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United States Presidency Mr. Manzo United States Government Federalist No. 70 • Sharp contrast to Madisonian Model • “Energetic Executive” • Unity, duration, provisions for support, Constitutional powers. • Positive government Aaron Wildavsky, "The Two Presidencies," in Perspectives on the Presidency • The President of the United States of America, by virtue of formally granted constitutional powers, has several significant leadership roles. While these roles are varied and diverse, they can generally be divided into two large areas of authority and responsibility: domestic policy and foreign affairs. So distinct are the two realms of presidential activity and so different are the degrees of success within each that political scientists generally refer to these two subdivisions as the "two presidencies." The Domestic Policy Presidency • In the domestic arena, the President, as Chief Executive, has the formal constitutional authority to oversee the execution and implementation of the law. The President also has the ability to significantly influence the legislative and judicial branches. Through the exercise of these powers, the President can exert wide-spread and long-lasting influence on the domestic policies of the nation. The Foreign Policy Presidency • The Constitution establishes that the President of the United States shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. As such, the President is the constitutional head of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, commissions all officers in the armed forces and appoints all high-ranking military leaders, such as the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. More significantly, while the Congress has the authority to "Declare War," Presidents since Washington have "made war" without explicit congressional cooperation THE US PRESIDENCY • Article II Section 1 of the United States Constitution: "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America". The presidency of the United States is perhaps the most powerful position in the world. It carries enormous power and responsibility. As Article II section 1 of the US Constitution mentions, the president is the Chief Executive of the United States i.e. he runs the country. The formal requirements for the presidency is fairly simple; actually there are only three such requirements. The person • • must be at least 35 years of age. • must be a "natural-born'‘ citizen • must have lived in the US for at least 14 years. Elected Presidents • The youngest person elected president was John F. Kennedy. He was 43 years old. In 1980, Ronald Reagan, at the age of 69 became the oldest person to be elected president. • Presidency Who is a ‘natural-born' citizen? Most people take this to mean anyone born on US territory. Could a US citizen born in a foreign country become president? Some experts say yes, others disagree. Since all our presidents have been born on US soil, we will never have a definite answer until a US citizen born outside the country decides to run for the presidency. Of course, naturalized citizens are disqualified. United States Presidency • The fourteen year residency requirement does not have to be consecutive. In other words, an American citizen could live here for say 20 years, then lives abroad for a number of years and returns to the United States and runs for the presidency. Both Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower lived several years outside the US prior to being elected president. THE US PRESIDENCY Informal Requirements These you could refer to as the "unwritten requirements." 1. All our presidents have been men. 2. First African – American President Obama 2008, is a women next? 3. Despite talk about their humble beginnings, most of our presidents were born and raised in well-to do families. Some of them, e.g.. George Washington FDR, John F. Kennedy, Bush Family were extremely wealthy. 4. Most of our presidents attended college. Since the 1900, only Harry Truman never had a college education. THE US PRESIDENCY • The President's Term • There was much discussion at the Constitutional Convention concerning the length of time that a President should govern. Some delegates wanted a three-year term, others six years and still a few wanted a President for life. They finally settled on a four-year term with the possibility of re-election. Note that nothing in the original Constitution says that a president was limited to only two terms. • It was George Washington, as the first President, who started the two-term tradition. Every President since then followed that "unwritten rule" until it was broken in 1940 by Franklin D. Roosevelt who won a third term and a fourth term in 1944. THE US PRESIDENCY • Following the end of World War II Congress proposed a Constitutional Amendment to limit the number of years a President can serve. In 1951, the 22nd Amendment was adopted. According to this Amendment • 1. A President cannot serve more than two terms (eight years). • 2. A President who takes over from another President and serves more than ten years can be elected only once. Presidential Pay Presidential Pay History Date established Salary September 24, 1789 $25,000 March 3, 1873 $50,000 March 4, 1909 $75,000 January 19, 1949* $100,000 January 20, 1969 $200,000 January 20, 2001 $400,000 *A $50,000 expense account was implemented in 1949. Presidential Perks • Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW in Washington, D.C. As the office of the President, the term White House is often used symbolically to refer to the President's administration, as in, "The White House announced today a major new health care initiative." Blair House Blair House is the official state guest house for the President of the United States. It is located at 16511653 Pennsylvania Ave NW in Washington, D.C., opposite the Old Executive Office Building of the White House, off the corner of Lafayette Park. White House • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • In fact, the White House has: 132 rooms 35 bathrooms 6 stories 412 doors 147 windows 28 fireplaces 8 staircases 3 elevators 5 full-time chefs 5,000 visitors a day a tennis court a bowling lane a movie theater a jogging track a swimming pool Presidential Perks • • • Air Force One is the call sign of any United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States of America. Sleeping quarters, office areas, two kitchens, a medical operating table and pharmacy, communications systems, telephones and television sets, even workout rooms. There is also space for the president's family, staff and news media. The plane can also be operated as a military command center in the event of an incident such as a nuclear attack. Operational modifications include in-flight refueling capability and anti-aircraft missile countermeasures. Presidential Perks • The President travels around Washington in an armored Cadillac limousine, equipped with bullet-proof windows and tires and a self-contained ventilation system in the event of a biological attack. When traveling longer distances around the Washington area, the President travels aboard the Presidential helicopter, Marine One. Marine One Presidential Perks • Camp David, Maryland, is the U.S. Presidential retreat. It is part of the Catoctin Mountain recreational area. Camp David has also often been used for formal and informal discussion between United States and world leaders. Probably most famous is the summit that led to the peace agreement between president Anwar Sadat of Egypt and prime minister Menachem Begin of Israel that was forged here in 1978with U.S. President Jimmy Carter known as the Camp David Accords (1978). Presidential Perks • At all times, the President and his family are protected by an extensive Secret Service detail. • Until the law was changed in 1997, all former Presidents and their family were protected by the Secret Service until their death. The last President to have Secret Service protection for life is Bill Clinton. George Walker Bush and all following Presidents will be protected by the Secret Service for a maximum of 10 years after leaving office. Presidential Roles Chief of the Economy Chief Jurist • President had the power to pardon criminals convicted of Federal Law. • Appoints Federal Judges • Senate approval Presidential Roles Leader of the Free World THE US PRESIDENCY • How is the President elected and reelected? When voters go to the polls on election day they think they are voting directly for a President. But , strictly speaking, they are not. In the United States, citizens do not vote directly for a president in the same way people do in other countries. Our president is elected by an Electoral College. Federalist Paper Hamilton No. 68 • "The Mode of Electing the President," • the "sense of the people", through the election of the electors to the college, should have a part of the process. The final say, however, lies with the electors. • republic is still served, preventing individuals who are unfit for a variety of reasons to be in the position of chief magistrate of the country. corrupted individuals, associated with a foreign state, a person who contains the faculties necessary to become President. Electoral College • What Federal laws govern the Electoral College system? • Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution • 12th Amendment to the Constitution • 23rd Amendment to the Constitution • United States Code, Title 3, Chapter 1 (3 U.S.C. §§ 1 - 21) Origins of the Electoral College • At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, delegates disagreed on the means of choosing the President. 1-Have Congress choose the president. Rejected. Why? Similar to British ancestors 2-State legislatures select president. Rejected. Why? State legislators are more informed. 3-Direct popular vote. Rejected. Why? News on candidates, issues did not travel well through out country. Uninformed masses do not know about politics. 4-Indirect election via a College of Electors. THE US PRESIDENCY • The result was yet another compromise. An electoral college made up of a small group of people called electors was set up to elect the president. • Thus, when citizens vote on election day, they are not voting directly for the person who is running for the presidency. • Instead, they vote for electors who in turn elect the president. After the election, the electoral college meets at State Capitols around the country and elect the president. Electors • 1. Appoint Electors The United States Constitution and Federal law do not prescribe the method of appointment other than requiring that electors must be appointed on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In most States, the political parties nominate slates of electors at State conventions or central committee meetings. Then the citizens of each State appoint the electors by popular vote in the state-wide general election. However, State laws on the appointment of electors may vary. Electors • Legal Requirements or Pledges Electors in these States are bound by State Law or by pledges to cast their vote for a specific candidate: • CALIFORNIA - 55 Electoral Votes • State Law - § 6906 • MICHIGAN - 17 Electoral Votes • State Law - §168.47 (Violation cancels vote and elector is replaced). • NEW MEXICO - 5 Electoral Votes • State Law - § 1-15-5 to 1-15-9 (Violation is a fourth degree felony.) • OKLAHOMA - 7 Electoral Votes • State Pledge / State Law - 26, §§ 10-102; 10-109 (Violation of oath is a misdemeanor, carrying a fine of up to $1000.) • * VIRGINIA - 13 Electoral Votes • State Law - § 24.1-162 (Virginia statute may be advisory "Shall be expected" to vote for nominees.) THE US PRESIDENCY • The Electoral College • • • • • The Electoral College is made up of 538 electors. Here is a simple way of remember this. Electoral college = to the number of members in the House of Representatives + the senate + 3. 435 + 100 + 3 = 538. The three electors are from Washington DC (23rd Amendment). Remember, Washington, D.C. is not a state and as such, does not have any representatives in either the House or Senate. To win the presidency, a candidate needs to win a majority of the electoral votes - 270. The Electoral College Map The map below shows the states that were won by George Bush and Al Gore in 2000 Presidential election. Bush won 271 electoral votes and Gore 266. How does a state decide which presidential candidate gets its electoral votes? • Most states use a "winner-take-all" system. In other words, the candidate who wins the majority of the popular votes in the state gets all of that state's electoral votes. • Only three States, Colorado, Nebraska and Maine, do not follow the winner-takes-all rule. • For example, in the 2000 Presidential elections, George Bush received 2,912,790 popular votes in Florida while Al Gore got 2,912,583. • Bush received only 537 votes more than Gore, yet he got all of Florida's 25 electoral votes. It was Florida's electoral votes that gave Bush the presidency. Criticisms of the Electoral College Safeguard or Stumbling Block? • The Electoral College has come under severe criticisms over the years. Many people have argued that it is an outdated institution and should be abolished. Here are some of the major criticisms. 1-The Electoral College is undemocratic because the people do not elect the President directly. 2-Minority president elected 3-Faithless or renegade electors (protest or attention for an issue) Electors may ignore will of voters. 4-Because of the electoral college candidates tend to ignore the smaller states during their campaigning. Hence, the bigger states have more weight in electing the President. 5-Third parties often have no chance at winning electoral votes. 6-Decrease in voter turnout due to apathy. 7-Failure to accurately project national will. 4- Perhaps, the most important criticism is this: the candidate who wins the popular vote may not necessarily become the President. This has happened before in our history. Below, the table illustrates three occasions on which the person who won the popular vote did not become President. YEAR PRESIDENTS POPULAR VOTES ELECTORAL VOTES 2000 President George Bush 50,456,169 271 Al Gore 50,996,116 266 Benjamin Harrison 5,445,269 233 Grover Cleveland 5,540,365 168 Rutherford B. Hayes 4,035,924 185 Samuel J. Tilden 4,287,670 174 1888 1876 • Bush, Harrison, and Hayes became Presidents even though they all lost the popular votes. Arguments for the Electoral College 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. The Electoral College, in recognizing a role for states in the selection of the president, reminds us of their importance in our federal system (federalism). Framers did not want a country reflective of the majority will. The Electoral College encourages more person-to-person campaigning by candidates, as they spend time in both the big cities and smaller cities in battleground states. In close, contested elections, recounts will usually be confined to a state or two, rather than an across-the-country recount that might be required if we had direct election of the president. The Electoral College, with its typical winner-take-all allocation of votes, often turns a small percentage margin of victory into one that appears much larger, thus making the victory seem more conclusive and adding to the winner's perceived legitimacy. Constitution works even when elections do not run smoothly in the States. It's fun on election nights to watch states light up in different colors on television network maps of the U. S. Who won the 1952 election?