The Presidency Institutions of National Government #5 The Chief Legislator Actions: Bring attention to potential issues & laws, Asking Congresspeople to propose laws, Putting pressure on votes. President as Chief Legislator “The Power of No” Veto: President can reject proposed legislation and send a bill back to Congress Pocket Veto: A president can let a bill die by not signing it when Congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting a bill. Today, the threat of a veto is just as effective. President as Chief Legislator • Legislative Skills – Variety of forms: bargaining, making personal appeals, consulting with Congress, setting priorities in the State of the Union address. – Most important is bargaining with Congress. – Presidents should use their “honeymoon” period – Sets Policy Agenda for Country President as Chief Legislator While the Constitution states the President can suggest things to Congress nowhere does it say they have to listen. So where does it come from? What resources does a President have? Power vs. Leadership Power •A resource that forces and compels others to do what you want them to. There is a punishment involved for not following •Power is FORMAL (has a source) and STATIC (remains unchanged over time) Leadership •A resources that convinces others to do what you want them to. •Leadership is INFORMAL (no written source) and DYNAMIC (changes based on individual and situation) The Commander-in-Chief Actions: Making war, Commanding the troops, Appointing Joint Chiefs of Staff, Conducting a draft President as Commander-in-Chief • Writers of the Constitution wanted civilian control of the military. • Presidents often make important military decisions. • Presidents command a standing military and nuclear arsenal— unthinkable 200 years ago President as Commander-In-Chief Evolution of War Powers Constitutional Basis of Shared Powers Congress has power to declare war President as Commander-In-Chief deploys troops, sets strategy, etc. War Powers Resolution (1973) Intended to limit the president’s use of the military (Vietnam) Requires president to consult with Congress prior to using military force and withdraw forces after 60 days unless Congress declares war or grants and extension Presidents see the Resolution as unconstitutional. Argument that “declaring war” is not the same as “conducting war.” Supreme Court has “punted” the issue and labeled it a “political question.” President as Commander-in-Chief Crisis Management •In a crisis the power floats to the president. –Need to speak with one voice –Current technology •Crisis Management is key to Presidential Image Chief Diplomat Actions: Negotiates treaties, United Nations, Forms alliances (NATO), Appoints ambassadors, Visits other countries to strengthen relations, Attends funerals of foreign leader President as Chief Diplomat • Negotiates treaties with other countries • Treaties must be ratified by 2/3 vote in the Senate • Use executive agreements to take care of routine matters with other countries • May negotiate for peace between other countries • Lead U.S. allies in defense and economic issues • Although President has the lead role in foreign policy must work with Congress (power of purse) Chief of Party Actions: Set party agenda, Suggest party officials, Fundraise for likeminded politicians President as Chief of Party • Party Leadership – The Bonds of Party • Being in the president’s party creates a psychological bond between legislators and presidents, increasing agreement. – Slippage in Party Support • Presidents cannot always count on party support, especially on controversial issues. – Leading the Party • Presidents can offer party candidates support and punishment by withholding favors. • Presidential coattails occur when voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the president’s party because they support the president. Races are rarely won in this way. 2010 Obama -63 -6 Symbol-In-Chief Actions: Taking part in ceremonial duties, Conducting self in a responsible manner, Shaking hands & kissing babies, Being the national Shaman President as Symbol-In-Chief • Earlier we discussed the difference between power and leadership. One other important distinction between the two is crucial to understanding the Presidency • Power has a written source (Constitution) and because it has a source it is LIMITED • Leadership does not have a written source and because of this there are no limits to it when used correctly. • In essence the President receives “Power From The People” President as Symbol-In-Chief • Public Support – Public Approval • A source of presidential leadership of Congress • Public approval gives the president leverage, not command; it does not guarantee success – Mandates • Perception that the voters strongly support the president’s character and policies • Mandates are infrequent, but presidents claim a mandate anyway President as Symbol-in-Chief • • • • • • • Going “Public” Use of the “bully Pulpit” Rallying public Support for the President’s agenda Head of State Functions Symbolic but favorable coverage President as Symbol-in-Chief Presidential Approval •Receives much effort by the White House •Product of many factors: predispositions, “honeymoon,” rally events •Changes can highlight good or bad decisions President as Symbol-in-Chief • Rallying Public Approval – Policy Support • Presidents attempt to gain public support through televised messages, with little success • The public may not be receptive to the president’s message or misperceive it all together. – Mobilizing the Public • The president may attempt to motivate the public to contact Congress. • A difficult task, given inattentive and apathetic public • May backfire: a lack of response speaks loudly President as Symbol-in-Chief • Use of the Media/Press – Presidents and media are often adversaries. – Media is often more interested in the person, not the policies – News coverage has become more negative – Many people in the White House deal with the media, but the press secretary is the main contact person When Press Briefings Go Wrong So… Do you want the job?