FSU POS 4413 - The American Presidency (POS 4413) Study Guide

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The American Presidency (POS 4413) Study Guide:I. Studying the Presidencya. Goals Of social science – difficulties in building theories about the Presidency • Development and testing of theory• Theory= generalized explanation for the behavior or outcome of interest• Hypothesis= tentative statement or educated guess that follows a theory• Theory  Hypothesis  Test with data• Difficulties: Decision making process are closed  Fewer sources (and all (or at least most) share goal of advancing president and his/her agenda) Quantative data? Small “N” problem Only 13 “modern presidents”b. How do we learn about presidencies and what kinds of info/data are available?• Presidential election data• Approval ratings• Success rates in Congress• Veto data • Judicial appointment datac. What factors make study of the Presidency difficult from social science perspective?• King Argues: “We need much less inclusive and more specific theoretical concepts – a few precise or even incorrect theories would serve discipline better.”• Need for parsimonious explanations (explain the most with the least) • Studying individual presidents or perhaps even using the president as the unit of analysis wont take us far – in terms of building theory.II. Presidential Leadership and Conceptions / Models of the Presidencya. Theories of Presidential power: • Constitutional/ Strict Constructionist = (inconsistent with “modern president” – Taft: President powers limited to those explicitly listed in constitution of granted by Congress• Stewardship = (T. Roosevelt) President can do anything not forbidden by the constitution or by congressional laws.• Prerogative = (Lincoln) President can do not only those things that aren’t forbidden, but also those things that are explicitly forbidden when in national interest. “Constitutional Dictator” b. Brief historical overview of growth of the office into the modern presidency:• Americans were accustomed to presidents with active domestic policy agendas – expand gov’t programs or contract them. Changed 19th century with rise of progressive movement. FDR “Hundred Days” (Great Depression & WWII). Congress passed 15 major laws that transformed the role of the federal gov’t in the economy. Recovery from the Depression.c. Roles of the modern president (Rosstier’s discussion of constitutional and extra constitutional roles):• Constitutional Powers:  Chief of State – ceremonial/symbolic Chief Executive – Chief administrator Chief legislator Chief Diplomat  Commander –in- chief• Extra Constitutional Roles: Chief of political power Manager of the economy  Voice of the people – (Public Presidency- Wilson) Protector of Peace World Leaderd. Evolution in conceptions/models of the modern presidency (Nelson’s 2 Questions):• 2 Questions:  How “strong” is the presidency (empirical question)? Is the presidential strength “good” or “bad”?• Savior Model: (Heroic, superman, or textbook model) (1940s -1960s)  Preference for activist, liberal President  Implicit assumptions that the office will always be occupied by a “good man” Strengthen the presidency, benefit the country  Richard Newstadt (1960) – Presidential Power• Satan Model: ( Late 1960s –Early 1970s) “Imperial Presidency” Presidency is strong, which is dangerous  Product of Vietnam War and Watergate (LBJ & Nixon) Danger of pathological personality types in the White House• Samson Model: (Late 1970s) Weak Administration Product of Ford and Carter Growing gap between expectations and capacitye. Doctrine of the Unitary Executive: expansive view of executive powers vested in the President by Article II.• Article II opens: “The executive power shall be vested in A President of the United States of America.”f. Skowronek’s discussion of Presidential leadership in Political Time: • 5 Political Regime Eras:  Jeffersonian (1800-1828) Jacksonian (1828-1860) Republican (1860-1932) New Deal (1932-1980) Reagan (1980-???)• “Political Time” Sequence:  Politics of Reconstruction= (outsider/opponent and pre-existing regime vulnerable): Jefferson, Jackson, FDR, Reagana. Discontent with established order and through “realigning” election(s) – displace long established majority party from dominant position. Politics of Articulation=a. (“Insider”/Affiliate and regime resilient (e.g. LBJ and H.W. Bush) – most frequently occurring situation for presidents  Politics of preemption = (outsider/opponent and regime resilient) – (e.g. Wilson, Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton) – The “wildcards” of political history  Politics of Disjunction = (“inside”/affiliate and regime vulnerable) – (e.g. Hoover and Carter)a. Impossible leadership situation, dealing with breakdown of old regime with which they are affiliated (Carter dealing with breakdown of New Deal Democratic coalition and New Deal/ Great society “solutions”)III. Presidential Elections:a. Stages/Phases of (Modern) Presidential Selection Process:• Nomination & Election b. Modern Nomination Process:• Importance of McGovern-Fraser Commission= New guidelines for delegates selectiona. Improve “representatives” of delegatesb. “Open up” selection process to rank –and- file Roles of Primaries and Caucuses (and understanding of different types) a. Who can participate? = Open or closedb. How are delegates allocated? = Proportional or winner- take- allc. Democrats require proportional allocation with 15% thresholdd. Republicans allow winner-take-all (although an attempt to require proportional in 2012 for stats holding an early (primary/caucus)• Strategic Considerations and different strategies:  “Start Early” Lower expectations for yourself/raise them for your opponents  Project a positive candidate image 3 Status Based Strategies: a. 1) Non-Front-runner/Darkhorse: focus on Iowa and/or NH, and exceed expectations  Money, media, and momentum. b. 2) Front-runner strategy: have name recognition, $, and/or organization in place and survive any easily surprisesc. 3) Campaign as pulpit strategy: • Nomination Fundraising Approaches:  Conventional Path – (1976-2000) – focus on small individual contributors and accept “matching funds”a. How do you qualify? =

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FSU POS 4413 - The American Presidency (POS 4413) Study Guide

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