of the Senate

  • Secretary of State

  • Secretary of the Treasury

  • Secretary of Defense

  • Attorney General

  • Secretary of the Interior

  • Secretary of Agriculture

  • Secretary of Commerce

  • Secretary of Labor

  • Secretary of Health

  • Secretary of Housing

  • Secretary of Transportation

  • Secretary of Energy

  • Secretary of Education

  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs

  • Secretary of Homeland Security

Presidential disability
Presidential Disability presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

The Twenty-fifth Amendment sets forth a series of rules to be followed when a president is disabled. The amendment provides that the vice president becomes acting president under one of the following two conditions:

1) if the president informs Congress of his or her inability

to perform the duties of the office

2) if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet or

another body authorized by law informs Congress that the

president is unable to perform the duties of the office

The provisions of this amendment allow the president to resume the powers and duties of president at any time by simply notifying Congress that the disability no longer exists. If the vice president, a majority of the cabinet or other authorized body disagrees with this assessment, Congress has to settle the dispute within 21 days. Unless the Congress decides in favor of the vice president by a 2/3’s vote in each house, the president may resume office.

Inauguration impeachment

Inauguration, Impeachment presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

Inauguration presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • The new president is called the president-elect until the inauguration which takes place at noon on January 20th in the year following the election.

Inauguration presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • The president-elect rides with the outgoing president from the White House to the Capitol for the ceremony.

Inauguration presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • The Constitution requires the president to take a simple oath.

  • The chief justice administers the oath and the new president makes an inaugural address.

Impeachment presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.

  • Expressed power of the legislature to bring formal charges against a government official for crimes committed in office.

  • Removal of an official on conviction is separate from impeachment.

Impeachment article ii section 4 us const
Impeachment presidents have considered race and gender when selecting their cabinet.Article II, Section 4 (US Const)

  • “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

The presidency

Impeachment executives had been accomplished by assassination. He suggested that a

  • Two presidents have been impeached:

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Bill Clinton

  • Both were acquitted before being removed from office.

Impeachment executives had been accomplished by assassination. He suggested that a

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Impeached for intentionally violating the Tenure of Office Act.

  • Impeachment voted for in the House, 128 to 47.

  • The Senate fell one vote short of the 2/3rds majority required for conviction.

Impeachment executives had been accomplished by assassination. He suggested that a

  • Bill Clinton

  • Impeached for perjury (228-206) and obstruction of justice (221-212).

  • The Senate fell 17 votes short of the 2/3rds majority required for conviction.