American Government
Azusa Pacific University
Mr. Jonathon Pyles
November 4, 2004
"The Presidency"

A.   Prime minister's party (or coalition or parties) always has majority in parliament, but president often does not
B.   Presidential candidates nominated through primaries and convention; potential prime ministers are chosen by a caucus of veteran political leaders, with an eye to who can best hold the party together in parliament
C.   Presidential candidates often have no experience in Congress, but potential prime ministers have always served in parliament
D.   Prime minister chooses cabinet officers primarily or exclusively from among members of his or her party in parliament and must appear regularly in parliament to defend the government's policies. The president of the Unite States, on the other hand, selects his cabinet members to reward personal followers, recognize important constituencies, and mobilize nongovernmental expertise; and he never has to answer hostile questions before Congress
E.   Conclusions
1.   Prime ministers in two-party nations (such as Great Britain) have very great power because they can dominate the cabinet and the legislature. (In countries with multiparty systems, such as Italy or Israel, prime ministers are much weaker because the cabinet is usually an unstable coalition)
2.   Although the president of the U.S. is elected by the people at large and occupies an office with powers derived from the Constitution, he may have great difficulty in exercising any legislative leadership at all owing to his inability to control Congress
3.   The President generally enjoys a greater independence and freedom of decision-making than a prime minister
II.   Difference between President and King (Federalist 69)
President (limited-executive)
King (absolute-executive)
Elected for for years
Hereditary succession: for life
May be impeached and prosecuted
Cannot be prosecuted
Veto power qualified (may be overridden by Congress)
Absolute negative
Commander-in-Chief, but no power to declare war or to raise and regulate fleets and armies
Commander-in-chef and right to declare war and raise and regulate fleets and armies
Power of making treaties and appointments shared with Congress
Sole power of making treaties and appointments
Cannot confer special privileges such as conferring titles of nobility or creating corporations
May confer titles of nobility and special privilege
III.   Characteristics of an effective Presidency (Federalist 70)
A.   "Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government"
B.   Energy is essential to:
1.   The protection of the community against foreign attack
2.   The protection of property
3.   The security of liberty against the enterprises and assault of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy
C.   "A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, a bad government."
D.   How far can they be combined with those other ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense?
E.   Ingredients which constitute energy in the executive
1.   Unity
2.   Duration
3.   Adequate provision of support
4.   Competent powers
IV.   Formal Powers of the President
A.   Explicit powers few and vaguely defined by Constitution (Article II, mostly section 2)
B.   Powers of the president alone
1.   Commander-in-chief of armed forces
2.   Commission military officers
3.   Reprieves and pardons for federal offences
4.   Convene Congress in special session
5.   Receive ambassadors
6.   Take care that the laws are faithfully executed
7.   Wield executive power
8.   Appoint cabinet members
9.   Executive Orders
C.   Powers the president shares with the Senate
1.   Make treaties (senate must ratify)
2.   Nominate ambassadors, judges, high officials
D.   Powers the president shares with Congress as a whole
1.   Law-making
E.   Other Sources of Power
1.   Broad statutory authority granted to Executive since 1930s
2.   Expectation of presidential leadership from the public, especially in crisis
3.   Influences within the bureaucracy (Greenspan, etc...)
F.   The White House Staff
1.   Staff (doesn't need Senate confirmation)
a.   Circular structure: a few key assistants report to the president (Jimmy Carter)
b.   Pyramid structure: Virtually all staff report through the chief of staff (Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr.)
c.   Cluster structure: no clear chain of command; ad hoc task forces and key advisors all report to the president (Kennedy)