PS 101-Chapter 11 The Presidency
o Constitutional authority(presidential): Powers derived from the
provisions of the Constitution that outline the president’s role in
o Statutory authority(presidential): Powers derived from laws enacted by
Congress that add to the powers given to the president in the Constitution
o Vesting clause:Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution, which states that
“executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of
America,” making the president both the head of government and the
head of state.
o Head of government: One role of the president, through which he or she
has authority over the executive branch
o Head of state: One role of the president, through which he or she
represents the country symbolically and politically.
o Recess appointment: When a person is chosen by the president to fill a
position, such as an ambassadorship or the head of a department, while
the Senate in not in session, thereby bypassing Senate approval. Unless
approved by a subsequent Senate vote, recess appointees serve only to the
end of congressional term.
o Executive orders: Proclamations made by the president that change
government policy without congressional approval.
o Fast-track authority: An expedited system for passing treaties under
which support from a simple majority, rather than a two-thirds majority,
is needed in both the House and Senate, and no amendments are allowed.
o First-mover advantage: The president’s power to initiate treaty
negotiations. Congress cannot initiate treaties and can only consider them
once they have been negotiated.
o Executive agreement:An agreement between the executive branch and a
foreign government, which acts as a treaty but does not require Senate
o Two presidencies: The idea that presidents have more interest in and
power over foreign policy issues compared to domestic policy issues.
This asymmetry is created by the president’s greater influence over the
making of foreign policy and the generally lower salience of foreign
o State of the Union:An annual speech in which the president addresses
Congress to report on the condition of the country and recommend
o Executive privilege: The right of the president to keep executive branch
conversations and correspondence confidential from the legislative and
o Presidential approval: The percentage of Americans who feel that the
president is doing a good job in office. o Go Public:Apresident’s use of speeches and other public
communications to appeal directly to citizens about issues the president
would like the House and Senate to act on.
o Executive Office of the President (EOP): The group of policy-related
offices that serves as support staff to the president.
o Cabinet: The group of fifteen executive department heads who implement
the president’s agenda in their respective positions.
o Power to persuade: The theory that a president’s ability to shape
government policy depends more on his ability to convince members of
Congress, bureaucrats, and citizens to do what he wants than it does on
the formal powers conveyed to him by the Constitution.
o Unilateral action (presidential):Any policy decision made and acted upon
by the president and his staff without the explicit approval or consent of
o Unitary Executive Order: The idea that the vesting clause of the
Constitution gives the president the authority to issue orders and policy
directives that cannot be undone by Congress.
o Signing statement:Adocument issues by the president when signing a
bill into law which explaining his interpretation of the law, which often
differs from the interpretation of Congress, in an attempt to influence
how the law will be implemented.
o Impeachment:Anegative or checking power over the other branches that
allows Congress to remove the president, vice president, or other
“officers of the United States”(including federal judges) for abuses of
II. Lecture(4/10/13) The Presidency
A. Constitutional Foundations
1. What were the framers thinking?
a. Concerned about executive power- didn’t want a “King”
b. But theArticles of Confederation failed in part because of the lack
of a strong national leader
1. In terms of relationship between the states
2. In terms of foreign policy
2. What did they decide?
a. To vest executive power in a President, who is both head of
government and head of state
b. Charged with implementation of legislation
1. “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed”
B. Qualifications for Office
1. Must be at least 35 years old
2. AU.S.-born citizen
3. Have lived in the U.S. for minimum of 14 years
C. Nature of Presidential Power
1. Constitutional authority