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Presidential Powers R. Neustadt

By degetzelus May 20, 2012 2013 Words
Neustadt: Presidential power

In Brief

Key Point: "Presidential power is the power to persuade." (11) Presidents are expected to do much more than their authority allows them to do. Persuasion and bargaining are the means that presidents use to influence policy. Not only do presidents need to bargain to influence other branches of government (particularly Congress), but presidents also must bargain to influence the executive branch itself; cabinet secretaries, agency heads, and individual bureaucrats all have leverage that they can use against the president, requiring presidents to persuade even the executive branch, not merely command it. Neustadt’s conclusion is a good summary:

"Effective influence for the man in the White House stems from three related sources: first are the bargaining advantages inherent in his job with which to persuade other men that what he wants of them is what their own responsibilities require them to do. Second are the expectations of those other men regarding his ability and will to use the various advantages they think he has. Third are those men's estimates of how his public views him and of how their publics may view them if they do what he wants. In short, his power is the product of his vantage points in government, together with his reputation in the Washington community and his prestige outside. "A President, himself, affects the flow of power from these sources, though whether they flow freely or run dry he never will decide alone. He makes his personal impact by the things he says and does. Accordingly, his choices of what he should say and do, and how and when, are his means to conserve and tap the sources of his power. Alternatively, choices are the means by which he dissipates his power. The outcome, case by case, will often turn on whether he perceives his risk in power terms and takes account of what he sees before he makes his choice. A President is so uniquely situated and his power so bound up with the uniqueness of his place, that he can count on no one else to be perceptive for him" (150). Place in the Literature

Like Madison (1787), #10 and Truman (1951), Neustadt uses a pluralist view to understand politics. In the pluralist world, competing factions mobilize and counter-mobilize, persuading and arguing until policy ultimately arrives at what the typical citizen would want. (For critiques of pluralism, see the summary of Truman.) Kernell (1997) later argued that presidents have shifted from Neustadt's bargaining model to a more confrontational tactic that he calls "going public."

Presidents must persuade/bargain, not command

The president's primary power is to persuade and bargain, not to command. When a president has to resort to commanding people, he is showing weakness. Commands only work in very special circumstances. "The essence of a President's persuasive task is to convince such men that what the White House wants of them is what they ought to do for their sake and on their authority" (30). Shared, not separated powers

The American system is one of shared, not separated; powers (see Madison 1787, #51). The president is only one of several masters of the bureaucracy, and even the White House staff has independent sources of power (34-6). People in all positions cannot do much without persuading others to help them, and this applies even to the president. However, more people need favors from the president than from any other person. This gives the president bargaining power. President's sources of power

The president's resources include the bargaining powers that come with the position, professional reputation, and public prestige. The president's professional reputation involves how others expect him to react. Isolated failures are not a problem, but if the failures form a pattern, this will weaken him. In addition to anticipating what the president wants, others also have to assess how hard he will try to get it. Tenacity is important. If a president cannot convince others that he will inevitably win, at least he needs to convince them that it will be costly to cross him. You can't punish everyone, but you need to selectively punish your enemies and reward your allies. Public prestige deals with the president's popular support outside Washington. (With reputation, people anticipate the reactions of the president; with prestige, they anticipate the reactions of the voters.) Most politicians and bureaucrats do not watch poll numbers directly; they watch Congress. Prestige conveys leeway because low prestige encourages resistance. The president must safeguard his power personally. No one else sees politics from the same vantage point, and so no one else can do this for him. Everyone else has the institutional pulls of their position tinting their judgment. "Yet nobody and nothing helps a President to see, save as he helps himself" (127).

Executive bargaining
When the president needs to do something entirely within the executive branch, his power may be weak. After all, agency heads must think about Congress, their clients, their staff, and themselves in addition to the president. Agency heads have been delegated enough authority that they can have substantial influence over policy. Their power is almost equal to the president's, at least within their policy realm. Even though agency heads nominally belong to the executive branch, the president may actually have less influence over them than their other principals. Thus, since the president has less power over them, he cannot bargain as effectively to get them to do what he wants--and getting what he wants always requires bargaining and persuasion, not simple commanding. Congressional bargaining

When bargaining with Congress, on the other hand, Congress needs the president to do certain things: submit a nomination, sign a bill, etc. Oddly enough, the president sometimes has a stronger hand persuading Congress than persuading agency heads within the executive branch. The president's increased power gives him an increased ability to persuade and bargain. Failing to go along with a president can be damaging to members of Congress if the president is popular.

1. The Powers of the President
2. First, some background…
3. The President and Executive Branch What is the main job of the president? Generally, the job of the President (and the Executive branch) is to……“Take care that the laws be faithfully executed” (carried out, enforced) Ex. Branch enforces laws, treaties and court decisions 4. Powers of the President, The president is given several powers in Article II of the Constitution to help him perform these duties. 5. Presidential Powers can be grouped into 5 categories…Executive powers Diplomatic powers Legislative powers Military powers judicial powers 6. Additionally, Presidential powers can be one of two types:“Expressed”:Directly stated in the Constitution “Implied” Not directly stated, but “created” by the president to help him do his job “Uphold Constitution, preserve and defend United States “Based on vague language in Article II… 7. Appointment power who can the president appoint to the executive branch? Who must approve? Is this power expressed or implied? **Prez/VP only elected members of Ex. Branch 8. Executive Orders “Presidential rules that have the force of law “Must be constitutional and agree with current law “Implied” Power Example: President Bush used an executive order to set up a wiretapping program to catch terrorists after September 11th, 2001. 9. Executive Privilege “Right of the President to withhold information from the courts, Congress or the public “Most often used when secrecy is needed (wartime, national security, etc.) “Implied “power that has been limited by judicial review**One well-known example deals with President Nixon 10. Treaties/Executive agreements Presidents can negotiate treaties and executive agreements On issues such as peace, disarmament, trade, or immigration Treaties = “agreements with other nations that require Senate approval (2/3rds)” (EXPRESSED)Executive agreements = agreement between heads of state (does not require Senate approval) (IMPLIED)**Why would a president use an executive agreement instead of a treaty? 11. Appointing ambassadors/diplomats Presidents have the power to appoint those who work in/with foreign nations “Expressed” power Subject to Senate approval (2/3rds)**Why might the Senate, especially after the elections of 2006, be very picky in who it confirms to these positions? 12. Recall these pictures…What might they have in common?

13. Mahmud Abbas Palestinian Authority Kim Jong-Il North Korea Fidel Castro – Cuba King Wang chuck – Bhutan the island of Taiwan What’s the connection? 14. Presidential Diplomatic Powers 400The common connection between the leaders/nations of Bhutan, Cuba, North Korea, Taiwan and the Palestinian territories…A: What is these are 5 “nations” whose governments are not currently recognized by the United States?S2C13 Jeopardy Review 15. Recognition what is recognition**Can be used to express approval or disapproval of a nation’s actions 16. Sanctions In addition to refusing to recognize a country’s government, the president may choose to place sanctions on a nation…Sanctions: Rules or actions that restrict trade, finances, or travel with another country as a punishment for its actions…“Implied” power…The new US sanctions against Iran are a good example of the use of this power. 17. State of the Union Address When does it take place? Who watches the speech? What is the purpose? 18. State of the Union Address This is how the president can have an effect on laws at the beginning of the lawmaking process…He can also have an even larger impact on laws at the end of the process by using… 19. The “Veto” (“I object”) The President not only makes suggestions for laws, but also has the (almost) final say in whether a bill passes…All bills which pass Congress end up on his desk…He has 3 options…He can sign it (becomes law), do nothing, or veto it…A veto means the bill is sent back to Congress with the president’s objections. What option does Congress have when a president vetoes their bill? 20. Military Powers what does it mean to be chief? “Directs the armed forces” What does it mean to..?Should we stay in Afghan? 21. Article II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution gives the President the right to grant…Pardons what are pardons? Reprieves how is a reprieve different? 22. Examples**Many presidents have used this power during their terms…presidents average around 400 pardons per term…Gerald Ford granted a pardon to Richard Nixon for anything he might have done during the Watergate scandal… George Bush Sr. pardoned 5 officials involved in the Iran-Contra scandal. Bill Clinton issued 395 pardons…140 of which were granted on the last day of his term in office. 23. Amnesty “What is amnesty? Should amnesty be given to illegal immigrants? What about people who owe taxes if they agree to pay? 24. Review1) what is executive privilege? 2) What is the difference between a treaty and an executive agreement? 3) When a president accepts or approves another country’s government, it is called…4) what is a veto? 5) What are the two parts of the War Powers Act? 6) What is the difference between a pardon and a reprieve? 25. Choose a question and answer it on your FrontPage sheet…Should US soldiers be permitted to use forms of torture against prisoners of war? What is the most important need facing this country this year? Should the US invade Iran if that nation tries to make nuclear weapons, or should we try to deal with them diplomatically? Should there be a law that provides health insurance to all American children under the age of 18? Should the government be able to randomly listen in on your cell conversations or read your email? Should illegal aliens (immigrants) already in this country be allowed a path to become citizens? Should the president be given as much power as possible to fight the war on terrorism?

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