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Presidency

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					Presidency
“One of the persisting paradoxes of
    the American presidency is that, on
    the one hand, it is always too
    powerful, and on the other, it is
    always too weak.”
                BPC
 System
 Institution
 Individual
Presidency

 Formal powers of the President are
 fairly modest and greatly checked, but
 they are great resources for political
 leadership.
 Big Question –
    – Is it the office that makes the person
      powerful or
    – Is it the person that makes the office
      powerful.
President as Part of System

   8 Presidential Roles
    – Head of State
       • Ceremonial
    – Commander in Chief
       • Military decisions
    – Foreign Policy Maker
       • Diplomatic
    – Crisis Manager
       • Quick judgments, secrecy, consistency
Presidential Roles – cont.

   Agenda/Priority Setter
    – Mandate – establish parameters of debate in DC
   Chief Recruiter
    – Executive and Judicial Appts – w/A&C of S
   Chief Legislator
    – Initiating ideas and formal role in leg. process
   Party Leader
    – No formal role, but leader of party
Institutional Level

   4 components
    – Vice-President
      • “not worth a bucket of warm spit” - VP John
        Nance Garner
      • Next in line – understudy
      • 25th Amend (1967)
      • Ceremonial, special assignements
      • Major path to president
Institutional Level

   Cabinet
    – Not in Const, but every Pres has had one
    – Heads of 15 cabinet departments, VP, and
      other officials as Pres designates – see:
      http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/ca
      binet.html
    – Too large, too diverse, and too concerned
      with own interests to serve as a collective
      board
Institutional Level

   Executive Office of President
    – General staff – more responsive to Pres.
    – 3 Most important
       • National Security Council – 1947 – links foreign
         and military policy advisers
       • Council of Economic Advisers – 1946 – 3
         members
       • OMB (BoB 1921 ->OMB 1969) – prepare
         budget and policy/regulatory functions
Institutional Level

   White House Staff
    – Key aides, personal assistants
    – Chief of Staff, Press Secy, Cong’l liaison
    – Grown over time
       •   FDR – 51
       •   Truman – 240
       •   LBJ – 300
       •   Nixon – 583
       •   G. W. Bush - 400
Individual Level

 Most public and yet most personal of
  our institutions
 Demographics – white, male,
  Protestants (except JFK)
 Can’t just looks at power of president in
  terms of formal authority
“Power to persuade” R. Neustadt

   Four resources for presidential
    leadership
    – 1- Professional reputation
    – 2- Public prestige and support
       •   National constituency
       •   Visible – media attention, appearances
       •   Public relations – news management
       •   Public support – public opinion, approval
           ratings, p. 295
“Power to persuade” - Resources

   3 – Internal resources/ temperament/
    psychology
    – Barber – presidential character
       • Active/Passive
       • Positive/Negative
   4 – Political parties – nucleus of
    consistent support
Problems & Reforms
   Imperial Presidency
    – Schlesinger, 1973
       • Congressional abdication & presidential usurpation
       • Reconcile strong Pres w/democratic control
       • Less law, more politics
   Isolated Presidency
    – Reedy, Twilight of the Presidency
       •   Conspiracy of mediocrity
       •   Importance of press
       •   WH staff – human wall around President
       •   More power to Congress to demand info
Problems and Reforms

   Plebiscitary Presidency
    – Schattschneider & Lowi, Personal
      Presidency (1985)
       • Pres. Outside SoP, unity of power w/people
       • Become larger than human capacities
       • 6 year nonrenewable terms, press conf
Problems and Reforms

   Managerial Presidency
    – Cronin – how can Pres get machinery of
      govt to follow his goals
    – Huge, sprawling exec branch – civil
      servants, programs, budget
    – Hard to get things done -> rely on WH staff
    – Appropriate balance of power betw WH &
      departments
Analysis

“One of the persisting paradoxes of
    the American presidency is that, on
    the one hand, it is always too
    powerful, and on the other, it is
    always too weak.”
                  BPC
   Combination of person and office that makes
    Presidency powerful

				
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