Part II: Institutions
The Presidency (Lasser Chapter 10)
Lasser suggests a paradox of a president whose immense resources are not always sufficient to
perform the tasks expected of him by theAmerican people (and the world).
Federalist No. 70 (Hamilton 1788) - Need for a Strong, Unitary Executive
There was an idea that a vigorous executive was inconsistent with republican principles.
Hamilton says there is a "necessity of an energetic executive." Feeble executive means feeble
execution of government (feeble means bad, bad execution means bad government).
That necessary ingredients for energy are unity, duration, adequate provision for its support, and
• unity means one strong person rather than a few people who may disagree
• plurality in the executive can conceal faults and destroy the responsibility of the various
• one strong person heading the executive is easily watched by the public
Ingredients constituting Republican safety are: "due dependence on the people" and due
Presidential Power (Neustadt 1960)
The President is meant to persuade those that he shares power that they ought to do the White
House wants of them “for their sake and on their authority”. This takes more than charm or
reasoned argument, he must use his status and authority. Authority lies in that most aspects of
American governance rely on Presidential approval or attention at some stage – if a
Congressman wants his Bill to be signed into law once passed, the President has a vantage point.
This is checked by the fact that if the President likes certain legislation, he must count on the
Congressman to bring it to the House. “The power to persuade is the power to bargain”.
The Two Constitutional Presidencies (Tulis 2006)
• first Constitution of formal powers, relies on legal authority, in which power is shared
with Congress and Supreme Court
o e.g. processing of Clinton’s impe