Presidency & Vice-President Revision Notes

All of my notes from last year. I'm sure there's plenty there - I just hope they help you!

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The Presidency
"The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of
America" (Article II, Section 1)
"No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice"
(Amendment XXII, 1951) ­ this was because of Roosevelt being elected for four
terms on the trot
Requirements of a President
o At least 35 years old
o Lived in USA for 14 years
o Not already been President twice before (thanks to FDR being so
damn electable) (and attractive... /swoon)
o Political experience ­ often Senator, Governor or VP (last without
political experience was Eisenhower, who was military general)
o Major party endorsement ­ independents don't do well, practically
o Personal characteristics ­ white, middleaged, married, Christian...
o Ability to raise money
o Oratorical skills/telegenic ­ e.g. NixonKennedy debates
o Policies ­ economy, always
US Presidents
2008 Obama
o Democrat
o Social Democrat (about as leftwing a President as will be found)
o Attempted to compromise
2000 Bush Jr.
o Republican
o Conservative but expanded federal government
1992 Clinton
o Democrat
o `New Democrat' (similar to New Labour)
o "The era of big government is over"
1988 Bush Sr.
o Republican
o Fiscal Conservative ­ not bothered about abortion or gay marriage,
it's all about the business
1980 Reagan
o Republican
o Like Thatcher but with charm ­ very divisive
1976 Carter
o Democrat
o Nice but weak

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o Republican
o Took charge from Nixon after impeachment
1968 Nixon
o Republican
o Good foreign policy (USSR and China), but all Watergate
1963 Johnson (LBJ)
o Democrat
o Term and a half ­ Kennedy got inconveniently killed and messed with
the figures
o War on poverty
o Great Society
o Vietnam was downfall
1960 Kennedy
o Democrat
o Progovernment
o Irish Catholic
1952 Eisenhower
o Republican
o Solid, consensus politician
1945 Truman
o Democrat
o Solid, consensus
1932 Roosevelt
o Democrat
o New…read more

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Seen with President
Offer support
Formal powers
o Propose legislation
Outlines his plan for the coming year to a joint session of
Congress in a speech (the State of the Union Address) in late
Televised live (makes for publicity and awareness, and puts
pressure from the public onto Congress to vote with the will of
the people)
o Submit the annual budget
Really just another piece of legislation, but a damned important
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) draws up an
annual…read more

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POTUS basically runs the military, and only asks Congress to
`authorise' his use of troops
Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, but that
hasn't happened since 1941 ­ every other time the president
has just gone for it. Even Vietnam wasn't a war!
Congress has the `power of the purse', i.e. they control the
money for a war ­ but not often used, as nobody is willing to cut
off money to their own people
o Negotiate treaties
o Executive orders...…read more

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War Powers Act 1973
o Move from imperial to "the imperilled Presidency" (Gerald Ford)
o Economic boom
o Won the Cold War
Bush Jr.…read more

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Federal Bureaucracy
What is it?
o The unelected, administrative branch of the executive
o Made up of loads of departments, agencies and commissions
What does it do?
o Carries out policy on a daytoday basis
o Employs nearly 3 million people
o Spends nearly $14 billion pa
o IRS ­ collects taxes
o Postal service
o Health and Safety
o Pentagon
o Creates rules for the legislation (criteria for plane safety, for example)
o Adjudicates in complaints and disputes regarding said rules
How…read more

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Departments don't really want to cut anyway as it makes them
seem less important
POTUS can't break through this iron triangle ­ not really
anything he can do
o Going native
Caring more about the department you work for than the
President's interests
o Parochialism
Narrow selfinterest at the expense of the national interest
o Incrementalism
Opposed to rapid change
Advantages of Federal Bureaucracy
o Act as a check on the President
If departments went along with the President rather than
fighting their corner, then…read more

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Ray LaHood ­ Secretary of Transportation
Steven Chu ­ Secretary of Energy
Arne Duncan ­ Secretary of Education (policy specialist)
Eric Shinseki ­ Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Janet Napolitano ­ Secretary of Homeland Security
o CabinetLevel Officers (sit in cabinet but not heads of departments)
Joe Biden ­ Vice President
Jacob Lew ­ White House Chief of Staff
Jeffrey Zients ­ (Acting) Director of the Office of Management
and Budget
Lisa P.…read more

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Chance to speak to each other
o Bad
Not in White House
Not trusted
o Founded in 1939, when the Brownlow Committee reported to
President Franklin Roosevelt that "the president needs help"
o 15 Departments ­ e.g.…read more

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Leon Panetta
o James Clapper ­ Director of National Intelligence
o Thomas E.…read more


Old Sir

These comprehensive revision notes are a very good example of one way of organising
'end-point' work. i.e. Notes that address well-known topics that might arise in the exam. Well-organised students should aim to be producing these sorts of notes in the final approach to the exams.

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