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The Roles of the President US/VA Government The President Chief of State Chief Executive Tools of Influence Chief Diplomat Commander in Chief Chief Legislator Party Leader Economic Planner Simulation: President for a day!! Table of Contents The President: Some Facts

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table of contents
The President

Chief of State

Chief Executive

Tools of Influence

Chief Diplomat

Commander in Chief

Chief Legislator

Party Leader

Economic Planner

Simulation: President for a day!!

Table of Contents
the president some facts
The President: Some Facts
  • Elected by the Electoral College
  • Four year terms
  • Two term limit, or 10 years – this was set with the 22nd Amendment
  • Congress decides presidential salary: $400,000/yr salary
  • Must be 35 years old, 14 year resident, and a natural born citizen.
role head of state
Role: Head of State
  • This is a ceremonial role.
  • Acts as example for and symbol of the United States
  • Represents America at special occasions and ceremonies.
  • Kings and Queens are heads of state.
  • Example: Awarding medals and speechmaking
example of head of state
Example of Head of State
  • Click on the picture to read about President Bush and the Prime Minister of Japan going to Graceland

Also, you can click here to view the official White House press release

role chief executive
Role: Chief Executive
  • Acts as the boss of federal government workers in 14 executive departments.
  • These departments help the President carry out, enforce, or execute the law.
  • The president chooses cabinet members to advise and assist him.
  • Example: Holding cabinet meetings and appointing federal officials.
tools of influence how laws are carried out
Tools of influence: How laws are carried out
  • Issues Executive Orders: rules that have the force of laws
  • Makes Appointments – The President appoints about 2,200 top-level federal officials
  • Removes officials they have appointed
    • Not always easy if have a lot of support (i.e. J. Edgar Hoover)
  • Impoundment: the president sets aside or refuses to spend money that Congress has appropriated for a certain purpose
  • Appoints federal judges
  • Issues Reprieves: delays punishment
  • Issues Pardons: forgiveness of a crime, and the associated punishment
    • Examples: Clinton took a lot of heat for pardoning a bunch of big donors just before leaving office; many of them were relatives.
    • Ford pardoned Nixon, saving the former President from future prosecution
  • Amnesty – A group pardon to people for offense against the government
    • Example: Ford and Carter to draft dodgers during Vietnam
example of chief executive
Example of Chief Executive

President Bush with Cabinet Members

Click on the picture to read all about President Bush’s current cabinet

role chief diplomat
Role: Chief Diplomat
  • Directs US foreign policy
    • President gets most up-to-date information from CIA, State Department, Defense Department, and National Security Council
    • Ability to make decisive action – One man at top
    • Ability to make treaties
    • Executive Agreements
    • Recognition of foreign governments (i.e. Cuba)
  • Conducts foreign policy by directing the actions of American ambassadors.
  • Signs treaties and trade agreements with leaders of other nations.
  • Example: Serves as host to other heads of state
example of chief diplomat
Example of Chief Diplomat

Click on the picture to the right to read the wikipedia article about the Camp David Accords

Menachem Begin (Israeli Prime Minister), Jimmy Carter, and Anwar Sadat (Egyptian President)

role commander in chief
Role: Commander in Chief
  • In charge of US Armed Forces.
  • President decides where armed forces are to be stationed, weapons to be used.
role commander in chief12
Role: Commander in Chief
  • Power to make war
  • Military operations and strategy
    • Presidents from military backgrounds
  • Power to use nuclear weapons –
    • Truman is the only one who has, while others have considered the option (Nixon – tactical nukes in N. Vietnam)
  • Controls problems within the country
example of commander in chief
Example of Commander in Chief

Press Play to listen to FDR’s “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy” speech

role chief legislator
Role: Chief Legislator
  • Congress has the power to make laws.
  • President can propose bills and must sign bills into law.
  • Presents his agenda to Congress in the annual State of the Union address.
    • FDR and LBJ had extensive legislative programs (New Deal and Great Society)
  • Tools of Presidential Lawmaking
    • Give out political favors for congressional support
    • Veto power
example of chief legislator
Example of Chief Legislator
  • Press Play to learn about the State of the Union Address
stem cell bill gets bush s first veto
Stem Cell Bill Gets Bush's First Veto

President Bush issued the first veto of his five-year-old administration yesterday, rejecting Congress's bid to lift funding restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research and underscoring his party's split on an emotional issue in this fall's elections.

Click picture to read the article

By Charles Babington; Washington Post Staff WriterThursday, July 20, 2006; Page A04

role party leader
Role: Party Leader
  • Presidents help members of their party get elected or appointed to office.
  • They make campaign speeches needed for re-election.
  • Head of fund-raising for the party.
  • Selects party’s national chairperson
  • Political patronage – rewards, with jobs and contracts, those who support president and party during election

Please click the speaker to listen to George W. Bush’s message on my answering machine – PLEASE BE CAREFUL, IT IS LOUD!!

role economic planner
Role: Economic Planner
  • Monitors:
    • Unemployment
    • Inflation, taxation, business
    • The general welfare of the nation.
  • He does not control the economy, but he gets credit if it goes well.
  • Idea borrowed from George Cassutto, North Hagerstown High School, MD