Presidential Election

Presentation / Essay (Pre-University), 2001

5 Pages, Grade: 13 Points

Free online reading

The Presidents Election

The Presidents Election

- office of President of the US is one of the most powerful in the world
- president, the Constitution says, must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed"

Qualification for Presidency

President must be:

- a native born American citizen
- at least 35 years of age
- a resident of the USA for at least 14 years
- in practice Presidents in USA usually have been white male Protestants
- Jesse Jackson - 1st black politician to candidate for Presidential position 1984 + 1988
- John F. Kennedy (1960) - 1st Roman Catholic to become President
- Candidates often Vice-Presidents (Johnson, Bush) or state governors (e.g. Carter, Reagan, Clinton)

Term of Office

- is elected every four years
- can hold office for 2 terms only
- is elected by voters through Electoral College - name given to group of 538 Presidential electors who cast the official votes for President

Powers of the President

- US is presidential democracy, i.e. President combines ceremonial functions of West German President or British Queen with political powers of Prime Minister

Chief functions:

1. head of state

2. head of government or Chief Executive

- proposes laws and government programs to Congress;
- appoints federal judges with the consent of Congress;
- keeps Congress informed about the state of the nation and the economy;
- prepares the federal government's budget;
- must approve of all bills passed by Congress ; but can veto legislation; presidential veto can only be overruled by a two-thirds majority of Congress;
- conducts American's foreign policy;

3. Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces:

- can send US forces into any part of the world, which sometimes involves the risk of war,

but only Congress has the Power to declare war;

4. Leader of his own party

- to grant pardons for offenses against the US

Main Features of Presidential Government

- US system offers special characteristics
- President: head of state + head of government
- Executive branch formed by the President alone;

US Cabinet not responsible to Congress, but individually to President

- President - only responsible to Constitution
- No possibility to dissolve Congress
- US President cannot count upon the automatic support of congress, even if his own party is in the majority

The Path to the US Presidency

Who can vote?

- any citizen at least 18 years of age
- each state - own voting laws and practices

What are primaries and caucuses?

- nominating processes, most of which take place between February and June of the election year
- Primaries - one-day statewide elections
- Caucuses - informal local meetings where party members choose delegates
- In both - voters are actually choosing delegates who will go on to the party's national convention and vote for a presidential candidate

What is a national convention?

- in July or August of election year Republican and Democratic Parties hold their national conventions
- conventions last four days,
- filled with speeches and other forms of political publicity
- during these conventions - presidential candidate for each party is officially announced
- around 1st Monday in September(Labor Day) - presidential candidates start an intensified campaigning tour around the country that will continue until the general election in November

What happens during the general election?

- election day is the Tuesday following the 1st Monday in November - this year: 07.11.2000
- voters taking part in an indirect process, as they are really selecting the members of the Electoral College, who are called electors
- voters expect that the chosen electors will vote for a certain candidate

What function does the Electoral College play?

- it is the electors who actually vote a president and vice president into office
- number of electoral votes each state has its equal to the total number of its Congress members
- December - each elector casts one vote for a presidential candidate
- Results are declared on January 6
- Presidential candidate who wins the majority of the total electoral votes (270 out of 538) becomes president

When does a president take office?

- newly elected president and vice president are always sworn into office on January 20 following November election


- $200,000 plus $50,000 allowance for expenses, and ou to $100,000 tax-free for travel and official entertainment

George W. Bush

- successor of Bill Clinton as US-President could call like his predecessor : George Bush
- son of 41. President wants to move in white house
- for it give up job as governor of Texas
- in his state Texas: more people execute than in other confederations
- has a lack of federal- and world political experience
- wants to bring back "dignity" to Oval Office
- in young life: alcoholic, and get experience with drugs
- his opinion. Many years ago
- distribute successful near to the nation in his election campaign
- 1st 40 years of life he emulate his father
- fail on oil business of father, but took money and fame for partner of a basketball-club "Texas Rangers"
- like republican-idol he care little for details
- when he was young man, he didn't belonging to those, where others said, that he would move in the White House some day

Al Gore

- after 8 years in the same job he will could promote - or the leave from 1st rank of world policy
- it is not 1st attack of the former senator from Tennessee in the south of USA
- 1988 son of influential senator candidated for democratic president candidacy
- had to dismiss against Michael Dukakis
- private affairs he didn't have
- married since 1970 with wife Tipper
- 4 children
- model family life
- since 4. July 1999 - grandfather
- has all necessary conditions to be US-President, but has an image-problem
- is valid as clumsy, also perfect speaker , but could seldom taken away his audience
- today he looks more relaxed, more spontaneous and more funny

Topical events around the election

- 2 days before election in USA candidates George W. Bush, republican, and Al Gore, democratic, were nearly one the same position
- Bush 47% of votes, Gore 46% of votes
- Election this year valid as the most exiting since 1960 - same was 1960 democratic John F. Kennedy against Republican Richard Nixon
- Topical election - end was open in altogether 12 states
- After eddy around passing arrest of Bush because of driving with alcohol 1976 media had banners to write
- More than 1 week after election USA has no new President
- now courts responsible
- secretary of the Interior(Innenministerin) said: result will certain on Saturday
- after result in other states Gore got more than 255 , Bush more than 246 votes
- republican suspect, that hands count could be an advantage for Al Gore

confusion of one of most important state office goes on

5 of 5 pages


Presidential Election
13 Points
Catalog Number
File size
356 KB
Presidential, Election
Quote paper
Silva Koch (Author), 2001, Presidential Election, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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