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Political Science

Chapter 14

QuestionAnswer
divided government one party controls the White House and another party controls one or both houses of congress.
unified government the same party controls the White House and both houses of Congress.
gridlock the inability of the government to act because rival parties control different parts of the government.
electoral college the people chose to cast each state’s votes in a presidential election. Each state can cast one electoral vote for each senator and representative it has. The District of Columbia has three electoral votes, even though it cannot elect a representative o
pyramid structure a president’s subordinates report to him through a clear chain of command headed by a chief of staff.
circular structure several of the president’s assistants report directly to him.
ad hoc structure several subordinates, cabinet officers, and committees report directly to the president on different matters.
cabinet the heads of the fifteen executive branch departments f the federal government.
bully-pulpit the presidents use of his prestige and visibility to guide or enthuse the American public.
veto message a message from the president to Congress stating that he will not sign a bill it has passed. Must be produced within ten days of the bills’ passage.
pocket veto a bill fails to become law because the president did not sign it within ten days before Congress adjourns.
line-item veto an executive’s ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature.
signing statement a presidential document that reveals what the president thinks of a new law and how it ought to be enforced.
legislative veto the authority of Congress to block a presidential action after it has taken place. The Supreme Court has held that Congress does not have this power.
impeachment Charges against a president approved by a majority of the House of Representatives.
lame duck person still in office after he or she has lost a bid for reelection.
Electoral College Almost all states use a winner-take-all system. If no candidate won a majority, the House would decide the election. The Electoral College ultimately worked differently than expected, because the Founders did not anticipate the role of political parties.
The First Presidents The office was legitmated by men active in independence and Founding Politics. Minimal activism of early government contributed to lessinging the fear of the presidency. Relations with Congress were reserved: few vetoes; no advice from Congress to the pre
Powers of the President Potential for power found in ambigous clauses of the Constitution-e.g. power as commander in chief, duty to "take care that laws be faithfully executed" (executive power). Greatest source of power lies in politics and public opinion.
The Power to Persuade Presidents try to transform popularity into congressional support for their programs. Presidential coattails have had a declining effect for years. Popularity is affected by factors beyond anyone's control-consider Bush's approval ratings following the Se
White House Office Pyriamid structure, Circular structure, Ad hoc structure.
The Cabinet Not explicitly mentioned in Constitution. Presidents have many more appointments to make than do prime ministers, due to competition created by the seperation of power. Presidential control over dept.'s remains uncertain-secrataries become advocates for t
Pres. Kennedy bold, articulate, amusing leader; improviser who bypassed traditional lines of authority.
Pres Nixon expertise in foreign policy; disliked personal confromtation; tried to centralize power in White House.
Pres. Reagan set policy priorties and then gave staff wide lattitude; leader of public opinion .
Pres. Clinton good communicator; pursued liberal/centrist policies.
Pres. G.W. Bush tightly run White House; agenda became dominated by foreign affairs following the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Veto Power Veto message sent within ten days of the bill's passage. Pocket veto (only before congress adjourns at the end of its second sesson) Congress rarely overrides vetoes. President does not hold line-item beto power.
The President's Program Resources in developing a program include interest groups, aides and campaign advisers, federal dept's and agencies, and various specialists. Constraints include public and congressional reactions, limited time and attention, and unexpected criseses.
Presidential Transition Only 14 of 41 presidents hav served two full terms. 8 vice presidents have taken office upon the death of a president.
The Vice President Prior to 2000, only 5 V.P.'s won the presidency in an election without having first entered the office as a resutl of their Pres. death. The V.P. presides over Senate and votes in case of tie.
The 25th ammendment (1967) Allows V.P. to serve as acting president if president is disabled. Illness is decided by president, by V.P., and cabinet, or by 2/3 vote of congress. The new V.P. must be confirmed bya majority vote of both houses.
Impeachment Indictment by the House, conviction by the Sentate. Presidential e.g.: Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton. Neither Johnson or Clinton was convicted by Senate.
Constraints on the President Both the president and the congress are more contrained today due to: complexity of issues, scutiny of the media, greater number and power of interest groups.
Created by: Vail86
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