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Presidential Readings

Name________________________

Read the two articles under Presidency on Blackboard/Class Materials and answer the
following questions.
Neustadt: Presidential Power and the Modern President
1.

To what degree do you agree with the following statement:


powers are no guarantee of power; clerkship is no guarantee of
leadership? Give two examples of your own.
I agree with that statement; just because you have power doesn't
mean you can exercise it easily. Also, just because a person
specializes in a certain area, it does not guarantee their leadership
in that area. For example, the principal has powers but they are
limited. He can't kick a student out without a valid reason or
assign a student to detention. The principal's powers are limited
despite him being the most powerful man in our school. Another
example is the committee leaders in congress, if you have been in
congress longer, but another person has been on the committee
longer than you have then the person that has been on the
committee longer will be the committee leader.

2.

What do incoming Presidents discover about the power of the


presidency? Where do these powers come from?
When presidents come into office, the first thing they discover is
the power to persuade is key to the presidency. These powers
come from the people and the president.

3.

Why are the Constitutional mandated powers not strong enough


for the executive branch?
Theyarenotenoughbecausedespitehisextraordinarystatus,asthegovernment
growsthepresidentsneedforpoweralsogrowsleadingtoaneedformorepowers
granted.

4.

What is Neustadts take on the concept of separation of powers?


Do you agree with him? What evidence does he give?
The separateness of institutions and the sharing of authority
prescribe the terms on which a president persuades. The president
turns to others, regardless o the mode, he is dependent of their
knowledge, judgment, and good will. Neustadt prefers presidents
to be more skeptical than trustful, more curious than committed,
more nearly Roosevelts than Reagans.

Distinguish between command and persuade. How does this


related to presidential power?
The difference is that command it more forced and noticeable,
persuasion relies on a person's ability to mentally take over
someone's brain.
5.

What advantages does a President have in dealing with others in


government?
Presidents such as bush have found the role of superpower
sovereign beguiling: personal responsibility at once direct and
high, issues at once gripping and arcane, opposite numbers
frequently Intriguing and well-manners, acclaim by foreign
audiences echoing well at home.

6.

What power is the result of all this "persuasion"?


TheessenceofaPresident'spersuasivetaskistoconvincesuchmenthatwhatthe
WhiteHousewantsofthemiswhattheyoughttodofortheirsakeandontheir
authority.Persuasivepower,thusdefined,amountstomorethancharmorreasoned
argument.ThesehavetheirusesforaPresident,butthesearenotthewholeofhis
resources.Fortheindividualshewouldinducetodowhathewantsdoneontheir
ownresponsibilitywillneedorfearsomeactsbyhimonhisresponsibility.Ifthey
sharehisauthority,hehassomeshareintheirs.Presidential"powers"maybe
inconclusivewhenaPresidentcommands,butalwaysremainrelevantashe
persuades.

Cairo:ImperialPresidencyTriumphant
1. Whatisunilateraldecisionmaking?
Makingaonesideddecision,withoutconsultantfromtheothergroup.
2. AccordingtoCairo,whatinstitutiondidtheFoundersintendtohaveprimacyin
militarymatters?Why?
Theconstitutionalambiguityofwarpowershasproducedtensionbetweenthe
executiveandlegislativebranches.TheClintonandGeorgeW.Bushadministrations
haveabusedthepresidentialpowerintheuseofforceandexacerbatedthealready
existingtension.Theframerswerereallyambiguousaboutmilitarymattersbecause
theywantedtokeepthenotionofchecksandbalances.

HowhastheUnitedNationsbeenusedbymodernpresidentstosupport/justifymilitary
intervention.DiscusseitherBillClintonorG.W.Bushandhowtheyaccomplishedthis.
WellGeorgeW.BushledthewaronterrorisminIraqandAfghanistanafterthe9/11
attacks.TheBushadministrationpushedtheboundariesonpresidentialuseofforceand
threatenstheconstitutionalbalancebetweentheexecutiveandlegislativebranches.
3. ExplaintheBushdoctrine.
Itdescribesvariousforeignpolicyprinciplesofthe43rdpresident.After9/11the
phrasedescribedthepolicy that the US had the right to secure itself against counties
that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups. This one particular principle, which is the
most controversial of all, was used to promote the spread of democracy around the
world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating terrorism; and a
willingness to unilaterally pursue U.S. military interests.
4. HowhavetheAmericanpeopleacceptedPresidents,unilateralusesofforceoversees
inthelasttwentyyears.Explain.
Somepeopleareagainstit,mostlyliberalsareagainstthepresidentsuseofmilitary
forceoverseas.
5. HasObamaspresidencybeenimperialeitherinitsexecutionofdomesticor
foreignpolicy.Explainyourrationale.
Ibelieveboth,butObamasmostsignificantroleishealthcare,soIbelievedomestic.
Thepresidentalsoistryingtoendthewaronterrorismbypullingsoldiersoutofthe
middleeast.

*AdaptedfromA.Serow,&Ladd,E.(2007)TheLanahanReadingsintheAmericanPolity.
Baltimore:LanahanPublishers