Guided Questions over Chapter 1 2 (The Presidency)
In your opinion, does presidential background matter to the office of the presidency? If so, which aspects are most important? If it does not matter, why doesn't it matter?
What are least three different factors that have contributed to the expansion of presidential power over time? In what ways have these factors enabled expansion of presidential powers beyond the Founding Fathers' intentions? Do you think that these developments are for the better or worse? Why?
Briefly explain the make-up and function of the National Security Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Office of Management and Budget?
Does the president's cabinet serve as a "collective board of directors"? Explain your answer.
What are the primary constitutional tools available to presidents as chief legislators? Can you think of any changes that might be made to the Constitution to strengthen the president as chief legislator? How might this change help the president?
The president's ability to win congressional support is predicated on a handful of factors. Explain how three of these factors may help the president win congressional support. In what ways are these factors limited in assisting the president in the legislative arena? Which single factor do you think is most important for the president in Congress? Explain your answer.
Checks and balances and the separation of powers were central elements in the framing of the U.S. Constitution. Based on your understanding of the Constitution and foreign affairs, do you think the president and Congress act to uphold the separation of powers and checks and balances concerning foreign policy? Do you think that the president has usurped Congress' constitutional influence over foreign affairs and issues of war? If so, is this justified and what are some pros and cons for the U.S. government?
What are at least three different factors that influence a president's public approval ratings?
Based on your understanding of presidential—press relations, do you think that the Framers of the Constitution would be pleased with current news coverage of the presidency? Explain your answer.
What role has the presidency played in the expansion of the scope of government? In your opinion has the president worked more to expand or limit the role of the federal government? Explain your answer.