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The Presidency
The creation of the presidency
Founding fathers wanted to create head of state and head of government
o `I am both king and prime minister' - Roosevelt
They created a singular executive- opening words of Article II of the constitution: `the
executive power shall be vested in the…

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George W Bush had a 63.6% success rate with vetoes whereas
Kennedy had 100% success.
Pocket vetoes can be used at the end of a congressional session and cannot be
overridden by congress.
George H Bush used 15 whereas Clinton only used one.
Chief executive- opening lines of Article II…

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President looks for a balanced ticket- in terms of age, ideology, gender, race, experience
and geographic region.
o Eg. Obama (African American, young, 4 years in senate) appointing Biden (white,
old, 36 years in senate)

The passing of the 25th
Amendment in 1967 means there are circumstances under which

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Modern day VPs have taken on new roles such as in legislative liaison with congress
o Dick cheney played role for George W Bush.
Spokesperson for the administration- been the case with the three recent VPs.
o Dick Cheney spoke out on many foreign policy issues.
In an era of…

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o Independent regulatory commissions (IRCs) - they are independent of all branches
and operate behind barriers created by congress to shield them from presidential
o Government corporations - perform principally commercial functions that might
have been carried out by the private sector. Eg. the US postal service (1970) and…

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Problems of the federal bureaucracy
Agencies tend to serve the interests of those they are supposed to be overseeing. So the
watchdog agencies often turn out to be `lapdogs'.
Agencies seek to expand their powers and responsibilities at the expense of other
agencies- `bureaucratic imperialism'. Political interests become dominant sometimes…

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The role of Congress
Congress has the legislative power to establish merge or abolish departments and
agencies . It has reorganised the federal bureaucracy on occasions eg. Education and
Welfare joined in 1953 and separated in 1979
o Huge reorganisation in 2002 where congress extracted 170,000 current federal
government employees…

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o Eg. in Jan 2012, Obama announced Karen Mills, the administrator of the Small
Business Administration, to cabinet status. By doing this he was signalling the
importance he placed on small businesses in promoting economic recovery in
It is not in the constitution- the founding fathers created a singular…

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Clinton in 1992 talked about a cabinet that ` looked like America' . There are 5 key
principles presidents use to try balance their cabinet.
Region - In Obama's initial cabinet there was Hilda Solis (CA), Janet Napolitano (AZ), Ken
Salazar (CO), Arne Duncan (IL) and Shaun Donovan (NY).

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Bush imagined cabinet meetings being held every few months and so had from 4 to 9
meetings and year, little fluctuation.
o Obama had even fewer- just 16 in his first term, av. Of 4 a year. He tended to
schedule meetings just before or after notable political events such…


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