Chapter 13: The Presidents

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ceremonial head of government
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chief of state
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enforces the law
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chief executive
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directs administration of 2.7 million civilian employees
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chief administrator
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leader of armed forces
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commander-in-chief
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leader of foreign policy
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chief diplomat
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signs bills into law/veto power
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chief legislator
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leader of political party
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chief of party
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moral leader
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chief citizen
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What are the three Constitutional requirements to become President?
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1. Must be a natural born U.S. citizen 2. Must be at least 35 years old 3. Must have lived in the United States for 14 years
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How did the 22nd amendment limit presidential terms?
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2 terms OR 10 years in office
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Who determines the President’s salary?
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Congress
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True or False? Originally, the Constitution did not provide for the succession of the Vice President.
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True
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What does the 25th amendment state?
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Vice President after the President for succession
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Who is next in line of succession after the Vice President?
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Congress
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Sections 3 and 4 of the 25th amendment fill the disability gap. Explain
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when the president needs a leave, it must go through approval
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What are the two Constitutional duties of the Vice President?
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1. Provide over Senate 2. Help determine presidential effectiveness
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Why do candidates “balance the ticket”?
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to boost their approval
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What is the original intent of the Electoral College?
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It was meant as a safeguard from the uninformed voter
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What were the early flaws of the Electoral College?
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-the president and the VP could be from different parties -12th amendment helped to fix that
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How many votes from the electoral college are required to win?
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-270 out of 538
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Explain how the electors are chosen.
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-number each state has is based on the number of people elected in Congress -no state has fewer than three
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Who decides who becomes president in the case of there being a tie or no majority?
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the House
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What are the flaws of the Electoral College overall?
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-winner take all -winner of popular vote could lose -people feel their vote doesn’t count -states left out
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What are the reform plans for the Electoral College?
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-direct election -district -proportional -national popular vote
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Why have some Presidents called for the repeal of the 22nd amendment?
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it is undemocratic and places an unreasonable limit on the people’s right to decide who should be president
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How much does the President make each year?
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-$400,000
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How much is the President allowed in expenses each year?
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$50,000
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scheme by which a presidential vacancy is filled
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Presidential succession
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Who was the first VP to succeed to office?
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John Tyler
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law specifying the order of presidential succession following the Vice President
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Presidential Succession Act of 1947
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Who succeeds after the Vice President?
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-speaker of the house -President pro tempore of the Senate -secretary of state -then by the cabinet members in the order that their offices were created
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In the disability of the President, when is the Vice President to become acting President?
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-the president informs Congress, in writing that he cannot do it -the VP & a majority of the members of the Cabinet inform Congress, in writing, that the President cannot do it
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When disabled, how can the President return to his duties?
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When he informs Congress by “written declaration” the the is okay
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when a presidential candidate chooses a running mate who can strengthen his chance of being elected by virtue of certain ideological, geographic, racial, ethnic, gender, or other characteristics
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balance the ticket
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Who has been seen as the most influential occupant of the vice presidency?
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Dick Cheney
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Why are Presidents wary of making the VP an assistant president?
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they cannot fire him
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When the vice presidency is vacated, how is it filled again?
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President nominates someone, and both houses of Congress must give their approval
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a person elected by the voters to represent them in making a formal selection of the vice president and president
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presidential elector
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votes cast by electors in the electoral college
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electoral votes
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Once selected, the electors would each cast WHAT?
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two electoral votes EACH for a different candidate
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group of persons chosen in each State and the District of Columbia every four years who make a formal selection of the President and Vice President
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electoral college
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When did the system of the electoral college/votes break down?
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the election of 1800
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The spectacular election of 1800 marked the introduction of three new elements into the process of selecting a President:
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1. Party nominations for the presidency and vice presidency 2. Nominations of candidates for presidential electors in the States who pledged to vote for their party’s presidential ticket 3. automatic casting of the electoral votes in line with those pledges
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What did the Election of 1800 ULTIMATELY produce?
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12th amendment
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this is an all-out effort to win the votes of the American people
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presidential campaign
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organized chaos dominator of the news these work to show a candidate’s standard bearers in the best possible light and, with negative jabs, to undercut the claims of the opposition
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campaign
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members of the electorate who have not made up their mind at the start of a campaign and are open to persuasion by either side
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swing voters
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What states does the President target?
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battleground states
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states in which the outcome of an election is too close to call and either candidate could win
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battleground states
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What is concentrated into the battleground states?
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a candidate’s -organizational efforts -campaign funds -candidate appearances
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WHEN does the presidential campaign come to an end?
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election day
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The president is not formally elected until when?
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the presidential electors’ votes are cast and counted, several weeks later
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Is the behavior of the electors the same as what the Framers wanted it to be?
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NO
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Why Is the behavior of the electors the same as what the Framers wanted it to be?
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they were expected to vote how they wanted to vote, and now they mainly vote on how the people want…automatically for their party’s candidates for President and VP
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How are electors chosen?
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by popular vote on the same day everywhere
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What does it mean for the electors to be chosen at large?
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they are chosen on a winner-take-all basis the presidential candidate, who receives the largest number of popular votes in a state regularly wins al of that State’s electoral votes
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When & Where do the electors cast their votes?
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Monday after the first Wednesday in December their own respective state capitals
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How many votes do the electors get?
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2 one for president one for vice president
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Where do the ballots of the electors go after they are cast?
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signed and sealed by registered mail to the President of the Senate in Washington
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When does the formal election of the President and the VP actually take place?
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early january
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In early January, what does the President of the Senate do?
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-takes and counts the electoral votes from each state -counts them before a joint session of Congress
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When has there been a time when no candidate has won a majority?
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-1800 -1824
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What are the three major defects in the electoral college?
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1. The winner of the popular vote is not guaranteed the presidency 2. electors are not required to vote in accord with the popular vote 3. any election might have to be decided by the House of Representatives
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What are the two dangers that could result in the president not winning the popular vote?
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1. winner-take-all 2. the way the electoral votes are distributed among the states *the distribution of electoral votes among the states does not match the facts of population and voter distribution
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When has the popular voted president failed to win the election?
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-1824 -1876 -1888 -2000
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Does anything in the Constitution require the electors to vote for the candidate favored by the popular vote in their states?
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NO
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Has there been a case of a “faithless elector”?
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NO but the potential is there
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Why is the House choosing the President a bad idea?
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-The bigger states have more people, so their votes would count more -If a state could not decide on a majority, that state would lose its vote -the majority is 26 votes, and in independent can take away from this majority, causing there to be no majority, and no president
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proposal for choosing presidential electors by which two electors would be selected in each State according to the Statewide popular vote and the other electors would be selected separately in each of the State’ congressional districts
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district plan
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proposal by which each presidential candidate would receive the same share of a State’s electoral vote as he or she received in the State’s popular vote
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proportional plan
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In their basic forms, these two plans would not require a constitutional amendment.
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district proportional
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What does the district scheme prevent?
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the weighing of all votes equally
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This plan does a better job of weighing popular votes equally
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proportional
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proposal to do away with the electoral college and allow the people to vote directly for President and Vice President
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direct popular election
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What obstacles stand in the way of direct popular election for president?
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-constitutional amendment -would get rid of the advantage of the smaller states -weaken federal system because the states would lose their role in the choice of a president -candidates would have to campaign everywhere -spur voter fraud -would take power away from strong voting districts
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proposal for electing the President whereby each State’s election laws would provide for all of the state’s electoral votes to be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote and enter into an interstate compact agreeing to elect the President by national popular vote
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national popular vote plan
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The national popular vote plan calls upon each State’s lawmaking body to
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1. amend state election laws to provide that all of a state’s electoral votes are to be awarded to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote 2. enter into an interstate compact, to elect the president by popular vote
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the only reform plan to attract any significant public attention
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national popular vote plan
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Why is the national popular vote plan popular?
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1. it appears to satisfy the major objections that have been raised to the electoral college as it currently operates 2. it does so without the need for an amendment to the Constitution
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How do support of the electoral college argue?
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1. It is a known process. 2. it notifies the nation of their president promptly, they are never really left wondering 3. helps to promote the two-party system

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