Final Review Sheet
What are the president’s legislative powers, according to the Constitution? What are his
informal legislative powers? What are Congress’ constitutional powers? In what ways is
Congress on equal footing with the president? In what ways does Congress dominate
lawmaking? Who has the upper hand in legislative negotiations? How does public
opinion affect those negotiations? When is a president more likely to be successful in his
negotiations with Congress? Is the passage of major legislation affected by divided
government? When will we see Congress and the President compromise? When will we
see them fail to compromise?
Terms: Half a loaf, Veto Bait, Successive approximations, unified government, divided
What are the Constitutional provisions respecting impeachment? What did the Framers
think about when deciding on that language? What are the three cases of impeachment?
Of the three crises described in the Pfiffner piece, which is the most egregious? Which is
the least? Why? Is the cover-up worse than the original action? What distinguishes
Nixon’s actions from those of other presidents who did or did not face impeachment? Is
the impeachment process a tool that Congress can use against all presidents who deserve
it? Or does it require specific a political environment to be effective?
How did the framers design the president’s and Congress’ constitutional war powers?
How did early presidents conceive of the president’s war powers? Of Congress’ war
powers? How did they interpret the commander-in-chief clause? What example sticks out
most for you? How do modern presidents conceive of the president’s war powers? Of
Congress’ war powers? Why did that change in interpretation take place? What role do
modern international institutions play in our domestic war powers disputes? What
examples of modern uses of war powers stick out most for you? Does the War Powers
Resolution empower or constrain the president? Did Congress have enough input in the
decision to go to war in Iraq? What are some examples of presidents’ use of prerogative
power in wartime? How would you evaluate President Bush’s uses of prerogative power?
Terms: commander in chief, UN Participation Act, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, War
Powers Resolution, Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Prerogative Power
How does Congress make it hard for the president to control the bureaucracy? Why does
Moe think that the president is in a better position to control the bureaucracy than
Congress is? Why might it be important for the president to have his own staff? What are
the three strategies that the President can use to control the bureaucracy? What
advantages and disadvantages to the president, and to the system at large, come with a
large presidential bureaucracy? Is the cabinet currently a resource for the president? Are
his White House advisers assets to him? How do presidents weigh loyalty vs.
competence? Which side do they usually take? How do presidential management
techniques differ? Is there one that you think is best? Why do presidents take unilateral
action? Are there reasons why or ways in which they should not take unilateral action?
Terms: Bureaucratic capture/cabinet capture, Senior Executive Eervice, Office of
Management and Budget, Regulatory Review, Executive Orders, Brownlow Committee,
Executive Orders, Presidential Memoranda, Presidential Proclamations, National
Security Directives, Signing Statements, Recissions, Federal Administrative Procedures
In what ways is the judiciary independent of the president? In what ways is it shaped by
him? In what ways does the President have the upper hand over the judiciary? What
should the president be able to do to protect the United States from terrorist attacks? Do
terrorists have rights? Should they have access to judicial review of executive branch
action?? How would you feel if a court let a person go free, and that person later
committed a terrorist act? How would you feel if a completely innocent person, or many
innocent people were held by the government without access to legal recourse? Are
judges in a better position to decide such issues than the president?
Terms: Court packing, Worcester v. Georgia, Ex parte Merryman, US v. Nixon, Marbury
vs. Madison, Mississippi vs. Johnson, US v. Curtiss Wright Export Corporation,
Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer, Zone of Twilight, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Hamdan v.
Rumsfeld, Executive privilege
Why does Neustadt argue that presidential power is the power to persuade? What does
Greenstein think of Eisenhower’s skill as a leader? What are the elements of what he
calls “hidden hand leadership?” What do you think of his strategy of hidden hand
leadership? What would you think if Bill Clinton or George W. Bush employed the same
strategy? What would the press think?
What presidential personal qualities did we discuss? What, according to that list, are Bill
Clinton’s strengths and weaknesses? How did Bill Clinton’s personal characteristics
affect his presidency? What was his management style? How were the parties, the press,
the public, and Congress checks on Bill Clinton’s uses of presidential power? What are
Joe Klein’s biases and how do they affect the story he tells?
Which do you think is a more important determinant of presidential success: the
president’s personality or his political environment? Can you briefly describe
Skowronek’s theory of Political Time? Where does George W. Bush fall in political
time? What in the political environment constrained the last five presidents? What in the
political environment empowered them?
Is there such a thing as a great president? Who would you rate as the best president of all
time? On what basis do you make that decision? How do you think the future judgment
of history affects a president’s thinking?
Terms: Power to persuade, Hidden hand leadership, Regimes, Reconstructive president,
Preemptive president, Orthodox Innovator, Disjunctive president
How powerful is the American president compared to the executives in other
democracies? What are the relative strengths of a president in a separated system? What
are the relative strengths of a prime minister in a parliamentary system?
Terms: Westminster system, Prime minister in a PR system
Your final exam will have six short answer questions (10 points each) and two essay
questions. The exam will be cumulative, with an emphasis on the second half of the
My office hours before finals will be:
Friday, Dec. 15: 12-2:30pm
Monday, December 18: 10-11am
Friday, December 22: 8-11am
I will also be available by email, as usual, during finals week.