The President and the Vice President The Executive is composed of the President and Vice-President of the United States The most important job in the world! The Presidency was originally intended to be of secondary importance to the U.S. Congress and simply enforce their laws. Constitutional Requirements Must be at least 35 years old to become president. Must be a native-born American citizen Must have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years. Historical Trends Race – Until the election of President Obama, all presidents had been white. Gender – All presidents have been males Education – Most have had a college education Religion – Only John F. Kennedy was Catholic President – Barack Obama Vice-President – Joe Biden Presidential Elections Presidential elections take place in years divisible by four years. For example, an election was held in 2000, 2004, 2008, and another will be held in 2012. THERE ARE NO POPULAR ELECTIONS – THE VOTING IS DONE THROUGH THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE The Real Ballot When you vote for a president on the ballot you have really chosen a list of electors who have pledged to elect that candidate. Electoral Votes Each state receives electoral votes based upon the number of seats they hold in the Senate and House. DC also receives 3 for a total of 538 electoral votes. Winner Take All Most states give all electoral votes to whichever candidate wins a majority of the popular election. The Real Election In December, the electors meet in the state capitol and cast their ballots with the winner needing 270 votes to win. Term in Office Originally, the Founding Fathers did not place a limit on the number of terms that a person could serve as President but George Washington set a two-term precedent by refusing to run for a third time and declaring it important to get “new blood” in the office. AFTER FDR WAS ELECTED TO FOUR TERMS IN OFFFICE THE 22ND AMENDMENT WAS PASSED IN 1951 WHICH LIMITED THE NUMBER OF TERMS TO 2 AND 10 TOTAL YEARS IF THEY TAKE OVER THE PRESIDENTIAL TERM OF ANOTHER. Salary and Benefits The President currently receives a salary of $400,000 along with a travel expense budget. He also lives in the White House with a staff of 80 people who care for their family. They also have use of a presidential retreat in MD called Camp David, and command of a fleet of special cars, helicopters, and Air Force One The Vice President “I am Vice President. In this I am nothing, but I may become everything.” John Adams The Constitution only provides the Vice President with the authority to break a tie in the Senate but nine Vice Presidents have replaced the President. This makes the choice of a Vice President very important. CURRENT ORDER OF SUCCESSION The Vice President Joseph Biden Speaker of the House John Boehner President pro tempore of the Senate1 Daniel Inouye Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Attorney General Eric Holder Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano 8 PRESIDENTS HAVE DIED WHILE IN OFFICE Article II of the U.S. Constitution “Executive Power shall be vested in a President…” The main responsibility of the United States President is to carry out, or execute, the laws written by Congress. Constitutional Powers •Veto bills •Call Congress into session •Serve as Commander and Chief of the armed forces •Receive leaders of foreign countries •Make treaties with other countries •Appoint heads of executive agencies, Supreme Court justices, ambassadors, etc. •Pardon or reduce the penalties of people convicted of federal crimes. The State of the Union Address Every year, the Constitution requires the President to give a State of the Union Address which discusses the most important issues facing the nation, and describes new legislation or programs he would like Congress to take up. The Chief Executive One of the most important roles of the president is to execute the laws passed by the United States Congress. Executive Orders A rule or command made issued by the President of the United States that has the force of law. Presidential Appointments The President also has the power to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Pardons, Reprieves, and Amnesty Pardons - A declaration of which declares forgiveness for a federal crime Reprieve - An order to delay a person’s punishment until a higher court can hear the case. Amnesty - A pardon toward a group of people. The Chief Diplomat The president is in charge of establishing the foreign policy positions of the United States and makes key decisions in how the United States will treat other countries of the world. The Commander and Chief The President is the top commander of the army, navy, air force, marines, and coast guard with only the president able to order American soldiers into war even though Congress has the power to declare war. The Legislative Leader The President is also in charge of submitting legislation to legislatures and meeting with key senators and representatives in order to try and convince them that they should support the legislation. The Head of State The President represents a living symbol of the nation and as a result meets with visiting leaders and honors the traditions and ceremonies of the nation. The Economic Leader Along with planning the federal budget, the President is expected to insure that the unemployment rates, prices, and taxes remain low. The Party Leader The President is usually considered to be the party leader with party members campaigning to help get him elected and the expectation that he will do the same for them.