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The Presidency

The Presidency

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The Presidency

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  1. The Presidency

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  7. Duties of the President • Pardons people convicted of federal crimes, except impeachment • Reduces a person’s jail sentence or fine

  8. Duties of the President • Delivers an annual State of the Union Address to Congress • Leadership role in proposing policy changes

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Salary and Benefits • Air Force One, other planes, helicopters and limousines are made available • Free medical, dental and health care

  15. Salary and Benefits • Live in the White House, a 132-room mansion with a swimming pool, bowling alley, private movie theater and tennis courts • http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house/interactive-tour

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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?

  19. 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)

  20. 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)

  21. The VP and Electoral College

  22. The Vice President

  23. 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.

  24. 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.  

  25. Fourteen vice presidents have become president. • Nine of these have succeeded to the office upon the death or resignation of the president.

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. So… how do we actually elect a president?

  29. Electoral College (clip) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok_VQ8I7g6I

  30. What do the following four men all have in common? • A. Andrew Jackson • B. Samuel Tilden • C. Grover Cleveland • D. Al Gore

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

  32. 1824 • 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

  33. 1876 • Popular Vote Samuel Tilden 51% R. B. Hayes 48% Electoral College Tilden 184 Hayes 185 Winner: Hayes

  34. 1888 • Popular Vote Grover Cleveland 48.5 % Benjamin Harrison 47.8 % Electoral College Cleveland 168 Harrison 233 Winner: Harrison

  35. 2000 • Popular Vote Albert Gore 48.7% George W. Bush 48.5% Electoral College Gore 266 Bush 271 Winner: Bush

  36. Why? • 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.

  37. 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

  38. 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

  39. Election Day • By US law the general election day is: • the first Tuesday after the first Monday of Nov.

  40. 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.

  41. Why was it Created? • Un-informed voter protection • States were given a voice in choosing the President • To maintain regional balance

  42. 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

  43. The Electoral College was devised for 3 reasons 2. The founding fathers wanted to protect the interests of smaller states and rural areas

  44. 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

  45. Presidential Electors are nominated by their state political parties in the summer before the Popular Vote on Election Day

  46. ELECTORS 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

  47. 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)

  48. 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.

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

  50. ELECTORAL VOTES 435 U.S. Representatives + 100 U.S. Senators = 535 electoral votes + 3 electoral votes (Washington D.C.) ----------------------------------------- = 538 total electoral votes (majority: 270)