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THE PRESIDENCY. Major themes: 1.) Vague design (why so vague?) leads to lots of room for the office to be shaped by individual leaders and/or historical circumstance 2.) Despite tremendous power, there is a large (and widening) “expectations gap” . The President’s Constitutional Powers.

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the presidency


Major themes: 1.) Vague design (why so vague?) leads to lots of room for the office to be shaped by individual leaders and/or historical circumstance2.) Despite tremendous power, there is a large (and widening) “expectations gap”

the president s constitutional powers
The President’s Constitutional Powers
  • 1.) THE executive power is vested in him/her
  • 2.) Oath of office: Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution(Lincoln’s interpretation)
  • 3.) Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces
  • 4.) “Requiring opinions” from his/her heads of executive officesThe Cabinet and its “dual masters”
  • 5.) Pardon power – ex. the Nixon Pardon
president s constitutional powers cont d
President’s Constitutional Powers (cont’d)
  • 6.) Treaty power (shared w/ 2/3 Senate)ex. Versailles Treaty (Wilson), Panama Canal Treaty (Carter)
  • 7.) Appointment power (shared w/Senate) for exec officials and Fed. Judges
  • What does “advise and consent” mean?
  • 8.) Give Congress info on the State of the Union, and recommend measures
  • 9.) Convene special session of Congress
  • 10.) Receive ambassadors ---a Head of State power or Head of govt power?
  • 11.) “Take care” that the laws be faithfully executed
pres constitutional powers contd pres roles in the modern era
Pres. Constitutional Powers (contd)/Pres. Roles in the Modern Era
  • 12.) Veto Power (brief 1990s experiment with the “Line Item Veto”—ended with Clinton vs. City of New York <1998>)
  • 1.) LOTFW (Leader of the Free World)
  • 2.) Chief Legislator
  • 3.) Chief Economic Manager
  • 4.) Chief Leader of, and Responder to, Public Opinion
  • 5.) Party Leader
  • 6.) Chief Enforcer/Implementer of the Law (CEO of the Federal Bureaucracy)
why the increased responsibilities i e factors leading to the modern presidency
Why the Increased Responsibilities? (i.e. Factors Leading to the “Modern Presidency”)
  • 1.) US emergence as World Power
  • 2.) Globalization and interdependence
  • 3.) Technological changes (communications & travel)
  • 4.) Keynesian Economic Theory
  • 5.) Tremendous increase in size of bureaucracy and govt. regulatory authority
  • 6.) Increasing Abdication by Congress
  • 7.) Growing acceptance of Progressive theories of executive power: President as best representative of the public interest
  • 8.) Decline of old-fashioned party organizations, increase in candidate centered campaigns and politics
how presidents have tried to cope with expectations gap
How Presidents Have Tried to Cope with Expectations Gap
  • Executive Office of the President (est. 1939)why created? Brownlow Commission: “The Pres. Needs Help”--now includes
  • A.) White House Office (WHO): incl. Chief of Staff, Press & Communications Offices, Counsel, Office of Pres. PersonnelB.) Office of Mgt. and Budget (OMB)
  • C.) National Security Council (NSC)D.) Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)
  • E.) More recently: Domestic Council, National Economic Council (NEC), Homeland Security Council
how presidents have tried to cope with the expectations gap
How Presidents Have Tried to Cope with the Expectations Gap
  • II. “GOING PUBLIC”Why the shift from elite persuasion/bargaining to public rhetoric?1.) Technology (again): including 24-hr. news2.) More players in policymaking game3.) More frequent “divided government”4.) More sophisticated public opinion research5.) Changes in nominating system put more emphasis on campaigning and speechmaking skills
  • When did the shift occur? Mid-late 1970s/early 1980s (Ford/Carter/Reagan administrations)
coping w the expectations gap going public cont d
Coping w/the Expectations GapGoing Public Cont’d
  • How do presidents “go public”?The Venues:Press Conferences, Prime-Time Televised Speeches, “Minor” Speeches to Targeted Groups (biggest increase), Town meetings, Weekly radio (now internet) addresses, Talk & Entertainment Shows (most recent)
  • The Techniques:Emphasis on visuals, soundbytes, repetition of “talking points”, coordination, and “spin”
  •  Possible Objectives of “Going Public”1.) changing public opinions on specific issues2.) putting issues on the agenda as important3.) framing or reframing issues (emphasizing certain aspects of an issue rather than others4.) maintaining/boosting presidential approval/popularity
  • -----Factors Affecting Presidential Approval/Popularity:------a.) honeymoon effect (followed by coalition of minorites effect)------b.) “rally round the flag” effect------c.) the economy------d.) scandal
coping w the expectations gap
Coping w/the Expectations Gap
  • III. EXPANDING LEGAL, UNILATERAL POWERS1.) Executive OrdersExamples: temporary agency creation, civil rights, health care, contractor behavior2.) Executive AgreementsExamples: arms control, Vietnam, trade3.) Military Orders: Expansion of C-in-C PowersPost 9/11 issuesa.) Designation and indefinite detention of “enemy combatants”b.) Use of military commissions c.) Warrantless terrorist surveillance programd.) Enhanced interrogation techniques; interpretation of Geneva Conventions
  • Signing Statements
  • Spending Powers
  • ---Nixon and the Impoundment Controversy---TARP funds
coping w the expectations gap1
Coping w/the Expectations Gap
  • Why Expanding Legal Powers Works: President can act first, others must react (requires collective action or lengthy litigation)But other branches can and will react to check presidential powers---Impoundment Control and Budget Act (1974)---Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer (1953)---Several post-9/11 cases regarding detainees (2004-2008)
foreign powers of the presidency

Foreign Powers of the Presidency

Constitutional Basis

Commander in Chief

Power to make & break Treaties

Appointment Power

Power to Receive Ambassadors (recognition, e.g. Palestine)

Chief Executive (DoD, intelligence network, etc)

Additional Sources

Congressional Delegation

Discretionary Funds & Transfer Authority

Control of excess government stocks (e.g. CIA)

foreign powers of the presidency cont d
Foreign Powers of the Presidency (cont’d)
  • Inherent Powers
    • Long Tradition of Expansion
      • Lincoln’s precedent
      • Support or Compliance from Supreme Court and Congress
    • Executive Orders
      • Used to announce foreign policy
      • Used to reorganize or create executive agencies
    • Executive Agreements
      • Used to avoid treaty requirement of 2/3 in Senate
      • Used for economic and diplomatic foreign policy (e.g. NAFTA, SALT I & II)
      • Supreme Court has upheld constitutionality (1937)
      • Increased use (10 to 1 since 1930s)
foreign powers of the presidency cont d1
Foreign Powers of the Presidency (cont’d)
  • Inherent Powers
    • Executive Agreement
      • Two types: executive-congressional & sole executive
    • Undeclared Wars
      • Full-scale military operations
      • More limited engagements (police action, peacekeeping)
competition with congress
Competition with Congress
  • Non-crisis Situations
    • Congress has tended to be

most assertive in this area (e.g. arms sales)

  • Regulation of Presidency’s Inherent Powers
    • Undeclared wars
      • War Powers Resolution (1973)
    • Executive Agreements
      • Legislation in 1972, 1977
  • Use of Congress’ Constitutional Powers
    • Power of the Purse
    • Senate Advice and Consent for treaties
      • after negotiations
      • not for termination (Bush & Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty)
    • Senate Confirmation of Appointees (approval, rejection, or delay)
roles in foreign policy
Roles in Foreign Policy
  • Diplomatic, Leader of Free World
    • Involvement in intergovernmental

organizations (e.g. UN, NATO)

    • Mediator, Crisis Management (e.g.

Carter’s Camp David Accords, Cuban

Missile Crisis)

    • Promoter of Democracy (e.g. Cold

War Containment, Bush Doctrine)

  • Commander in Chief
    • Commitment to war, more limited operations
    • Decisions on strategy (Bush & Petraeus, Obama & McCrystal)
  • Policy Leader
    • Economic relations
    • Humanitarian efforts
why has presidency led in foreign affairs
Why has Presidency ledin foreign affairs?
  • Institutional reasons
    • Quick, decisive, & clear decision-making
    • Strategic Need for


    • Position with

respect to the

American Public

    • Access to