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A Challenge of Democracy: Government in America: Chapter 12: The Presidency

Powers of the President

1. Act as administrative head of nation
2. Serve as commander in chief to military.
3. Convene Congress
4. Veto legislation (congress can override)
5. Appoint top officials.
6. Make treaties (with approval of Senate)
7. Grant pardons

Inherent Powers

authority claimed by the Present that is not clearly stated in the Constitution. Congress then and the courts either acquiesce to his claim or restrict it.

Delegation of Powers

the process by which Congress give the executive branch the additional authority needed to address new problems; not necessarily permanent.

Executive Office of the President

the president's executive aides and their staffs; the extended White House executive establishment. [ie. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Council of Economic Advisers]

Example of competitive management style

Franklin Roosevelt - his advisers had overlapping authority and differing points of view. Used this system to ensure that he would get the best possible information, hear all sides of an argument and still be the final decision maker in any dispute.

Example of hierarchical staff model

Dwight Eisenhower - arranged with clear lines of authority and hierarchical structure that mirror military command

Example of collegial staffing arrangement

Bill Clinton - a loose staff structure that gave many top staffers direct access to him


refer to situations in which staffers reach consensus without properly considering all sides of an issue.


is composed of the heads of the departments of the executive branch and a small number of other key officials (ie. OMB and the ambassador to the UN); has expanded greatly since George Washington; in theory they are an advisory body that meets with the president to debate major policy decisions.

"Presidential power is the ______ __ _________.

(power to persuade) - "" Richard Neustadt in Presidential Power. A presidents resources depend on others' cooperation to get things done.

Divided government

the situation that occurs when one party controls Congress and the other party controls the presidency.


a situation in which the government is incapable of acting on important policy issues.

Electoral mandate

an endorsement by voters.

Legislative liaison staff

the communications link between the white House and Congress.

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