Ch. 11 Government

chief of state
ceremonial head of the government of the US; symbol of all the people of the US
chief executive
vested by Constitution with ‘the executive Power’ of the United States (abroad, domestically, and foreign); said to be ‘the most powerful position in the world’
chief administrator
director of the huge executive branch of the federal government (boss)
chief diplomat
main architect of American foreign policy and nation’s chief spokesman to the world
commander in chief
top of national forces
chief legislature
principle author of its public policies; sets shape for congressional agenda
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chief of party
leader of political party controlling the executive branch; influence and power is based on this
chief citizen
“the representative of all the people”; president needs to fight for public interest and ignore many different and competing private interests
1. a natural born citizen
2. 35 years old
3. be a resident for 14 years
What are the requirements for president?
it puts the choice of who is president in the hands of the of the government and not the people
Why do people not like the 22nd amendment?
Did the Constitution set any term limits?
Who was the first president to serve more then 2 terms?
to limit the presidents power
Why do people want a term limit for the president?
22nd amendment limited president to 2 terms and a limit of 10 years
What are the limits that the 22nd amendment puts in place?
How much money does the president make a year?
How much money does the president receive for an expense allowance?
presidential succession
scheme by which a presidential vacancy is filled
it did not provide for the succession of the VP, just said that the powers of the office went to the VP, not the actual office
What did the Constitution say about presidential succession?
Which amendment made VP the successor for the president?
Presidential Succession Act of 1947
states the speaker of the House and the President of the Senate are next in line then the Secretary of State and then followed by the 14 heads of cabinet
1. the president informs Congress that he is unable to discharge his powers and duties
2. the VP and a majority of the members of the Cabinet inform Congress that the president is incapacitated
What are the 2 reasons that the VP would become president if the president is disabled?
if the president writes a declaration to Congress that no inability exists, then VP and majority of Cabinet challenge this (congress has 21 days to decide)
How can the president regain his powers and duties if incapacitated?
1. preside over the Senate
2. help decide the question of president disability
What are the 2 main jobs of the VP written in the Constitution?
someone that will “balance the ticket”
How do presidential candidates usually pick their VP?
balance the ticket
a running mate who can strengthen the presidential candidate’s chance of being elected by virtue of certain ideological, geographic, ethnic, gender, or other characteristics
whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the VP, the president nominates a VP who shall take office upon the confirmation by a majority of both houses
What does the 25th amendment say about vacancy in the Vice Presidency?
the people or Congress
What are the 2 ways the framers were between for electing president?
the people could never know enough about the candidates to make an informed choice`
Why are the people unreliable for picking a president?
it would give the Congress too much power
Why is Congress not chosen for picking a president?
as many as senators and representatives that the state has
How many electors does each state have?
What election made Congress revise how the president and VP are chosen?
1. party nominations for the presidency and vice presidency
2. nominations of candidates for presidential electors in the states who pledged to vote for their party’s presidential ticket
3. automatic casting of the electoral votes in line with those pledges
What three new elements were introduced because of the election of 1800?
separated the presidential and vice presidential elections
What was the main change the 12th amendment made?
swing voters
What type o f voters do campaigns focus much of their efforts following the national convention?
“battleground states”
states where the outcome is “too close to call”; have the power to change the election
presidential electors
When people vote in a presidential election, for whom are they actually voting?
framers envisioned electors to vote with their own judgement and now they are expected to vote for their party’s candidate
How is the role of presidential electors different today from the way the Framers envisioned it?
popular vote in every state on the same day, November every fourth year
How and when are electors chosen?
at the state capital in December
When and where do the electors cast their electoral votes?
signed and sealed and sent by registered mail to the president of the Senate in Washington
What happens to the electors’ ballots after they are cast?
early January
When does the formal election of the President and Vice President take place?
President of the Senate opens the electoral votes form each state and counts them before a joint session of congress
What happens on the date of the formal election of the President and Vice President?
the House of Representatives chooses a president from the top three candidates
What if no candidate for President has won a majority of electoral votes?
the Senate decides between the top 2 candidates (majority vote)
What if no candidate for Vice President has won a majority of electoral votes?
Speaker of the House
Who acts as president if neither a President-elect nor a vice president-elect has qualified by Inauguration Day?
1. the winner of popular vote is not guaranteed the presidency
2. electors are not required to vote in accord with popular vote
3. any election might have to be decided in the House of Representatives
What are the 3 major defects in the electoral college system?
1. winner-take-all feature f the electoral college system
2. the way the electoral votes are distributed among the states
What are the 2 main reasons that the winner of the popular vote does not always win the presidency?
1. voting in such cases is by the states, not by the individual members
2. if the representatives form a state were so divided that no candidate was favored by a majority, that state would lose its vote
3. the Constitution requires a majority of the states for election in the House, if there was a strong 3rd party the House could not make a decision by Inauguration Day
What are the 3 main objections to elect by the House of Representatives?
district plan
2 electors would vote how the state majority did; each district chooses electors and they vote how the district did; does not require Constitutional amendment
proportional plan
each presidential candidate would receive a share of each state’s electoral votes equal to his or her share of the state’s popular vote; does not require Constitutional amendment
direct popular election
abolishes electoral votes; winner would be the choice of the majority of the population; requires Constitutional amendment
national popular vote plan
direct popular election without changing the Constitution; all state’s electoral votes go to the winner of the popular vote; all states enter an interstate compact that the candidate who wins popular vote wins the presidency; does not require a Constitutional amendment
1. weaken the federal system because the states would lose their role in the choice of President
2. put too great of a load on the election process
3. spur voter fraud
Name at least 3 arguments against direct popular election.
1. known process
2. identifies President-to-be quickly and certainly
3. helps promote the nations 2-party system
What are the 3 major strengths of the electoral college system?
in each party, the national committee makes the arrangements for the party’s convention
Is the nomination process set by the Constitution, federal law, State law, or some other way?
the “call” for the convention tells the party’s State organizations how many delegates the States may send to the national gathering with complex formulas
How is the number of delegates from each state to a party’s national convention determined?
R: leaves it to state organizations and to state law
D: national laws to include more minorities
How are the procedures for picking delegates different in the Republican and Democratic Parties?
presidential primary
an election in which a party’s voters choose some or all of a state party organization’s delegates to their party’s national convention and/or express a preference among various contenders for their party’s presidential nomination
holding many early primaries to weed out the unimportant candidates; speeds up election process
the candidate who won the preference vote automatically won the support of all the delegates chosen at that primary
proportional representation
any candidate who seeks the party’s presidential nomination who wins at least 15% of the votes cast in a primary gets the number of that State’s convention delegates that corresponds to his or her share of that primary vote
led states to give up popular selection of delegates
forced people to do a preference primary
puts more power back with the people
What impact has the proportional representation rule had on the shape of presidential primaries?
force would-be nominees to test their candidacies in actual political combat; for the party out of power the primaries are often “knock-down, drag-out” affairs
How are primaries different for the party in power and the party out of power?
each of the major parties should hold a single, nationwide primary, and have both parties choose their presidential candidates in those contests
a regional primary plan over 2-3 week intervals across the country
Explain 2 proposals to reform the primary process.
reform is uncertain; major changes would cause joint action by Congress, the several states, and both major partie
Why would reform be difficult?
local caucuses and district and/or state conventions
In those states that do not hold presidential primaries, how are delegates to the national convention chosen?
a closed meeting of members of a political party who gather to select delegates to the national convention
Democrats: walk to different sides
Republican: vote at the end
How does the caucus process work?
Iowa and New Hampshire
What are the first 2 delegate-selection events in the country?
national convention
What nominating event takes place after all of the primaries and caucuses?
national conventions
the quadrennial meetings at which the delegates select their presidential and vice-presidential candidates
1. naming the party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates
2. bring the various functions and the leading personalities in the party together in one place for a common purpose
3. adopting the party’s platform
What are the 3 major goals of the national convention?
a party’s formal statement of basic principles, stands on major policy matters, and objectives for the campaign and beyond
attention, party unity, draw people and money in
What are some other objectives parties hope their conventions will accomplish?
1. fundraising
2. primaries and caucuses
3. national conventions
4. debates
5. election day
What is the timeline for the race for the presidency?