POLS 1113 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Chief Executive Officer

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12 Jan 2017
Presidential Leadership
Presidential roles
Chief agenda setter (chief politician or chief legislator)
o The Constitution requires the president to recommend measures to Congress
o he shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and
recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and
expedient – U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 3
o Every president is expected to submit a legislative program to Congress
Chief diplomat
o He represents the U.S. as head of state to other countries
o He negotiates treaties and appoints ambassadors
o He receives foreign ambassadors
o Often serves as a mediator or peace-broker in foreign disputes
He shall have the power, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to make
treaties… and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the
senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls – U.S.
Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 2
Ceremonial head of state
o In most countries, this function, often held by royalty, is separate from that of head of
o The U.S. president is both head of state and head of government
He speaks for and to the nation during national crises
He expresses our exuberance during times of national celebration
Head of his political parties
o He acts as a potent fund-raiser for all party candidates
o He presents the party platform to Congress
o He rewards the party faithful with presidential appointments
Commander in chief
o He is involved in military affairs to varying degrees
Ex. President Lincoln orchestrated campaigns for the North during the Civil War.
President Johnson chose air targets during the Vietnam War
o The president shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the United states, and
of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual service of the United States. –
U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 1
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