Lecture12 - Presidency-student

Lecture12 - Presidency-student - ThePresidency...

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The Presidency Matisoff POL - 1101
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Uniqueness of the American Presidency Popularly elected President is American invention Still, only 16 of 60 countries have popularly elected President Parliamentary system Often requires coalition in multi-party system Guarantees control of legislative branch – unitary system Presidents are often outsiders Pledge to clean up the mess in Washington Cabinet comes from outside of Congress Under Bush – largely campaign aides, representatives of major constituencies, or personal friends Under Obama – largely centrist governors, senators,
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Divided Government We have had divided government about 2/3 of the time, on average, since 1952 Currently do have divided government 2000; 2002 – 2006; 2008 – present – unitary
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Unified Government Unified governments under Kennedy Kennedy was frustrated about ability to get Congress to act: Civil rights; supply federal aid for school construction; creating HUD; establish program of medical care for elderly Congress only passed about ¼ of proposals Carter didn’t fare much better; only LBJ, Roosevelt were able to get majority to act Similarity to Obama
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Gridlock Americans (say that they) don’t like divided government, partisan bickering, or the gridlock that it leads to Does gridlock matter? Some political scientists argue that for important laws, unified vs. divided govt doesn’t matter Divided governments produced 1946 Marshall Plan; 1986 Tax Reform Act Unified government is a myth: diversity amongst conservative & liberal Democrats; northern & southern Republicans Government is generally not ideologically unified
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History of the Presidency Most states had President chosen by legislature
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Lecture12 - Presidency-student - ThePresidency...

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