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Alexandria J. Neeley

Alexandria J. Neeley

POLS 411 Final Exam

May 4th, 2018

Short Answer ID:

War Powers Resolution- A 1973 law that laid out conditions that allow the president to dispatch troops without getting congressional approval for 60 days but can be extended up to another 30 days. It was put in place during Nixon’s presidency around the time of Vietnam, to keep the president from putting troops in military engagements of that magnitude without approval. With the continued involvement to be only if it is a declaration of war. Which using a very simply example of the Iraq and Iran war, it doesn’t work as intended. It was meant to congress as an equal force to the president but it has fallen short of it intentions, rarely presidents even acknowledge it.

Senatorial Courtesy- decision on a presidential appointment based on the opinions or views of the candidates home state senators. So if the senator from their home state does not want that candidate then he will not be chosen and vice versa. This isn’t a law or rule, more of an unspoken agreement. It is important because it can be a deciding factor on the success of a presidential appointment.

Recess Appointment- appointments made when congress is not in session. They could be used in situations where the president is concerned an appointment might not be made by congress or if the person keeps getting rejected.

Bound delegates- These are delegates that are basically promising their vote to a candidates. A bound delegate is more important to a candidate because they are guaranteed votes. Where a delegate that is not bound could change his vote after each voting period. Bound delegates are an issue though if the candidate they are bound to drops out, they still cannot change their vote.

Take Care Clause- The president must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” Article 2, section 3 of the US constitution. It is like a loophole in the regulation of presidential power. Though loophole might be the wrong word to exactly describe it. It was written into the constitution to keep the president in check, to make sure the laws he makes are constitutional and “lawfully” carried out. It concerns his rule making power and executive orders to in sure they are constitutional and constitutionally executed.

Unitary Executive Theory- It is the theory is a bit open to interpretation, well the theory isn’t, the constitutional making of it is. In the constitution there is a list of presidential powers or jobs. One of the lines in it is in Article II which says “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” The theory is that the vagueness of these presidential powers, this one especially, give the president a way to justify any of his actions and that he has all the power of the executive branch behind him.

McGovern-Fraser reforms- In 1968 the elections the democratic candidate won the primary election but was no chosen over all. These reforms made it to where selection of a candidate could not be done by the president handpicking the delegate.

Essay Questions:

( First Essay Question)

The four stages of presidential elections are: Primaries and Caucuses, National Conventions, General Elections and the Electoral College. The Primaries and Caucuses are both meant to give a platform for states to make their selection for party nominee of the general election. They, however, are different events and are ran differently. A primary is a government (state or local level) run event that is decided by ballot. A Caucus is an event run by a political party and is decided by the number of delegates in support of that candidate. (This is relevant to the Bound delegates I defined earlier.) National Conventions are the big event to confirm or announce who won at the primary or caucus. The General Election process help people get to know the candidates once they are down to two, well a main two anyway (Democratic and Republican). This is a time that candidates spend campaigning and try to gain support of the public. The Electoral college is a very important part of the election process, as the office of president isn’t decided by majority vote. In this process, your vote goes to your state and your states over all vote gives the president a certain number of votes to them based on how many electors your state has. So Tennessee has 11 elector votes and in a typical election it is a republican state so the republican candidate would get the 11 votes possible from Tennessee.

Before any of that can take place though you have to have options for candidates. A candidate must be a citizen of the United States. He or she must have be a natural born citizen of the United States. They must have held residency in the United States for at least 14 years and they have to be 35 years or older. If you meet that criteria then you can run for president, but you have to have money and to be able to earn support to get money. In the book, The American Presidency: Origins and Development 1776-2014, “from the politics of governing to the politics of election… the new primaries-based, media-driven nominating process..” (pg. 385) The campaign changed to a more money driven campaign, focused on the flashiness and ability to win over the public through media.

The campaign finance is very important to the election process. Though it isn’t true every single time, the candidate that spends the most money typically wins the election. It is also important in seeing who donates money to what candidate. It can help you decide who you are for or against based on the different interest groups supporting the candidate. It is also interesting to see how candidates spend their money, is it in personal calls or signs or TV ads. The finances behind campaigns can strongly influence the outcome. If money isn’t spent properly in the ares that have low support it could possibly change the election outcome.It think the electoral system works well enough. The rules and regulations are put in place to promote the most fair outcome as possible. It has enough steps to try to get the best candidate possible. It ultimately is humans picking humans, so it is people that make mistakes picking someone that is going to make mistakes. We can’t expect the president to be perfect and not everyone is going to like them, that again is just a human thing not a part of that specific office. The electoral system has the primary/caucus stage to narrow the candidates down from the people that meet the criteria that have decided they want to run. Then the next stages are to rally support behind one candidate and then pick the best out of the two (or more, but mainly two) options.

I think if there was something I could change about the process it would be stronger criteria in addition to the existing age, residency, and citizenship limits. I am not a fan of the electoral college but I think the criteria would fix most problems I have with the election process anyway. I would add a certain amount of military service, maybe even a required rank in the military, as well as a certain amount of time in every level of government. Every level here I would define as one local level, one state level, and one government level. The military service I think is important because I don’t understand how someone can run something they have never been a part of. It is like taking someone that has only ever served ice cream and then making them CEO of a large clothing company. Sure maybe some of the sells ideas would be the same but they really have no idea how to process that kind of important power. If military service is required (and a certain rank) it would insure they have experienced how it feels to be in the military, the pros and cons of actions made by the president from those having to carry out the orders and a better concept of strategy. The rank portion would just be to keep the person from claiming a 4 year college representative isn’t claiming that specific military service as experience in the conflict/ strategy portion of the military.

(Third Essay Question)

In Article II of the constitution the presidential powers are stated as “the executive power shall be vested in the President of the United States.” This is the bases of the presidents powers. The president is the commander and chief of the military, the veto acts, pardon, make treaties, appoint and commission, advise legislative powers, convene and adjourn congress, receive ambassadors, and the president must follow the take care clause. (p. 43-53) The president doesn’t have a lot of constitutional powers at a glance. At least for a position of such importance, it doesn’t sound like the office has many powers in order to execute what is necessary. The president also has delegated powers and inherent powers, both outside the constitution that is given to him by Congress and trust from the people. The difference between power of the president and authority of the president is power is the power given to the president in the public and authority is the power given to the president by the Constitution.

One form and possibly the most effective form of unilateral action is executive orders, proclamations, directives, executive agreements. Though executive orders, proclamations and directives are a great show of the power the office of the president holds, an executive agreement is what is most effective in asserting their power. An executive agreement is similar to a treaty but does not have to have approval by the US senate. This would be international relations and actions with another country that would directly affect the interaction between the two that does not need to be approved by the checks and balances of the government.

Extra Credit:

My favorite character from The West Wing is CJ Craig. I find CJ interesting because of the wide range of her experience. Before joining the Bartlet campaign, CJ worked for a public relations company specializing in Hollywood, then she joined a struggling, unknown Presidential campaign that was expected to fail. After President Bartlet was elected, CJ became one of a very select few women to hold the Office of Press Secretary. After serving in this role for nearly seven years, Chief of Staff Leo McGarry suggest the President promote CJ to take his post after McGarry suffered a heart-attack. Watching Cj handle the chaos of the White House, in multiple roles, while still attempting to maintain a personal life and ensure her aging father with Alzheimers is cared for is inspiring. CJ manages to fulfill her duties well while still keeping a generally positive, and often jocular mood. Her positivity is demonstrated through her pranks such as putting olives in Will Bailey’s jacket, her performance of “The Jackal” and her frequent use of witty word play.