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December 7, 1941, a day which will live in infamy. Dirty Politics? Obama caught Osama. First Fireside Chat FDR inaugural address 2:12 Tear Down This Wall. Videos. 3 Qualifications: Native-born U.S. Citizen 35 years old Resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years

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December 7, 1941, a day

which will live in infamy.

Dirty Politics?

Obama caught Osama

  • First Fireside Chat
  • FDR inaugural address 2:12
  • Tear Down This Wall

3 Qualifications:

  • Native-born U.S. Citizen
  • 35 years old
  • Resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years
  • Are there any unofficial qualifications?

$400,000 plus a $50,000 nontaxable allowance for travel costs.

  • Has a four year term.
  • The Constitution did not originally specify a term limit. George Washington set a two-term limit. It was not broken until Franklin Roosevelt.
  • In 1951, the twenty-second amendment set a two-term limit to the presidency.

One very important responsibility is to serve as president if the president dies, leaves office, or is unable to fulfill his/her duties.

    • Eight presidents have died and one has resigned while in office
  • The vice president also serves a four year term and must meet the same constitutional qualifications as the president.
  • Salary – $208,100 a year, plus a $10,000 taxable expense allowance.
  • The vice president has only one other job stated in the Constitution – to preside over the Senate. The VP is not a member of the senate, can not take part in Senate debates and may vote only in the case of a tie.
who takes the president s place if his her position is vacated

The vice president takes his/her place.

  • The 25th amendment allows the new president to nominate a new vice president.
    • The nomination must be approved by a majority vote of both houses.
  • If both the president & vice president die or leave office, the 20th amendment gives Congress the power to set the order of presidential succession.
    • The Speaker of the House
    • President pro tempore of the Senate
    • The members of the president’s cabinet in the order in which their departments were created.
Who takes the president’s place if his/her position is vacated?
exit ticket

1. What is one qualification to become President or Vice President?

  • 2. What is one responsibility of the Vice President that is stated in the Constitution?
  • 3. What is the line of succession to the Presidency?
Exit Ticket

“The executive power shall be vested in [given to] a President of the United States of America”

-- U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1


Legislative Leader

  • Commander in Chief
  • Foreign Policy Leader

Every year, the president recommends new laws to Congress by delivering his State of the Union Address.

    • State of the Union is given late every January.
  • The president sends Congress a budget.
  • He also influences Congress by what laws he does not want.
    • Veto power is his most powerful tactic in influencing laws.
    • Congress can override a veto by 2/3rds vote.

By this role he is the head of the military.

    • All military officers answer to him/her.
  • Under the Constitution only the Congress can declare war; however, the president may send forces anywhere in the world.

The actions of the United States affect nations everywhere and the actions of many other countries may also strongly impact the U.S.

  • Our government’s plan for interacting with the other countries of the world is called foreign policy.
  • Our president appoints diplomatsto represent our government in foreign countries.
    • Diplomats help the president secure friendships with other countries throughout our world
  • The act of interacting with foreign governments is calleddiplomacy.
  • The U.S. government also makes written agreements or treatieswith other countries.
    • The president has the power to make treaties but all treaties must be approved with a 2/3rd’s vote by the Senate.

The president has the power to appoint Supreme Court justices & other federal judges.

    • All appointments have to be approved by the Senate
  • The president has the power to do 3 things to those who have committed a federal crime:
    • Reprieve– Postpones the carrying out of a person’s sentence.
    • Pardon – Forgives a person for his/her crime & eliminates punishment.
    • Commutation – Reduces a person’s sentence.

Hilda Solis

Tom Vilsack

Eric Holder Jr.

Hillary Clinton

Janet Napolitano

President Obama’s Cabinet

Robert Gates


The President has a group of close advisers & aides known as the Executive Office of the President.

  • Because of current issues, the President needs many advisers who are specialists in certain areas.
    • For example, the National Security Council (NSC) is the president’s top ranking group of advisers on defense & security.
  • The White House Office falls under the Executive Office of the President.
    • The White House Office includes: the president’s close personal & political advisers, the press secretary, researchers, clerical staff, secretaries, and other assistants.

The cabinet is a group of advisers to the President.

  • The president appoints the members of his cabinet but his appointments must be approved by 2/3’s vote in the Senate.
    • The title of most cabinet members is secretary. For example, the head of the Department of State is the Secretary of State. The Attorney General, however, is the head of the Department of Justice.
  • George Washington had five cabinet departments.
  • Today we have fifteen departments.

Foreign policy is the special responsibility of the Department of State.

  • The Secretary of State heads a staff of officials who represent the U.S. in countries around the world.
  • Ambassadorsare the highest ranking U.S. representatives in foreign countries.
  • An embassyis the official residence & offices of an ambassador in a foreign country.
  • A consulrepresents U.S. commercial interests in a foreign country.
  • A consulate (a U.S. consul’s office) can be found in most large countries.
  • At home the Department of State’s duties include keeping up with passports and visas.
    • Passports– formal documents that allow U.S. citizens to travel abroad
    • Visas – allow foreigners to come to the U.S.

The Department of Defense is in charge of the nation’s armed forces & operates hundreds of military bases in the U.S. & in other nations.

  • The Secretary of Defense is always a civilian.
    • This ensures nonmilitary control over the armed forces.
  • The Secretary of Defense has military officers as assistants.
  • The Joints Chiefs of Staffis made up of high ranking officers from each of the armed forces.
    • They advise the president on military affairs.

The executive branch has many duties that do not fit any of the 15 executive departments. Independent agencies & regulatory commissions have been created to cover such areas.


A regulatory commission is a type of independent agency that has the power to make rules & bring violators to court.

    • Their decisions often have the force of law.
  • Regulatory commissions are created because of a specific need.
  • Examples of regulatory commissions:
    • Federal Election Commissions (FEC) – enforces election laws, provides financial information for campaigns, & controls public funding of presidential elections.
    • Consumer Product Safety Commission – enforces safety standards for consumer products & conducts safety research.
    • National Labor Relations Board – enforces federal relations laws, prevents unfair labor practices among businesses.

Bureaucracy – the many departments and agencies at all levels of government.

  • Federal bureaucracy is large & involved in many areas of daily life.
  • It makes many rules & regulations.
  • Some people complain that the regulations are confusing.
  • People sometimes have to fill out several forms & stand in long lines to see a government representative.