PS102 - April 27. THE PRESIDENCY
Did I identify in this class how I knew OJ Simpson killed Nicole? Numerically? No? It's amazing, in Jewish culture there's something called the Cabal, which is the study of numbers in the sense of understanding the mystery of life in the universe. They study numbers, and so when somebody showed me this it was absolutely convincing that OJ killed Nicole, but God was trying to tell us by numbers. So I need to show you this: 6-12-1994. That was the day Nicole Simpson was killed along with Ron Goldman. If you add up the numbers each one, six, each -- eight, nine, ten, 19, 28 they come to 32. And 32 is OJ Simpson's number. So this is as convincing an argument as anyone can make, and why am I doing this on the subject of the presidency?
Because done with numbers with the presidency with numbers do. One thing which didn't pan out in 1980 -- since 1840 every president who was elected on the 20th years died in office either naturally or assassinated. 1840, 1860, five years later Lincoln who was 1860, 1880 Garfield was elected
in the year 1900. McKinley was elected and he was killed in 1901. Harding was elected in 1920 and he died because his wife poisoned him, well that's the rumor anyway. No, not true that we know of. That's the rumor. In 1940 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected, he died. In 1960 John F. Kennedy was elected; he died. In 1980 Reagan was elected. He was scheduled to die, but he was dead already. :0)
No, what happened in 1980 is that they say that Reagan did not die in office because, this was a curse by the Indians against William Harrison in the American presidency because Harrison was an Indian killer. However they say that Reagan didn't die after being shot because he had Indian blood in him so they saved him. So the next death should come in the area, whoever is elected in the year 2000. Of natural causes. Just thought I'd keep you aware of that. Why from natural causes? Because somebody has calculated that.
(by student) Oh, stupid or what?
(by teacher) It's fun most of it was fun. But that's taxicab driver.
Every president who has been assassinated ,somebody figured that if you take the years that they became in office, and the year they were assassinated they add up to 36. Three six. Which is the sign of the devil, that's why they were assassinated. So I need to show you that just for the hell of it. You got to get something in that class
Who was the first president assassinated in office? Lincoln. He took office -- he got elected -- he took office in 1861 & was assassinated in 1865. 1+8+6+1+1+8+6+5-- gives you 36. The next president assassinated in office by a disgruntled office seeker was the one that brought out the Civil Service Act; what was his name? I mentioned it a couple of minutes ago too. Named after a pussy cat. Garfield. 1881 took office & assassinated in 1881. Equals 36. Whoever did this -- this is called numerology. It's supposed to tell you about how things are going to occur so that to be assassinated in office the president has to add up to 36. The years that Reagan were in office they wouldn't add up to 36. So that's how we knew he wouldn't die. Third president you said was McKinley. He took office in 1897 was assasinated in 1901. 36. And the last president assassinated, J.F.K. Took office 1961, was assassinated in 1963. Equals 36. All right. So somebody did a computer simulation for me and found out that the next president to be assassinated, if they could be assassinated, would be after the year 2060. I won't be alive to have this proven by then. However many of you will be because -- but you may not remember anything at that age. You'll be in your 80s. But for those of you who are alive, if a president is assasinated at that point and it adds up to 36 maybe you'll try and remember that you had this weird teacher who warned you with this, if you can remember even having gone to college at that time.
Q You saw the similarities between Lincoln and Kennedy, right?
A I saw that right after the assassination came out. Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln, and Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy. Kennedey's vice president's name was Johnson, Kennedy was for Lincoln. And it goes on, Lincoln was shot in a theater and the assassin was caught in a warehouse. Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin was caught in a theater. The night before Lincoln was assassinated he was in Monroe, Maryland, and the night before Kennedy was shot he was in Marilyn Monroe. Yeah so all of those similarities. That's what you're referring to
right, Jessica? Yeah. That wasn't on the thing. But -- okay.
Enough of the stupid introduction. Let's move onto serious elements of the presidency. Who knows what some of the requirements are to be president? What are some constitutional? Natural born citizen. They have to be born in the United States. Now we're not sure what that means because it's never been challenged. What about somebody who was born on an American air base overseas. The
candidate was a man named Barry Goldwater. Goldwater had been born in Arizona territory before it became a state. Some people questioned whether or not he could be elected president. However, he didn't get elected so there was no challenge to it.
What other qualifications? 35 years old. Why 35? They put 25 for house, 30 for the Senate, and 35 for the president. I guess they considered that fairly mature at that time. Of course 35 year olds are immature. 35 was! -- I think I mentioned this before -- the life expectancy at that time. When they talk about life expectancy, most deaths took place in the first two years of life. That's if you survived the first two years, you survived, but it's the first few years. Life expectancy today is 73 for a male and 77 for a female.
What's the third requirement to be president of the constitution, anybody know that one, if you did I'd be surprised. It's 14 years of residence. Meaning you had to have lived in the United States proper for 14 years. It doesn't say whether it's continuous or not. So you have to have been born an American citizen, you had to be here 14 years before you could run for president. Those are the constitutional requirements but there are some written requirements.
What are some of the unwritten requirements to be president? Anybody? All president's have been what? White. It's an unwritten requirement that somebody running for president is white. Does that mean a black man can't win the presidency? Let's say that up until recently the odds are against it. Could Colin Powell have a chance? Possibly. Maybe there's a chance in your lifetime for a black man to become president. But notice the word man and that's another requirement. We have had no female presidents that we know of. Well there was a female Pope that nobody new about in the 9th century, 10th century, 900s. She described her life throughout her life as a male. Sort of an interesting little side light so maybe one of our presidents was really female; which one?
Q (by student) England had a female president, right? I forget her name.
A England? You're talking about Margaret Thatcher, but that's not president. The prime minister.
When will we have a female president? Well I think now the odds are that in our lifetime at some point, what about the next election? I don't think Elizabeth Dole will get the nomination, but I do think that's a good point that Elizabeth Dole will go on the ballot as a vice presidential candidate because the republicans are hurting in the campaign to win women over to their vote. To vote for the republican party. Obviously if George Bush, whoever is elected president, dies in office she could become president. I do think that the first woman president or the first black president that we have will be a republican. Despite the fact that generally blacks and women have been voting democrat. Why? Because they're not as threatening as democratic women and blacks. Why are democratic women and blacks more threatening? Because they want change more readily where the republicans are generally more willing to go slow and therefore there's a better chance that the republicans will vote for a woman, for blacks, who is a republican.
What other requirements? Besides woman, I mean besides male, white. Married. All our president's have been married. That's right, except some that were widowers. They had been married previously. An unmarried person is still questioned in our society. And people will always raise the
questions of their sexual orientation. If they had not been married, this has been done of course numerous times with Jerry Brown to the extent that at one point he always made sure that he had Linda Ronstadt with him, and Koch in New York -- questions were raised. I think it's one thing to
win a state governorship, it's another thing to win a national presidency election. Married, we have only had one divorced president. He was divorced before he was president; who was that? Reagan. Yeah Reagan is the only president we had -- who was divorced. So again the stability of the "family" becomes part of the necessity, however what was interesting was that in the last
campaign for president, where Dole got the nomination, almost every one of the major candidates except for Buchanan had been divorced and the republicans were the ones that talked family values and here you had a bunch of people who were divorced.
Any other unwritten requirements? Religion. What religion? Well they have to have some sort of religion. Americans see themselves as a religious nation, but not only of being some religion, specifically every president has been Protestant. Except for J.F.K. He was the only catholic president. And there was a very vicious campaign. It's very hard to describe to you people
today, but if you lived in the Bible belt you would understand. Catholics are hated in the South of the United States even worse than Jews and that's because they see them as devil worshipers and they see the Pope as the leading devil, and they did argue throughout the South and other parts of our country that if Kennedy were elected, the Pope would run the country. And therefore, perhaps there's a better chance for a catholic to be elected. But the head of the Baptist church, southern Baptist church, millions of people made the statement that while it was okay for Jews to vote for who will govern them, that Jews should not be allowed to run for office because it's a Christian country and only Christians should rule. So when you have that kind of a statement coming out of a heavily southern religious background you can see why I will say without any question in my mind that we will not in your lifetime or my lifetime see a Jewish or Muslim or Hindu president. How could they light the Christmas tree? I mean anything's possible but this country still has not opened that door yet.
Of course immigration has made some dramatic changes, at least in California, and obviously the Islamic population here has grown dramatically and therefore it is possible in the future in California to possibly have a governor that is not Christian. We have two senators in California who were both Jewish, so California does not reflect the country by any means. However, the recent polls have shown that George Bush III would actually beat Al Gore in California. That's scaring the hell out of the democrats because California in the last election went overwhelmingly democrat. That is why I do believe, I don't like making political predictions because they're difficult to make, but I do believe Diane Feinstein is a possible candidate for the vice presidency. She is well-liked in California. She has been very successful in getting things for the state, and with that in mind, the democrats would probably make a wise choice. I know that they would like to put a candidate on the ballot from California. Gray Davis is another bland politician similar to Gore. I don't think they want somebody who is that bland having another bland president. Diane Feinstein is anything but bland. I think she's a very articulate person. Barbara Boxer is not quite liked by any means. So, yeah I do think that -- it will be interesting to see a debate between the vice presidential candidates, Elizabeth Dole versus Diane Feinstein. I think it's a very strong possibility. Again as I say politics is difficult to predict.
Another reality is that most have been elected in their 50s. Not true of all. The oldest president was -- God, time flies. You don't know who the oldest president was? Bush -- although old, was not the oldest. Who was older than Bush? Reagan. He got elected at 69. I think Bush was 68 last time and he left office at the age of 77. Then Dole -- he was 72 years of age and nobody seemed to make an issue of his age at that point. So age has become less of a factor than it used to be. The youngest elected? Kennedy was the youngest elected. He was not the youngest to serve as president. Teddy Roosevelt. He was 42. Kennedy was elected at 42, but became 43 in his presidency early. Again that means that Clinton was a fairly young man, comparatively, at 45, to be elected president. And he is now what? 51 or 52?
So speaking about Clinton, I was thinking about how he got hassled for the hamburgers and donuts and being overweight. At the most he probably weighed about 240, 6'1", which is overweight but not dramatically. Today I don't really think somebody who was obese could get elected. And who was obese? Taft. He weighed 350 pounds at the height of 6 foot. They had to build a special bathtub in the White House called the swimming pool. No. they really did. It's possible, you know, you never know in politics. The Mayor of Fremont is an extremely big man. I'm not sure if he's 350 pounds, but he's at least 300 at 6'5" but as a whole, the appearance today because of television is in
actual very major factor unless the person was charismatic.
Speaking about height, I think it will be very difficult today for an extremely short person to be elected president. Who was the shortest president? Well, we had two that were about the same height according to the books. One was James Madison the other one was Martin Van Buren.
5' 3". I think there would be too many. Everybody would be playing what's his name? Too short to live song. Randy Newman. Thanks. I knew one of these interpreters knew. They know more than everybody else. Then all you young kids and they're in their 30s. I figured if they're in their 30s, I'm in my forties.
Tallest president? Lincoln. Probably the thinnest, too. At 6'5" he probably weighed 170 pounds. The fascinating part about Lincoln is his sports were wrestling and weight lifting. He was very very wiry strength. You know strength doesn't come from muscles alone. In fact most of the strength comes from tendons and the ligaments attachments and that's why you see some very muscular people who were not extremely strong like Arnold Swartzenager, but well built. Where his training partner, which you guys don't know, I mean you know Arnold. He was far stronger then he was and he was 5'6" and weighed 170 pounds. Okay.
Presidents usually have a vice presidential candidate with them to balance the ticket. The strange election in 1992 where you had two candidates from the same part of the country, the South, both of the same age, 45 and 46, Gore and Clinton was very unusual. Usually if you're a young candidate you have an old vice president candidate. If you have a candidate from the West then the vice president is from the East. You want to balance out your ticket. And best example of that was the Kennedy election when they chose Johnson to be the vice president. They never got along. Kennedy did not like Lyndon Johnson, but it was a balancing of the ticket.
Well, that leads us to the power of the presidency. Obviously the main power of the presidency is spelled out and that's where we will spend most of your time dealing with the constitutional powers of the president. Yet, how those constitutional powers are carried out, to a large extent is based in the personality of the president, how they perform their leadership functions. So power from the
Constitution, power from personality, there is also power in the presidency from tradition. Many things that other presidents have done and asserted continues on for future presidents. So that's tradition. Then there's power in the presidency that comes from congressional legislation. Congress often gives the president extra powers. One such extra power given by the Congress to Clinton was taken away by the Supreme Court. It was declared unconstitutional. The Congress passed the
republican Congress in the hopes that they'd have a republican president. A line item veto. It was held by 43 state governors. What it did was it gives the president who is often thought of as America's ombudsman -- did I define it before the last exam? Well I think it's on this word
list. Once again it is a people's representative in Scandinavian countries. Somebody that represents the people. Why is the president America's ombudsman? He is the only person elected that represents everybody. Now again he's elected through an electoral college, but still from the whole country. Every other is elected to represent their own narrow districts. Their own narrow constituents. The president, his constituency is everybody. So even the president as the ombudsman, it was believed that if given the line item veto the president could get rid of the extra pork. By pork we're referring to the fat in the budget that goes to help each individual district.
In other words, they work things out. This district gets a dam, the other district gets a road, and both may be unnecessary. We refer to that as log rolling when the old story log rolling well, you vote for my bill, I'll vote for yours. Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Since the president doesn't really need to have one area, they believe that the president should have a right to cross out what he
considered to be the fat in the budget. Line item veto allowed the president to cross out section that governs a bill. Right now, the Constitution says the president has a veto. But that veto has been interpreted to mean that if the president vetoes a bill of 800 pages, because he doesn't like one line, the all 800 pages are dead. The line item veto would allow him to eliminate that one line. However,
Congress gave it to him with that intent, but they gave it to him only in budgetary issues. And the courts said that that was created a constitutional power that the president didn't have. Now maybe if they had given it to him as a line item veto for everything at that point it might have been okay. I'm not sure. It's still questionably, but by giving it to him for just line item vetoes it doesn't work.
Just for budget issues so it was declared unconstitutional. So again when the president vetoes something he has to veto the whole bill, not just one line. That's a power -- a kind of power that Congress can do. Sometimes it's constitutional, sometimes it's not.
The last power that the president has in a sense maybe not the last, but the last one I'm talking about is his power to be head of his political party. As head of his political party he can force the kinds of thing he wants because he can determine which people in the party want to get money for re election, who he's going to support, who he's going to go against. So the power of the political party, also to get the legislation introduced because he's not allowed to introduce legislation. Somebody in his party has to.
So to recap. The powers of president come from the Constitution. Comes from his personality. Comes from tradition. Comes from Congress, and also comes from his party. Do I need to recap again? One more time. Powers of the president comes from the Constitution, comes from his
personality. Comes from tradition, it comes from Congress and it comes from his political party. Constitution, personality, tradition, Congress, political party. First of all the Constitution is American CEO. It is a term used by corporations nowadays. Chief executive officer. The
president is the chief executive officer of the country. It is his job to carry out the law. As chief executive officer he has directly working for him about two and a half million government employees. Two and a half million people are under him. We call the people in the executive branch many times bureaucrats. They run the bureau. They run the agencies of government, but they report to their superior, who is supposed to report to the cabinet member, who is supposed to report to the president. He gets a salary of $200,000 a year. Now that's not a lot of money. For me it is, but it's not a lot of money considering the status that he has. Corporate leaders get more than that. In fact the president of Ohlone college gets about $125,000 a year. But no, corporate leaders get usually large sums of money, vice-presidents, president's. GM makes about $8 million a year. That's not counting stock bonuses. The president's salary has not changed in 30 years. Obviously all of you are aware of that basically he's got a lot of perks. He doesn't have to pay for anything. From food to house, it's all covered. Then of course there are donations of clothing given to him by some of the companies and there are also other kinds of goodies that he gets. Reagan was famous for his love of jelly bellies and the company, which I think is in Oakland, used to supply him for all his meetings. because all of a sudden here at Ohlone all of their administrators would have jelly bellies sort of passed onto a jelly belly world while Ronald Reagan was president.
They tried to give Bush broccoli, but he made some real nasty comment about broccoli. So he started dropping it off. Presidents do have a lot of -- well let's go back to Reagan. One -- Reagan was being criticized about having to know about money and not having to use it because everything
was paid for. So one day he created a photo taken with one of his advises. They had him go into a Hallmark store and buy his wife Nancy a Valentine's card and he made sure that the cameras saw him paying for it out of cash. I think funnier was the other day just a few weeks back Clinton was
in a store buying something. He pulled out his American Express card and it was no good anymore. It had expired. He never bothered to -- so he had to borrow money because he didn't have any from the secret service agent with him. But I think Visa missed a spot. They could have made a great
cartoon. Even the president can't use American express.
Could have been -- you know I guess they didn't want to play him too much. Does anybody remember that? I didn't see it. Those are the kinds of things that I enjoy the news about because I think they're a little fun stuff. Horrible stuff like this massacre, I can do without, but it's reality.
The president also gets perks when he leaves office. You saw the movie Guarding Tess some of you, the film Guarding Tess? That was about three years ago. In any case the president and his wife get secret service protection for the rest of their lives. Now I'm not sure that's a perk, but it's a reality. And of course the government pays millions of dollars. Children if they're under 18 also get
secret service protection which will be unusual for most presidents, but they're happening. The Kennedys certainly. The president gets a library when he leaves office not for him but for the public. They build a library wherever he wants it to be built which will house all his papers and information from his term in office, which costs millions of dollars. Most of it is kept by, well a part of it is an upkeep that's paid for by private donations. But most of it is paid for by government.
The president when he leaves office gets a secretary. Paid for by the government and it's the attitude is that he's going to have a lot of correspondence pertaining to the president and he needs somebody helping him in answering it and tied to answering the correspondence. The president gets free franking. He has franking privileges. Mailing. Postage. It's name after Benjamin Franklin, the first post master general.
The president has a lot of offers for speaking engagements which are well paid. President Reagan when he left office within a week or so spent a week in Japan which netted him two million dollars for a week's worth of speeches. Not too bad a deal including air fare. Probably cost the government about thirty million dollars a year because we now have four former president's still alive. Let's see, Bush, Reagan still alive, Ford, and Jimmy Carter, is that it? Yeah, I guess that's it.
The president is also, according to the Constitution, commander in chief of the armed forces. Commander in chief of the armed forces meant that all of the military personnel are under his command ultimately. There is probably a million and a half to two million people in the military in
this country. The president as commander in chief can -- does better said appoint all commissioned officers, all officers from second lieutenant and up are appointed by the president. With approval of the Senate. Not the House, not Congress, but the Senate. That tradition comes from England
where the King was not only the commander in chief or the queen. Now of the armed forces, but they also appointed the officers. As commander in chief he cannot declare war. He can ask for a declaration of war, but congress has the right, only right to declare war. Yet, he does have a right
to extend American forces into emergency situation to protect American lives and share or to meet our commitments. Meet our treaty commitments. There have been only five declared wars the president has sent troops into battle in which troops died over 200 times. And the biggest action of that nature was the Vietnam war which was not a war because it was not declared. Where 55 thousand Americans died, lost their lives, in battle. Obviously the most recent action taken by the president? Was the support of the NATOs position to send troops, not necessarily ground troops, but air troops and helicopter attacks into Serbia.
However, in 1973, congress upset about the Vietnam war not being a war, passed the War Powers Act. The war powers act. 1973 war powers act. It was passed actually over in Nixon's veto, but he passed it anyways because they were upset with the Vietnam situation. The attempt -- the War
Powers Act was an attempt by Congress to restore ability to declare war. Feeling that the -- had usurped that U.S. It has four provisions.
One, the president is supposed to consult with the congressional leaders. If the president is contemplating into sending troops into action the president is supposed to consult with the congressional leaders.
Two, if the president sends troops into action he must notify Congress within 40 hours that he has sent troops into action. Now the two kickers:
Three, if Congress does not declare war within sixty days, if Congress does not declare war in sixty
days, Congress can cutoff the funding. They may cutoff the funding if they do not declare war within sixty days. If war is not declared within ninety days all funding must be cut.
It is mandated they have no choice that they cannot fund the action if it's gone beyond ninety days if there's no declaration of war.
Presidents have not accepted it has really been an issue sometimes been debated but there hasn't been a large movement to challenged it. Presidents have sometimes ignored it, but they've never been up to the 60-day limit since Vietnam or the 90-day limit obviously. Yet I think what's going to happen in Serbia is that we will have fighting troops there to at least 60 to 90 days. I don't think this is going to end as Desert Storm did in 100 hours or something. I think it will test real strength of the War Powers Act. I don't think it's going to be enforced, in all candor I think it will go beyond 90 days. Congress will ignore it even though they passed it in '73 and say we're doing this through NATO and doesn't apply. They'll back away from their own war powers act and I think that next year I probably won't have to talk about it. It will be moot. Moot; it's meaningless. So it will be one subject I'll cut out, but right now it's still sitting there.
Any questions on the War Powers Act? The next major power of the president is within the legislative. Why president cannot introduce legislation? All legislation must come to the president and the president is given a veto. Meaning he has the ability to say I do not want this
legislation. If he decides to veto a bill, he has to say why and then that bill goes back to Congress. Congress has the right to override the veto with a 2/3 vote of the House and Senate. They can void the veto, but it takes 2/3. It is very difficult to get 2/3 to override a presidential veto even if the bill passed by more than 2/3. Many people don't want to upset the president. Historically, only four percent of presidential vetoes have been overturned. That mean 96% have been upheld. So the veto is a very powerful force. Just the threat of the veto gets Congress scrambling to see what they can do to workout with the president an acceptable piece of legislation that he will not veto. Recent years it's probably been a lower percentage even than the 4%.
When Bush was president he vetoed 36 bills in the four years that he was president. Of those 36 bills, 35 vetoes were sustained. Only one was overridden and the one that was overridden was during a period when Bush was a lame duck president. What do I mean by lame duck? Well it's when he's leaving office. He can't get reelected and so usually considered that he's sort of the broken power. His leg is broken. Whatever you want to call it. So people don't have to do much for him. He was a lame duck president. He had been elected out of the office and it was after November. He vetoed a bill that would place certain regulations on cable companies. Congress overrode him. One thing is safe, leaders in Congress know that people hate their cable companies. Used to be AT&T. When it was one national company, but now that it's broken up into little companies and so many phone companies we don't know who to hate but the fact is that we do hate the cable. Justifiably so. They rip us off. Their prices go up. They have a monopoly and up until recently cities began to put pressure on them. They never answered their phone lines. So it was a safe bet that you could support regulation of cable companies. That's going to be off again soon. Of course many people are moving to satellite dishes.
The president has the regular veto. He also has a pocket veto. A pocket veto. I told you I hated explaining electoral college; I hate talking about international time zones; I also hate describing the pocket veto. It isn't hard, but difficult to understand it. So we'll start with one basis, the president we said has a veto or the president can sign a bill into legislation. What happens is the president should not want to sign a bill. He doesn't sign a bill, yet he didn't veto it. What happens to that bill? Anybody? Can't stay in limbo, so what happens to it? It becomes a law anyway within ten days.
Okay. Within 10 days any bill the president doesn't sign for whatever reason, be out of the country because he doesn't want to sign it, becomes a law without his signature within 10 days. Now the pocket veto deal with the last 10 days of his session of Congress. In the last 10 days if a bill comes to the president and he doesn't sign it, then the 10-day limit doesn't apply. That bill is dead. Let me use it in more graphic even though not valid. If a session of Congress were 365 days which it's not, but if it were if a bill came to the president within any one of the 355 days of 365 and the president didn't sign it, there were 10 days left in the year, that bill would become a law automatically without his signature. But at day 355 he doesn't sign it, if that bill comes to the president's desk at that time and he doesn't sign it, that bill dies. It doesn't stay in limbo. It's dead. Can it be overridden by Congress? No. The pocket veto is extremely strong it can't be overridden. They could reintroduce it in the next session but then go through 9 whole process again. So anytime in the last ten days the bill dies permanently.
Questions on the pocket veto? Its a tough one. I'll go over it again when I get to the legislative branch.
Q That why towards the end of congressional term or whatever it is they also have those like four five days where they're there forever and like -- trying to get stuff done?
A Yeah a lot of the stuff is done at the last moment. It's amazing I guess that's just human nature in the sense of procrastination, but the reason for the pocket veto was to force the legislatures to get the stuff to the president earlier, so he's not stuck getting things out hoping he won't get to something. So the framers put in the pocket veto to make sure the stuff would get to the president early. However in negotiations, line union contract, the last minute deadline is when you really resolve the final issues. I was at a meeting the other day to set up certain standards for hiring a tech position for the library which would be for working with on-line courses and I was sitting there and apparently you know the English department had an opening? They received 187 applications. 90% of them came in with the last two days even though the position had been advertised for six months. People wait for the last minute. That's surprising to me, but it shouldn't be. To me, if I want a job I'd get that thing out as soon as I could. Apparently most people do, which is why most of you cram your studying in before the exam. That's the reality.
There are some other powers of the president that are perhaps not as strong, but they are certainly powers. The president, according to the Constitution, appoints all high government officials. All high government officials are appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate. So the Senate, not the House, not Congress; the Senate. Has to approve any appointment the president makes. That includes his staff as well. His personal staff he pays out of a budget, they don't need approval. His press secretary, his chief of staff, they're hired by him with the budget. They don't need Senate approval, but the cabinet members do. He appoints all ambassadors with the approval of the Senate.
All ambassadors must be approved with the consent of the Senate, and by the way, a good portion of those ambassadors are appointed by the president because they gave a lot of money to his campaign. The person who gives the most money to his campaign gets the best post. That's usually court of Saint James they become ambassador to England. The reason in part is that if you have a lot of money they need your money in those posts because those people run a lot of social events and much of that is paid for, good portion of it is paid for, out of their own pocket because the
budgets are not large enough. The most favorable post would be England, France, Russia, major country. Yeah Russia is a post because it is a major country. China's sort of a status position. Even though it may not be the same kind of living as France or England. Really? China's a major post? Yeah. George Bush held a post as ambassador of China that's helped him get famous during the Nixon administration. Americans have always liked the Chinese.
But to be honest another important post is Japan. I think so too. But I mean, it's funny because you know for a while there Japan was supposed to be our friend and Chinese our enemy because of Chinese communist, but it was difficult to dislike the Chinese because through all the industries -- and yet the Japanese was a country that we just never liked dramatically so I think people are happy to be back liking the Chinese and disliking the Japanese. Weird. History is -- the background is weird because it continues --.
Q Because the American Chinese or the American Japanese have a big competition together with technology?
A Yeah the economic element is that but I can it's more than that. I'm not sure what it is, but there seems to be something underlying it. That perhaps the Japanese reject our friendship and we had to force it on them quote un quote on their -- where it was the British who forced the opening of the doors on China.
Well in any case, the president also appoints judges in the federal system. Not just Supreme Court judges, over 1,000 judges are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. Now here's a different word here: Advice and consent. Which means that the president is expected to consult with senators from the area that that judge is going to be appointed to and they do. It's part of the patronage. The senator makes a couple of recommendations. The senator makes the appointment that senator owes them something. Owes the president something. When it comes to the Supreme Court while he may ask advice in those places he knows the people he's appointing much much better. So a little different.
Now notice again we're not talking the Congress. We're not talking the House. We're talking the Senate. In 1968 an amendment was added to the Constitution. The 25th, that the president has a right to appoint a vice president when the vice presidency is vacant. This is 1968. When the vice presidency is vacant the president can appoint a vice president with approval of the Congress. In this case the House and Senate must approve the vice-president's appointment. What was strange was that at that point 1968, nobody thought much about it. However in 1973, the vice president of the United States who had been president elected in 1969 his name was Spiro Agnew resigned because of income tax fraud. And Richard Nixon and the president appointed the new vice president his name Gerald Ford. A well like by both democrats and republicans a good choice lots of speeches in the congress 25 years. However what was not anticipated happened. In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned because of the scandals which we often refer to as Watergate, and so Ford becomes president and he appoints Nelson Rockefeller his vice president with the approval of Congress
for the first time in history, maybe the last time, who knows, we had both a president and a vice president neither of whom had been elected by the American public and simply because almost foreshadowing what was going to happen an amendment was introduced in 1968 that allowed that to
happen. The country didn't fall apart, but it certainly was strange. Ford became president and of the worst one of the first acts was to take advantage of another power the president which is what? Pardon. He pardoned Richard Nixon. Now Richard Nixon had not been charged with any crimes. He wasn't convicted of any. Now that's a strange ability. The presidential pardon is open ended. In most states governors can only pardon somebody whose been convicted of a crime, but on the federal level you can pardon anybody. The president. And the question arose what if Nixon decided he wanted to pardon himself? We don't know but many people said it wasn't possible because Nixon would never say pardon me. Pardon me.
Other powers of the president? The president can adjourn Congress if they can't agree on a time of adjournment. The president can call special sessions of Congress. Now, based on those powers of
Congress I want to talk about three powers that are from tradition. We mentioned that the president is the chief executive officer. Under that auspices, presidents from Washington on have developed executive orders. This is a tradition, not in the Constitution. Executive orders allow the president to do what heads of companies do; issue an order to the staff and agencies. For example, it was Richard Nixon who issued an executive order telling all government agencies that they could not do any business with any company that discriminated against blacks. It was Harry Truman who issued an executive order that said that the military had to be integrated. They're like laws because
they're done because the president is ordering people under his command and the most famous was issued by Franklin Roosevelt that is executive order 9066. Once again what was executive order 9066? Placing the Japanese in relocation, concentration camps.
Under another power of the president to appoint ambassadors, the president can recommend treaties. A treaty has to be passed by 2/3 of the Senate. If the president recommends a treaty it takes 2/3; that's hard to accomplish. So presidents have developed something known as executive agreements.
In the last 30 or 40 years presidents have been making special agreements with the help of foreign
countries. The power of a treaty but not as extensive as a treaty. An agreement between our president and the head of another country. Often having the force of the treaty. President's have also claimed since George Washington, even though they didn't use the word, executive privilege. The first time the word executive privilege came into use was during the Eisenhower administration. Executive privilege. What does it mean? It means the president has refused to share information with the other branches of the government arguing that it would be detrimental to the executive branch. They have argued that they are separate and they do not have to give information to the other branches. In 1973, Nixon refused to turn over the Watergate tapes to Congress. When congress found out that Richard Nixon had been having a tape recorder running in the oval office he demanded - Nixon refused, it went to the Supreme Court in the United States versus Richard Nixon. The Supreme Court ruled that there was such is a thing as executive order -- executive privilege. They used the term executive privilege. However they said that it will only be something that would be damaging to the presidency, to the executive branch, and these tapes would not and therefore they ordered the tapes turned over to congress and Nixon complied. He turned the tapes over. Many people were quite surprised. Although 18 minutes on one tape disappeared. They tried to show how one woman accidentally got rid of 18 minutes. Everybody wonders what that 18 1/2 minutes contained. It's amazing that they didn't destroy all of the tapes, but that would have probably made him look even worse.
We covered the power of the presidency by personality earlier by talking about leadership and countries. So we talked about how Congress can give president power what about the political party? Well again as I indicated, the president can influence people how to vote, to veto his programs, because he can determine which money from the political party goes and what kind of party support that candidate is going to get in the future and therefore he has a pretty strong hold of members of his political party to be sure that they stick by his side with him and support him verbally or with a vote publicly.
Okay. See you on Thursday. Bring your popcorn whatever else you take to the movies with you. What are re going to watch? An old film. Andy Rooney goes to Washington. Is it captioned? No, it's done in '74.