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US (470,000)
BU (9,000)
CAS PO (100)


Political Science
Course Code
CAS PO 111
Graham Wilson

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The President
core of our political life- everyone can name him (or her)
oengages most people most of the time
oChief Executive: in charge of executive branch
names principal officers (cabinet heads, next tiers down/deputies)
appointments subject to Senate confirmation
expectation that the president gets his picks
oSenior Executive Service- moved from job to job,
give president more say in who gets the best job in
the civil service
competitive application process, nonpartisan
ultimately, if something isn’t going right, the president is
big decisions for day to day things
not uncontested- congress has sway over executive
(hearings, legislation, etc)
oChief Diplomat
in charge of foreign relation (greatest power)
Federalist Papers-Hamilton: “secrecy, speed, and dispatch”-
special competence
oless publicly known
ocongress isn’t speedy
opresidents can make effective decisions
advantage of advice from state, defense, etc. departments
CIA, NSA, 13 different intelligence organizations for
foreign policy
Congress gets some information, but not the average legislator
oversight committee- CIA
overall, secrecy adds natural influence to presidency
as the US has grown, this role has become more important
isolation is a myth- go back to the 1790 and we were
divided over foreign policy (France vs. Britain)
Monroe Doctrine0 19th century- vigorous action in Latin
however, much more involved today than back then
osecond world war- cold war- alliances-countries
opposed to Soviet Union/ China
NATO- originally designed to contain the
Soviet Union
diplomatic commitments all over the world
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