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The Executive Branch

The Executive Branch. Obama. Are individual personalities now more important than parties?. Bush. Can the President control public discussion?. Clinton, Reagan, Nixon. Does a president have to be “moral” in order to be a good president?. Nixon.

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The Executive Branch

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  1. The Executive Branch

  2. Obama • Are individual personalities now more important than parties?

  3. Bush Can the President control public discussion?

  4. Clinton, Reagan, Nixon Does a president have to be “moral” in order to be a good president?

  5. Nixon Do Americans need a President to have trustworthy character?

  6. Eisenhower Must the modern President always be involved in everything or have a solution for everything?

  7. Franklin Delano Roosevelt What role does confidence in the President have on American morale?

  8. FDR Does a lot of action and policy creation make a President “great”? Can a President be “great” if not much is changed during their Presidency?

  9. What did the framers of the Constitution want? • Although the Constitutional convention was conducted in secret, the framers sent out a press release to counteract rumors surrounding their actions. • “Tho’ we cannot, affirmatively, tell you what we are doing; we can, negatively, tell you what we are not doing – we never once thought of a king.” • Alexander Hamilton proposed a “virtual monarchy” – a president that was appointed for life – but it was flatly rejected. • Many debates at the convention surrounded how much power to give the president. • The system of checks and balances between the three branches is a vivid reminder of how fearful they were of putting too much power in the hands of one person.

  10. The Roles of the President**see packet handout CONSTITUTIONAL ROLES • Chief of State • Chief Executive • Commander-in-chief • Chief Diplomat • Chief Legislator ROLES EVOLVING FROM TRADITION • Chief of Party • Voice of the People • President of the West • Protector of the Peace • Manager of the Prosperity

  11. Presidential Paradoxes • Paradox 1: It is a position of extreme power, yet there are numerous limitations on that power. • Paradox 2: Many presidents desire a second term but very few of them achieve success in that second term. • Paradox 3: The American people expect a president who is willing to compromise to get something done, yet we accuse the president of being “weak” when he does.

  12. Paradox 1: It is a position of extreme power, yet there are numerous limitations on that power. • Not only does the president represent wishes of 317 million Americans, but his actions impact the over 7 billion citizens of the planet. • The ability to control our nuclear arsenal and our military is a powerful one, yet Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war. • Even so, many presidents have conducted military engagements without a war declaration from Congress. (JFK/LBJ/Nixon – Vietnam; GHWB – Persian Gulf War; Reagan – Grenada; GWB & Obama – Iraq & Afghanistan)

  13. Paradox 2: Many presidents desire a second term but very few of them achieve success in that second term. • If a president is to achieve any legislative success, it is generally done in the first term. • The first 100 days of any presidency is called the “Honeymoon Period”. Most major legislation is done at that time. (FDR’s New Deal; LBJ’s Civil Rights Act) • If the president’s party has control of Congress in the second term, he is more likely to see his legislative agenda enacted. If not, he becomes a “lame duck” for four years, as Congress is not very likely to enact anything he proposes. • Scandals tend to come to light during a second term. Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton were all under fire in the second term for various scandals. Obama may be facing the same with Benghazi and the NSA – Edward Snowden cases • Only one recent incumbent president, LBJ, chose not to run for a second term when he could have done so. The controversy surrounding Vietnam made winning a second term improbable.

  14. Paradox 3: The American people expect a president who is willing to compromise to get something done, yet we accuse the president of being “weak” when he does. • Because you simply cannot make everyone happy, a president finds that over time, it may be necessary to reach a compromise with the leaders of the other party to achieve his goals. • Congress and the president constantly negotiate to turn policy into action. • The art of the compromise is something that was highly prized in the past, but in the latter half of the 20th century, has been interpreted as a sign of weakness. • GHW Bush’s “Read my lips, no new taxes” pledge, and more recently, Obama’s compromise to keep the GW Bush tax cuts for the wealthy were considered by some to be weak. • But in their defense, a president may decide it is better to get half of what they want then to get nothing at all.

  15. Constitutional Requirements Qualifications • Art. II • “natural-born citizen” • 14 years of US residency • 35 years of age • THAT’S IT!!!

  16. Constitutional Powers • Powers/duties are very limited • “executive power” – enact/enforce law • Military Power • Diplomatic Power • Appointment Power • Veto Power

  17. Military Power • Commander in Chief (civilian control) • Prez can send armed forces abroad • Congress has not declared war since 12/8/1941 • Korea, Vietnam, Iraq? – all Constitutional • War Powers Resolution, 1973 • Prez must report to Congress within 48 hours after deployment • If Congress does not OK in 60 days, must withdraw • Check on president, attempt to limit president

  18. Diplomatic Power • Create treaties with foreign nations with Senate permission, 2/3 Senate approval (advice and consent) • Executive agreement – no permission needed, deal between heads of state, not binding to next administration • Diplomatic Recognition – power to officially recognize foreign gov. as legit • Ex. 1917-1933 – USSR not recognized • Ex. 1949-1970s – China not recognized

  19. Appointment Power • Power to appoint ambassadors, public officers, and Supreme Court Judges with Senate approval (advice and consent) • Civil Service System – most gov. jobs under executive filled based on merit system, NOT presidential appointment (Pendleton Act – Garfield assassination)

  20. Veto Power • Veto – return the bill to house it originated (no action within 10 days – bill becomes law)

  21. Strengthening the Presidency • Washington – set precedent for future • Jackson – frequent use of veto power • Lincoln – took Commander in Chief to new levels of power during the Civil War • TR - “Bully pulpit” – domestic policy Progressive Era reforms; “Big Stick Diplomacy” – foreign policy power • FDR – huge influence on fiscal and monetary policy with New Deal, checked by Supreme Court; strong WW2 alliance with Churchill

  22. Executive privilege • The right to privacy of conversation between advisors and prez Why? • Separation of powers prevents branches from sharing internal workings • Privacy is needed for candid advice from advisors with out political pressure

  23. Executive Privilege US v. Nixon • Nixon refused to hand over recorded conversations, claiming Exec. Privilege • Court ruled in favor of US • EP can’t be used to block the function of the federal court procedures

  24. Impoundment • Presidential practice of refusing to spend money appropriated by Congress. • Nixon tried to withhold spending as a way to combat inflation • Budget Reform and Impoundment Act of 1974 – Congress checked that power - president must spend funds if they are appropriated by Congress

  25. The President as Morale Builder (Voice of the People) • Symbolic importance (FDR – Great Depression, Bush – 9/11) • Unify nation • Carter’s 1970’s “malaise speech” vs. the sunny optimism of Reagan in the 1980 election – Carter lost – Americans don’t want to be told bad news or feel bad about themselves • President must boost morale and comfort the people

  26. Agenda Setting The President can control public policy and discussion through… • The media – take his case to the people over the airwaves • State of the Union speech – 1/28/2014 • Make policy proposals and budgetary requests • Encourage the Congress to act and publically call them out when they don’t

  27. Executive Orders • Prez. issues executive orders that have force of law – a legal way to avoid Congressional approval if it is related to executive branch duties or Constitutional obligations • Ex – power to enforce the Constitution, treaties, laws, etc. • FDR – allowed Japanese internment • Truman – integrate military • Eisenhower – desegregate public schools • Obama – most recently – raising min. wage for federal contract employees to $10.10 per hour

  28. Line-Item Veto??? • Should the President be able to veto certain parts of a bill, and not other parts? • Line-Item Veto Act 1996 • Clinton v. City of New York (1997) – law found unconstitutional – interfered with the framer’s concept of checks and balances • SCOTUS says that a bill must be signed into law in its entirety or veto it and send it back to Congress and start over

  29. Gridlock • Divided government – Prez and Congress majority represent different political parties • “gridlock” – the inability to accomplish goals • Con – government operation shuts down • Pro – slows the decision making process, example of check and balance

  30. Vice President(Joe Biden) • Preside over the Senate, tie breaking vote • Takes over the presidency if the President cannot finish term • 12th Amendment – voters choose President and VP together • Previous to 1804, the candidate who came in 2nd was the VP, even if they were from a different party (Adams-Fed; Jefferson – Anti-Fed.)

  31. Oh Joe!

  32. Presidential Disability and Succession • 22nd Amendment – limited President to 2 terms, serving no more than 10 years (2 year over/under rule if VP takes over from a Prez.) • 25th Amendment – If the VP office is vacated, then the President can select a new VP which is approved by Congress; prior to this, no VP vacancies were ever filled • Ex. When LBJ took over from JFK, no VP existed. That is why we passed the 25th amendment. • Remember, LBJ was in the car behind JFK and could have been killed that day too. Having a VP suddenly became VERY important after 1963!

  33. White House Office - Structure • “Pyramid” model – assistants answer to a hierarchy up to a chief of staff (few top advisors to prez, prez free but isolated) – Eisenhower, Nixon • “Circular” model (wheel and spoke) – direct contact with staff (many top advisors to prez, prez busy but connected) – JFK, Carter • “Ad hoc” model - combines leadership and management tactics that the CEO of a large corporation might use. Clinton and G. W. Bush used this style, which employs committees, task forces, and special advisors to help develop and implement policy. • Significance: access to the prez. determines which aides or advisors have the most influence on presidential decisions

  34. The Cabinet • The cabinet is an informal institution. Mentioned in Article II, the Executive article, the Constitution speaks of “the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments”. • The 25th Amendment also discusses the role of the cabinet in deciding issues of presidential disability. • Because it was created out of custom, not requirement, the cabinet has always been perceived to be weak. • Even though the president conducts meetings with the entire cabinet, some question their usefulness as a whole group. • Being experts in one area, and therefore are not generally able to add insight to problems outside their field of expertise account for this debate as to their usefulness.

  35. The 15 Cabinet Departments • In order of seniority and presidential succession, they are: • State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health/Human Services, Housing/Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veteran’s Affairs, Homeland Security.

  36. The White House Staff • The members of the president’s staff fulfill a variety of roles. • Some are gatekeepers – they are very protective of the president and those who might try to monopolize his time. • Some staffers are liasons to Congress and other executive departments. • Others are speechwriters, the press secretary, and most importantly, the chief of staff, who oversees the entire staff. • Those considered to be part of the White House staff are not nominated and approved by the Senate. The president has wide discretion in the hiring and firing of these individuals. They serve at the presidents request and must stay in his good graces to maintain employment.

  37. The EOP • Established by FDR in 1939, the Executive Office of the President has, like the bureaucracy, grown immensely over time. • With over 10 different departments, the EOP is as influential at times, if not more so, than the cabinet as a whole can be. • Each has a separate function – we will do a more specific breakdown of each part of the EOP in the bureaucracy chapter. • The better known members of the EOP are: National Security Council (NSC), Office of Management & Budget (OMB), Council of Economic Advisors, Domestic Policy Council, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the Office of the Vice President.

  38. “Kitchen Cabinet” • Beginning with Andrew Jackson, many presidents have informal advisors who hold no official position. • Teddy Roosevelt called it his “tennis cabinet”. • Warren Harding had the Ohio Gang and the “poker cabinet”. • Hoover, who exercised regularly, had the “medicine ball cabinet”. • And every president has a gang of friends “back home” that are consulted on a regular basis. • Breaking with precedent, Clinton put his wife Hillary in charge of his health care reform initiative.

  39. The Tools of Presidential Power • FORMAL • The Cabinet • The White House Staff • The Executive Office of the President (EOP) • INFORMAL • “Kitchen Cabinet” • Perquisites (“perks”) • Mass media

  40. The Nuclear Age • Cold War tensions and the advent of nuclear weapons increased presidential power in the most drastic way. • The “football” – the briefcase with nuclear launch commands – is guarded by a military aide and a secret serviceman at all times and is always at the president’s disposal. • The collapse of the Soviet Union made it difficult to keep track of how many nuclear weapons were out there and where they were. • Terrorists with dirty bombs or suitcase bombs and rogue nations like North Korea and Iran are part of the new nuclear threat.

  41. Foreign Affairs • The post World War 1 isolationism of the 1920’s and 30’s is a thing of the past. • World War 2 & the advent of the United Nations have contributed to the way modern presidents approach foreign affairs. • The Cold War with its containment theory became the basis for foreign policy. Keeping communism from spreading, especially in the Americas, was the driving idea from 1945 to 1990. • After 9/11, destroying terrorist organizations has chiefly impacted the way we deal with foreign policy.

  42. Domestic Affairs • The central question governing domestic affairs since 1932 is: • “To what degree, and in what ways, do the American people want the government to be involved in their every day lives?” • Do we want “big government” or “small government”? What does big government mean to a Republican? A Democrat? • As the government bureaucracy grows, so does the president’s power. The president oversees the federal bureaucracy – a group that now totals over 4 million.

  43. The Mass Media • Beginning with FDR’s “Fireside Chats” on radio, to the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960, and now the internet and YouTube channels, the mass media magnifies the presidency and the role of the person who is president. • The president can go directly to the people to present his point of view and enlist their support. • The major networks make prime time (8-11pm) coverage readily available to the president. • Nightly newscasts show the presidents daily activities in 20-60 second sound-bites. • Modern presidents must now have media advisors and press secretaries to craft the message for maximum impact. • INTERNET, YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER

  44. Perquisites • The president has, at his disposal, numerous benefits (perquisites, or “perks”) to use to accomplish his goals. • He can offer rides home to Congressmen on Air Force One and use the time to lobby them to help his legislative agenda. • He can invite them to the White House to spend the night in the Lincoln Bedroom, where he can “wine and dine” them. • He can give them priority seating at such events as official state dinners or White House concerts, and, if they have children, invite the family to the annual Christmas tree lighting or the Easter egg roll.

  45. The Mass Media (“The Press”) • The press secretary is the conduit through which the president communicates to the press, and in turn, the nation. • Being a buffer, the press secretary can field questions that the president may not want to, or may not be ready to answer himself. In this way, the president can “test market” his ideas. • The White House Office of Communication as a whole are the gatekeepers of information coming out of the White House. They also stylistically (rhetorically) craft the message to make it as palatable (convincing) as possible. • Eisenhower had the first televised (but edited) press conferences; JFK had the first live, unedited ones.

  46. Presidents Gone Wrong – The Watergate and Lewinsky Scandals

  47. 25th Amendment & Gerald Ford • Remember, the 25th Amendment dictates what happens when a president is disabled and can’t be president, resigns, or what to do if there is a vacancy in the Vice President’s position. • Gerald Ford is the first person to experience first hand the 25th Amendment – not once – but twice! • In 1973, Nixon’s VP, Spiro T. Agnew, resigned under a cloud of controversy. He was accused of tax evasion while Governor of Maryland. • Ford was appointed VP by Nixon, as specified by the 25th Amd., and his appointment was approved by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress. (Ford was House Minority Leader at the time).

  48. The Watergate Scandal • Telling the Watergate story is difficult at best. In a nutshell, here are the major plot points: • Nixon’s White House aides (Haldeman & Erlichman) had a “dirty tricks” organization outside the White House to disrupt the Democrat’s election plans in 1972. • Thieves were paid to break into the Watergate Hotel & Office complex in WDC to electronically bug the Democrat’s headquarters. They were caught. • “Hush up” money was paid to them. But two Washington Post reporters (Woodward & Bernstein), following the trail of “who paid who what money”, and with the help of an anonymous source, traced it back to the White House. • Congress held investigatory hearings in which a parade of witnesses appeared. One man, Alexander Butterfield, eventually revealed that all Oval Office conversations were audio taped.

  49. What is “Executive Privilege? • If Congress could get a hold of the tapes, they might be able to get the evidence they needed to discern if Nixon 1) knew about the break in and 2) had any role to play in paying the hush-up money. • Congress subpoenaed the tapes, Nixon refused to give them, claiming “executive privilege”. • Not in the Constitution, but by custom, the president maintains his right to withhold the executive branch documents from the other two branches based upon the idea of “separation of powers”. • Because the tapes were allegedly evidence of a crime, the US Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in the case U.S. v. Nixon (1974) that executive privilege stops when criminal activity is alleged. • (There was a vacancy on the court at that time.)

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