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The President of the United States is
the leader of the United States and the
free world, and the “most powerful
person on earth.”
Let’s look at the president’s roles
The Founders wanted a president of
limited powers—above parties & factions,
to conduct foreign policy & enforce laws
Historians have taken pains to
rank my 43 predecessors
through scholarly and balanced
research. Which presidents do
you think they rated as great
and near great?
The President’s Roles
The Chief Executive
President G. H. W. Bush in Oval Office
Controls a huge executive branch of
millions of people, but shares power with
The president recruits the best people
possible to serve in his cabinet—those
people who run the executive agencies
of the Federal Government.
Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces
Article II, Section 2 of Constitution
With the help of the
“Chiefs,” the
president controls a
massive nuclear
With the Secretary
of Defense and the
Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff,
commands the U. S.
A key part of the president’s job as
Commander-in-Chief is crisis management.
This photo shows the Kennedy
Administration’s meetings during the
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
It is crucial that during times of crisis
the president appear to be a confident,
take-charge leader
Chief Agenda Setter of the U. S. Government
President Obama giving the “non-State of the
Union” Address. What is the State of the Union
State of the Union Address: A speech
that the president gives each January
before a joint session of
Congress, which sets forth
the programs, policies,
and legislation that he or
she wants Congress to
This speech coincides with
the submission of the
President’s Budget.
The president is the chief priority-setter
of the United States government—he sets
the legislative agenda, often through
the submission of the budget each
Representative of the Nation
President Bush represents the American
People at World Trade Center Ruins
The president should be a person who
builds the morale of the nation through
inspirational actions and symbolic
Chief of State
The president engages in diplomacy.
Diplomacy: the art of conducting
negotiations with foreign countries.
The president is also our nation’s foreign
policy leader.
Foreign policy: our plans for dealing
with other countries. The goals of
U. S. foreign policy are to promote
trade and friendship with other
countries while maintaining the
security of the United States.
Party Leader
Aids candidates, raises money, campaigns
Here are some interesting
facts about the office of the
35 years of age
Native born citizen
U. S. resident for the last
14 years
Until Obama, all presidents have been white,
male Christians. Most have been highly
Today the President presides over:
Budget: $1.8 trillion
Federal establishment: 2.4 million
civilian employees
Military: 1.4 million personnel
20,000 deliverable nuclear warheads
278 million people
$9.5 trillion GDP
3.8 million square miles of land mass
Bully!! The president’s
term in office is 4-years
and, since the
ratification of the 22nd
Amendment in 1951, he
or she can run for reelection once.
President’s salary:
$400,000 per year plus a tax free
$50,000 allowance for performing
official duties
I am the third President,
Thomas Jefferson. What
is presidential succession
and what is the current
Presidential succession:
who should fill the presidency and in what order
Vice President; Speaker of House;
Pres. Pro. Tem of Senate; Sec State;
Sec Treasury; Sec Def.; Attorney Gen;
Executive Powers include carrying out
the laws and appointing officials
One way the president enforces laws is
through executive orders. What are they?
Executive orders are
detailed instructions,
regulations, and rules
that state how to carry
out and enforce
legislation. They have
the force of law. In
1957, I signed an
executive order that
sent federal troops to
Little Rock, Arkansas to
enforce desegregation
of Central High School.
Presidents usually provide
Congress with information
that body requests. But
sometimes, presidents
refuse to do so, as
Richard M. Nixon did
in 1973. In that case,
Nixon invoked executive
privilege. What is that?
Executive privilege: the president’s right
not to hand over documents or to testify
regarding matters that he or she believes
are his/her confidential business
Diplomatic powers involve the fact that
the president is the main person
responsible for our nation’s foreign
President George H. W. Bush meeting
with British Prime Minister Margaret
The president’s foreign policy role
includes making treaties that include
peace agreements, trade agreements and
forming alliances. What are alliances?
Alliances: agreements
between 2 or more
countries to help
each other for
defense, economic,
scientific or other
Presidents, such as
Lyndon B. Johnson, right,
also can make executive
agreements. What are
More informative
understandings between
an American president
and the leader of a
foreign government
Presidents can also establish
diplomatic recognition. What
is that?
Determining whether or not
the U. S. officially recognizes
a government as the proper
representative of a country’s people.
Military powers:
Committing troops—such as when
President Bush committed troops to
Fight in Iraq
Limited by the War Powers Act of 1973
soldiers sent abroad by the president
must be brought back within 60 days
unless Congress approves the action
(Congress approved the war against
Judicial Powers
In addition to nominating federal
judges, including Supreme Court
presidents can
issue reprieves,
pardons and
What do each
of those terms
Reprieve: postpones the carrying out
of a person’s sentence in order to
gather more evidence or to appeal for a
new trial.
Before I left office, I issued
many pardons: forgiveness
to a convicted criminal. It
frees that person from
serving out his or her
Commutations lessen the
severity of a convicted
person’s sentence
Here are some of the key members of the
president’s personal staff.
The Chief of Staff manages all of
the White House staff and controls
access to the president. President
Obama’s Chief of Staff is Rahm Emanuel
The White House Press Office, led by the
Press Secretary, provides key
information to the media and
conducts press briefings.
President Obama’s Press
Secretary is Robert Gibbs.
The National Security Act of 1947 established
the National Security Council (NSC) to
improve coordination among the government
departments that deal with national security
issues. The NSC includes the
Director of Central Intelligence
(from the CIA) and the Secretaries
of State and Defense. The NSC
staff is headed by the National
Security Advisor, appointed by
the president. President Bush’s
National Security Advisor is
Retired USMC Gen James L. Jones.
The Executive Office of the President also
includes the Office of Management and
Budget, which, among other things, writes
the President’s Budget. The Director of the
OMB holds cabinet rank. President Obama’s
Director is Dr. Peter Orszag.
The Executive Office of the
President also includes the
Council of Economic Advisers
and the National Economic
Another important member of
the Executive Branch is the Vice
President, who, today, is Joe
For many years, it
was a do nothing
John Nance Garner:
“It’s like a bucket
of warm spit.”
In recent years, presidents have
used the talents and skills of their
vice presidents to the benefit of the
Wow! She’s some kind of
hottie. Why didn’t I hire HER
as an intern?
That’s right Elle. For
example, I used my
vice president, Al
Gore, to lead the
effort to reduce
government waste.
The president’s wife, today
Michelle Obama, is called the
First Lady of the Land. In recent
years, presidents’ wives have
taken an active role in politics.
The most active was Hillary
Rodham Clinton.
In addition to the Executive Office of
the President there are 15 cabinet
departments led by secretaries or, in
the case of the Department of
Justice, The Attorney General
On the next few pages, we will look at
President Obama’s present cabinet. For
more information go to
Secretary of Agriculture:
Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Commerce:
Gary Locke
Secretary of Defense:
Robert Gates
Secretary of Education:
Arne Duncan
Secretary of Energy:
Steven Chu
Secretary of Health &
Human Services:
Secretary of Homeland
Security: Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Housing and
Urban Development:
Shaun Donovan
Secretary of the Interior:
Ken Salazar
Attorney General:
Eric Holder
Secretary of Labor:
Hilda Solis
Secretary of State:
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of
Ray LaHood
Secretary of the
Timothy Geithner
Secretary of Veterans Affairs:
Eric Shinseki
The Federal Bureaucracy
Hey! Which one of you
can tell Bruiser the
definition of
A highly organized system
of people and their work.
People who work in a
bureaucracy are called: Bureaucrats
Let’s discuss things that
government agencies do.
Advise government officials
Make rules and regulations
Those regulations have force of law, but they
usually carry civil, not criminal, penalties for
Such regulations are usually found in the
Code of Federal Regulations. For example,
Title IX required schools to give equal
athletic rights to females.
Government agencies also
implement, or carry out, rules.
The U. S. Government also has
several independent agencies.
What are those?
Agencies created by Congress to help the
president carry out the work of the executive
branch. Independent means separate from
cabinet departments.
Examples include:
The Social Security Administration
The Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission
The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA)
Also under the Executive
Branch are regulatory
commissions. What are
Agencies that act with the least
direction from the White House;
they are independent agencies that have the
power to establish and enforce regulations.
Examples include the Securities and Exchange
Commission, the Federal Trade Commission,
and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Some independent agencies are
government corporations. What are
Non-profit businesses
The largest government corporation
is the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (FDIC), which
guarantees peoples’ bank deposits.
In all of these Executive
Branch agencies, most of
the employees are civil
servants. Who can define
that term?
Appointed or non-appointed
people employed by the
federal government.
We have come a long
way from the system of
hiring those people
begun by Andrew
Jackson. What system
was that?
The spoils system
Today most civil servants
are selected through a
process started with the
passage of the Pendleton
Act of 1883: the merit
system. What is that?
Federal employees secure their
jobs through competitive exams
and stay on the job even after new presidents
take office. Today almost all non-appointed
civil servants get their jobs through testing.
I can’t believe how LUCKY you
ALL are to have a teacher as
HOT as Mr. Simoncini.
Appointed officials include
high level appointees that
must be approved by the
Senate and lower level
Senior Executive Service
(SES) employees that do
not require Senate
Most non-appointed employees are classified
as either General Management (GM) or General
Service (GS) and are paid on a scale based on
seniority and responsibility.