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Federalist No.

47 by James Madison
Structure of the government and distribution of power
Separate and distinct legislative, executive and judiciary branches
Distributed and blended power
There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same
person or body of magistrates.
Comparison to state constitutions in which departments of powers have not been kept
absolutely separate and distinct shared power!

Federalist No. 70 by Alexander Hamilton

Energy in the executive!
Protection of the community against foreign attacks, steady administration of the laws,
security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, faction, and anarchy
A feeble executive = feeble execution of government
Ingredients for energy in the executive: unity, duration, adequate provision for its
support, competent powers
Legislation = deliberation and wisdom, but executive needs decision, activity, secrecy
and dispatch
A plurality in the executive would lessen the respectability, weaken the authority and
lower accountability
The UNITY of the executive of this State was one of the best of the distinguishing
features of our Constitution

The Constitution of the United States

Article II
Office of the President
Election of the President
Requirements of the President
Pay of the President
Powers of the President
1. Commander in Chief
2. Grant pardons and reprieves for offenses against the United States
3. Make treaties (with the advice and consent of the Senate)
4. Nominate appointments for Ambassadors, Public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the
Supreme Court, etc (with the advice and consent of the Senate)
5. Give State of the Union to Congress
6. Recommendations to Congress
7. Receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers
8. Take care that the laws be faithfully executed
Note that Congress has the power to Declare War
Summary of Forrest McDonald: The American Presidency-An Intellectual History CHAPTER 7:

*Basically this chapter is an account of the 3 months of debate between the delegates about executive
power at the Philadelphia Convention. There was a strong mixture of attitudes among the delegates
between STRONG NATIONALISTS that wanted a strong executive and also (semi) FEDERALISTS who
wanted the government to be an agency of the STATE GOVERNMENTS. There was a debate between
Butler's proposal for an ELECTORAL COLLEGE solved many of the delegates

-Delegates at Philadelphia convention had different views about executive power
-2 Groups were in favor of a strong executive power:
1 - men who had served in the army (Washington, Hamilton etc)
2 - men who had served in Congress

*Overall - advocates of a strong executive were more prestigious and numerous than their opposing
numbers, but they faced obstacles:
1 - state delegations voted on convention for executive power (only
three were in favor of it)
2 - there were a large number of people taking a middle position on
the issue of executive power that outnumbered both extremes


-at first discussion went in circles, and it seemed safer to give
Congress executive power
-delegates debated about number of presidents (Ben Franklin wanted 3!)
-Paterson proposed "small states plan" of unicameral congress and plural
-Hamilton proposed a powerful unitary executive chosen for life!
-decided President would have VETO power against only 2/3 majority in
both houses
-delegates wanted executive power FREE from dependence on CONGRESS
-at first they proposed president's power to include: appointing
executive officers, receiving ambassadors, and granting pardons
-senate would appoint justices


-President and vice-president
-electors chosen in state by whatever method state leg wanted
-each state had number of electors equal to its combined number
of senators and representatives
-electors to meet in respective states
-electors voted for 2 candidates, whoever received the most won
-president would appoint ambassadors, judges and make treaties
with consent of 2/3 of senate
-power to impeach shifted from supreme court to senate
-10 states to 1 voted in favor of this electoral college

*Presidency evolved in the convention and did not end up being a "separation of powers," but rather a
government with various branches that were SEPARATE and INDEPENDENT with their personnel, but
the POWERS were INTERMINGLED Final Summary of powers:
-Congress would have domestic powers and share in judicial powers
through power to impeach
-Executive branch shared in lawmaking power through the VETO, the
authority to recommend legislation, and the VP presiding over the senate
-Courts would execute laws
Missing—steve marks
Forrest Chap 8
Twentieth Century Presidency
By William Lechtenburg

Theme: The history of the presidency is one of aggrandizement.

- infused the pres with vigor  did not merely preach but went after his objectives
- imperialist: “speak softly and carry a big stick”
- “I have used every ounce of power there was in the office and I have not cared a
rap for the criticisms of those who spoke of my ‘usurpation’”
Taft much more circumscribed view of the pres
- viewed pres as representative of whole people
- found presumptuous, righteous, and intellectual  political crusade
- first pres is over a century to appear in person before Congress  rhetoric
- New Freedom to liberate market forces
- reluctant imperialist  strove for peace WWI, League of Nations
- “war socialism” from his government-driven economic mobilization
Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover declined pres power
- chief legislator  many domestic social proposals  formed FDR coalition of
lower income groups (dominant in Dem party ever since)
- champion of executive and legislative over judiciary
- master of media  “fireside chats” made pres into guardian and friend
- preeminence in foreign affairs: Pentagon, atomic bomb, United Nations
- model of what a pres should be, but left uneasiness - limited terms
- in shadow of FDR
- committee on civil rights, Truman doctrine, Marshall Plan, Berlin airlift, NATO,
Korean War (without congressional approval), Dept of Defense, CIA, CEA
- strongest assertion of civilian authority over military  dismissing McArthur
- “what shall we refrain from doing today?”
- interstate highway system, Dept of Health Ed and Welfare
- civil rights, economic policy, commitment to space race, Peace Corps
- first pres to make skillful use of television
- domestic accomplishments with Great Society
- created alarm about too powerful and deceitful pres (esp with Vietnam)
- anxiety heightened  Vietnam, Watergate  pres appeared unstable
Ford, Carter, Reagan in time of imperial pres, downsized expectations, gov problem
instead of solution
The Two Constitutional Presidencies
By Jeffrey Tulis

Theme: There are two different conceptions of the presidency and its relation to the other
branches of government. One is outlined by the Founders, the other by Woodrow
Wilson. While both call for “energy” in the presidency, only Wilson calls for the use of
rhetoric in today’s age of primaries and media. In general, the expectations of each
presidency tend to exist in tension with one another, especially in this era’s higher

Founders: conservative 2) Demagoguery: not large threat

- distinguish from leader based on
1) Synoptic character: goal nature of appeal and character of
- designed to form a whole person  transitory passion vs.
government made of parts and durable sentiment and personal
devoted to limited ends  power vs. interest of community
protect rights only - ethic passed on
2) Demagoguery: threat - public can judge character  yet
- “demagogue” and “popular judging often comes from
leader” synonomous oratory, not politics
- relies on excess of popular - need for more energy greater
appeals than risk of demoagogue
- threat of tyranny of the majority 3) Representation: greater weight
- institutions designed to make - “interpretation” center of great
sure used only for good ends leadership  understand and
3) Representation: balance articulate people’s desires, even
- distrust of “pure” democracy those currently unknown to them
- popular election as fundamental - deliberation important
basis but allow for indirect - only major contestations of
election of some (i.e. pres) opinion will gain interest of
through electoral college public, make them care
- differing lengths of tenure due to - government = publicity
various “proximities” to public 4) Independence of the Executive:
- formal power ultimately from respond to the public
people but immediately from - pres receives authority from
Constitution national mandate from people
- insulate officials from sudden - rhetoric can transfer desires into
shifts in public opinion public policy
- in appealing directly to public, 5) Separation of Powers: weakness
passion rather than reason would - central defect of American
triumph  pres must be free politics
enough to refine and serve - failed to promote true
- representative but not wholly deliberation in legislative and
responsive to popular will energy in executive
4) Independence of the Executive: - “withstand delusion” of popular
impartiality opinion
Wilson: rhetorical - Congress dominated by factions
 pres has broader view
5) Separation of Powers: effectiveness in specific conflicts  usually
- common “checks and balances” successfully mitigated
 one branch cannot control - tension between “organic” and
another responsive system and
- but also to equip each branch to “mechanical” and theoretical
perform different tasks understanding and structure
- three objectives of government - cooperation  pres and
(popular will, popular rights, Congress must be integrated and
self-preservation) divided implicated in each other’s
amongst branches and within activities
them - leadership and deliberation
- particular circumstances
determine which branch wins out
14/10/2009 20:01:00

I. Preface to 1990 Edition

A. “Power” vs “Powers”
a) Power=ability to influence gov’t action
a) reputation and prestige=source of power
b) Powers=formally granted to President in Constitution (legal/customary)
B. Underlying Theme of 1960 Edition Remains True
a) President is very weak
i) Large gap between what is expected of Pres and the capabilities
he has to carry them out
ii) Separation of Institutions share powers
C. Use of Book
a) He hoped that advisors would use his book as a reference but he presupposed
that they would use it to supplement experience rather than replace it
II. Original Preface
A. What this book is NOT
1) Not an “hour by hour” account
2) Not a history
3) Not about getting into the White House
B. For this exercise, it’s best to assume the vantage point of the President

III. Chapter 1: Leader or Clerk

A. Part I
1) President as only one of several thousand personnel in Exec Branch
a)Nevertheless, his influence is pervasive
b)“His influence becomes the mark of his leadership”
B. Part II
1) Truman and Eisenhower are good models
a) high degree of continuity
b) issues from ’49-’59 remained the same
i) “emergency in policy with politics as usual”
C. Part III
1) Transformation: President as an “Invaluable Clerk”
a) What were once viewed as exceptional acts by a President have
come to be seen as routine and expected
b) He is expected to do something about everything
D. Part IV
1) President must work and attempt to satisfy demands of 5 constituencies
a) Executive Officialdom
b) Congress
c) Partisans
d) Citizens at large
e) Parties Abroad
2) No one else shares his direct vantage point and the burdens associated
3) President as a nexus for all political activity; referee for fights

IV. Chapter 2: Three Cases of Command

“ persuade people to do the things they ought to have sense enough to do without my
persuading them...That’s all the powers of the President amount to”---Truman

A) Presidential Power as the Power to Persuade

B) Three Cases
1) 1951 Firing of Douglas MacArthur by Truman
a) MacArthur ignored White House policy on Korea to negotiate with
Korea. Instead, he demanded Chinese surrender, campaigned for military
action to be taken against the Chinese Communists, made public
statements in direct opposition to White House statements, and blamed
Truman and his policies for the defeat by Chinese Communists in
November, 1950.
b) Truman saw this as both an episode of policy interference and
2) 1951 Steel Seizure by Truman
a) Collective bargaining reached stalemate leading United Steelworkers to
set a date to strike. After a failed attempt by the Wage Stabilization Board
to intervene, Truman seized the industry just before the scheduled
shutdown. Furthermore, he demanded that, under the direction of the
secretary of commerce, the steelworkers report to work as government
3) 1957 Integration in Little Rock by Eisenhower
a) In April, 1957 a Little Rock federal court of appeals ruled in favor of
implementing an integration plan for the local education system, reflecting
the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw segregation three years earlier. A
local citizen filed a suit to prevent the plan from taking effect, but lost.
Nevertheless, Arkansas governor Orval Faubus sent the National Guard to
prohibit African Americans from gaining entry into Central High School.
Eisenhower, after meeting with Faubus, assumed control of the Arkansas
National Guard, removed them, and sent Army troops to restore order in
Little Rock.
C) All three cases share a common denominatior
1) The President’s own order was immediately and unquestioningly carried out.
Such a “self-executing” plan took advantage of five traits:
a. President’s involvement was unambiguous
b. His words were clear
c. His order was widely publicized
d. The people to whom it was directed had all necessary tools to carry out
the order
e. None of these people had any doubt about his right to make the
2) This combination only occurs rarely
3) All were last resorts after exhaustion of other routes
4) Decisions often had unintended consequences down the road
a. Truman ultimately didn’t make up for 2 months without steel
production. Furthermore, the price controls he sought were never
b. Eisenhower’s use of troops did nothing to settle overall desegregation
5) Nevertheless, each situation demanded a hard-nosed stance

Thus, though command is a type of presidential persuasion, these three cases show that it is only
rarely employed and often has great consequences without guaranteeing any solution.

Richard Neustadt, Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents page 1-90
Neustadt defines power as personal influence that has an effect on governmental action
 different from formal power
Theme of Presidential Power = presidential weakness: the gap between what is expected of the
president and the “assured capacity to carry through.”
Neustadt sees expectations and clerkly tasks rising while support weakens (foreign alliances
loosening and political parties decreasing). Moreover, the central weakness that Neustadt
identifies is:
President’s power is shared, and “to share is to limit” so the president’s power is dependent on the
consent from others, and he must use the power of his reputation and prestige to make policy.
Neustadt sees says that presidents must be forward-looking (“maximize prospective influence”)
and strategic about their power to be more effective. “The pursuit of presidential power, rightly
understood, constitutionally conditioned, looking ahead, serves purposes far broader than a
President’s satisfaction.”
CH 3
Constitutional convention of 1787 created a government of separated institutions sharing
powers (not separate powers). Executive power is shared/checked by Congress, Federalism, the
Courts, the Bill of Rights, the Press.
Persuasive power is more than charm and reasoned argument, it is reinforced by the status and
authority of the President’s office: those in government realize that their jobs and future
ambitions may depend on the President; this fact benefits the President in negotiations/decisions.
Meanwhile, his power is checked by theirs, because it is a relationship of mutual dependence.
Ex. Prez and congress: dependent on each other to get things accomplished: constant negotiation.
Know and understand this sentence: “Power to persuade is the power to bargain.”
Even within executive branch, relations with cabinet members, etc., there is give and take…
“Real power is reciprocal and varies markedly with organization, subject matter, personality, and
situation….The probabilities of power do not derive from the literary theory of the Constitution.”
People in government often act as if they are in business for themselves, not part of a team,
depending on what their responsibilities are [This somewhat contrasts Porter’s comments in
lecture about everyone being behind the President.]. Outside the executive, loyalty to the Prez
“may often matter less [emphasis his].” Congressmen act in accordance with what they think
they have to do to get reelected. Therefore, Prez must induce others to believe that what he
wants is what their interests and responsibilities require to do.
Even when politicians agree on the ends to achieve, they differ and negotiate on the means to
achieving it—how will it be done, who gets credit, etc. Ex. Truman and the Marshall plan:
“Truman, in effect, lent Marshall and the rest the perquisites and status of his office. In return
they lent him their prestige and their own influence.” The result: a massive 1948 European aid
Presidents can maximize prospects for effectiveness and minimize chances that he will fail to
persuade others by guarding his power prospects in the course of making choices. Truman’s past
actions had led the way for his current bargaining: “his power was protected by his choices.” “A
President’s own choies are the only means in his own hands of guarding his own prospects for
effective influence. He can draw power from continuing relationships in the degree that he can
capitalize upon the needs of others for the Presidency’s status and authority.”
CH 4
President’s persuasiveness depends on the opinion that the men he aims to convince hold about
whether he has the skills and will to use his bargaining advantages (whether they expect him to be
able to and to have the tenacity to follow through).
“Reputation itself does not persuade, but it can make persuasion easier, harder, or impossible.”
Negative example: Eisenhower’s second term = way in which reputation should not be guarded.
Professional reputation of Prez is made by him—this an opportunity or risk. It is not made by
one move—it is changed through a pattern of action [example= Eisenhower]. A president’s
“general reputation will be shaped by signs of pattern in the things he says and does”—the
choices he makes every day.
CH 5: Public Prestige
Reputation (and therefore effective bargaining) also depends on President’s standing with the
public outside Washington: “Popular prestige.” Reputation and prestige both affect the Prez’s
power through the mechanism of anticipated reactions: for prestige, Congressmen will go along
with a plan more readily if they think that the public’s reaction to what the Prez proposes will be
positive. The Prez’s public standing sets a tone for what Washingtonians will do for him.
The president’s options are reduced, his opportunities diminished, his freedom for maneuver
checked in the degree that Washington conceives him unimpressive to the public.” If he is
unpopular, he will have to rely more on vetoes. In terms of both trying to gain votes and trying
to get “special publics” to follow a course of action that he wants, the president works within
the boundaries that his prestige sets for how much the public will respond to his appeals.
Nice quotation: “Presidential standing outside Washington is actually a jumble of imprecise
impressions held by relatively inattentive people.”
Neustadt only deals with the domestic angle of the Prez’ public prestige because “even though a
President’s position overseas affects all sorts of judgments made in Washington, his standing
with home publics is a matter of more moment to most Washingtonians.”
Personality factors into prestige, but is rather static—people form a public image of the Prez
when they first perceive him as President, and rarely change their image of him afterward. As
Neustadt writes, “an image of the office, not an image of the man, is the dynamic factor in a
President’s prestige.”
Neustadt talks about Gallup polls changing a lot early in 1951 and in the spring of 1958. In both
of these times it fell because government action was associated with large disturbances in the
private lives of Americans. This demonstrates that as private prospects are upset, men’s
expectations of the president increase, and their appraisal of his performance follows
accordingly. “The moving factor in prestige is what the people outside Washington see
happening to themselves.”
In this way, events in which the President plays no part can affect what his constituents think and
therefore affect his power (in a very meta kind of way).
Presidential teaching is a way for Presidents to avoid the negative effects that bad events can
have on his prestige. Presidential teaching 1) is aimed at students who are habitually
inattentive, 2) only gets attention when what he is teaching about is on the minds of his students
for reasons other than his talking about it, 3) he teaches by doing more than by telling, and 4)
his prior actions figure into how this doing is perceived.
Actions are always stronger than words, however, so Neustadt talks about how Truman’s efforts
to teach in 1950 were undermined by his own prior words and actions.
Key idea: the prestige of the President depends on what the public thinks it wants, and what they
think they got. Therefore, beyond his self-executing orders, the President’s influence is
regulated by his choices of objectives, of timing, and of instruments, plus by what he chooses to
Eddie Lee

Stephen Skowronek “Presidential Leadership in Political Time” in Presidency and the

Political System
Abstract: “Some recent scholarship on the the presidency has emphasized the cyclical aspects of the office.
Skowronek explains one recurring sequence in presidential history-namely, the rise and fall of regimes, or governing
coalitions- in terms of the passage of “political time”. Each sequence begins when an established regime is defeated
soundly in a presidential election, bringing to power a new coalition led by a new president, such as Andrew Jackson
in 1828 and FDR in 1932. The challenges to the president who would create a regime are to undermine the
“institutional support for opposition interests,” to restructure “institutional relations between state and society,” and
to secure “the dominant position of the new political coalition.” As Skowronek argues, not all presidents succeed in
this endeavor, and the efforts of even those presidents who do succeed eventually crumble as the new regime
becomes old and vulnerable. Skowronek concludes by offering some thoughts about the place of the four most
recent presidents-Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton, and W. Bush-in the cyclical history of national regimes.”

-1.constitutional separation of powers ensures presidency remains unchanged to a degree 2.Post-WWII presidents’
duties increased in depth and breadth. *3. Presidents are linked (past and present) by “political time.” Pol. Time is to
be thought of in relation to regime sequences, or shifts from one party’s dominance to another, and in relation to
economic prosperity or degradation.
-The longer a party is in power (in office, congress, etc.), more its approach to national affairs becomes encumbered
and distorted, thus becoming less competent and energetic to deal with problems and demands of that time.
-Presidents who are viewed as successful came to power following the “abrupt break from a long-established
political-institutional regime.”p.113
- Examine political time parallels Andrew Jackson and FDR with respect to the problems of
constructing a new regime and leading others to support you and build it with you; examines
James Polk and John Kennedy as managers of an established regimein changing times. Interest
control and conflict manipulation in order to maintain coaltions and weaken divisions within the
ranks; examines Jimmy Carter and Franklin Pierce tried to establish leadership in a lethargic
regime with divided sects. Caught between established power and political legitimacy. Old
order affiliation in the new political age made their leadership bids awkward and superficial and
had to fight to make any changes.

Unilateral Action and Presidential Power: A theory

Terry M. Moe and William G. Howell
Synopsis: This article defines what is distinct about the modern presidency, which is the
president’s formal powers to act unilaterally and thus to make law on his own. The president’s
power is a force because they are not specified in the Constitution. They derive strength from the
ambiguity, and push this ambiguity to expand powers.

1. Neustadt’s argument that presidents are weak, and depend on skills, and bargaining
ability is on the decline. Out of sync with facts:
A. The presidential leadership was no longer in an “institutional presidency”, but changed
with the rise of a “new institutionalism”
B. Recognizes the president’s formal capcity for taking unilateral action and thus for
making law on his own – That is, the president can and do make law without the explicit
consent of Congress
C. The president always acted unilaterally to make law
D. They are able to do this precisely because they are not specified in the formal structure
of government (ambiguity of the formal structures, and president’s desire to expand
1. Constitution as an Incomplete Contract
A. Constitution only created a framework of laws, to promote a rivalry conductive to the
public good.
1. Ambiguity and Presidential Imperialism
A. Presidents put great emphasis on legacies and being regarded as strong effective
leaders; for this they need power; they are primarily driven by the desire to expand power
B. The ambiguity in constitution – even in enumerated rights – give plenty of such
opportunities, for it does not specifically detail the extent of presidential authority.
C. The president is in an ideal position to take advantage of this authority, for he works
independently of Congress
D. the executive nature of job:
- Because presidents are executives, the operation of the gov’t is in their hands
- They have at their dispoal a tremendous reservoir of expertise, experience, and
- They are the first movers and reap the agenda powers that go along with it, other
branches are presented with fait accompli and has burden to respond
• This invites presidential imperialism, though there is the barrier of
impairing strategy in this.
1. A simple Spatial Model
A. Spatial Model - standard tool for exploring struggles among political actors over
policy and power.
A. The spatial model in this article concludes two major points: 1. unilateral action
can make a big difference in determining what presidents are able to achieve, 2.
even when they can act unilaterally, they are constrained to act strategically and
with moderation. They can not have everything they want.
1. Congress: delegation and Constraint
A. The congress can constrain presidential behavior through the statutes it writes
A. Yet, they can totally enforce this: a. congress may sometimes want the pres to
have all control, b. also, the president has ability to veto
A. Though, they can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of legislation, such a
proliferation creates substanital ambiguity, that can be used in pres' advantage
A. In conclusion, Congress cannot be expected to use statutory constraints with great
effectiveness in restricting the expansion of presidential power
1. Congress: the Capacity to act and resist
A. Congress is also limited to acting according to the beliefs of constituents, who
want to keep gov't from being centralized; they are also ebilitated by the fact that
it can not take coherent forceful action as there are many blocks in passing a law
A. When pres act unilaterally then legislative preferences are most likely to come
into play to the extent that presidential action has an adverse effect on consitutents
A. To summarize, presidents still hold substanital advantages over Congress, due
largely to the diabling effects of Congress's collective action problems and to the
relative ease with which presidents can block any congressional attempts to
reverse them.Still they will act moderately due to constraints in constituency,
legislative power of appropriations
1. The Courts
A. The Supreme court has every right to say what the Constitution means- and thus
resolve ambiguities - they can set boundries on president - if that is what is
A. They are independent, so president cant manipulate its collective action problems
as in Congress,
A. But courts are naturally inclined to support the imperialistic approach of the pres:
i. President appoint all members of the court - though one may suggest the
senate has ability to counter this, they are more interested in constituent
interest than pres power
ii. The basic design of separation of powers: Court not enforce own
decisions, but must rely on exec branch to enforce - pres can ignore the
Court's decision
A. In summary, the courts have a great power to limit the president, even more than
Congress. However, because of the apptment by presidents and their dependence
on the president the courts will ordinarily be supportive and refrain from imposing
seroius limits on presidential expansionism.
1. Conclusion: This article focused on the institution of the president - though not on the
formal powers. [Read conclusion of this article for a good overview]
Erin Mulkey
Hagen and Mayer, “The Modern Politics of Presidential Selection: How Changing the Rules
Really Did Change the Game” (pages 1-21)

THESIS: “Our argument, simply put, is that the delegate selection rules and campaign finance
regulations enacted in the early 1970s had a very significant impact on the nature of the
presidential nominating process: changing the rules really did change the game (3).”

-August 27th, 1968-Democratic National Convention approved a minority report that changed the
rules which govern national conventions and presidential nominations.
McGovern-Fraser Commission (Commission on Party Structure and Delegate
Rules first used for 1972 convention
Asserted national party’s “authority to control its state and local
-1974 Amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971
passed by Congress in response to Watergate
changed how candidates raised and spent money when running for president
“The most significant change in campaign finance regulations in American
history (2).”
-severely weakened political parties
-changed the kinds of candidates that were likely to be nominated and “their
subsequent ability to govern”
Set rules in place for delegates and conventions
Discussed on page 4; all states were in violation of at least 6 of the 18 rules
Many states thought rules so confusing that they just decided to hold a primary
(# of primaries began in 1972 a “sharp and sustained increase”)
Contribution limits:
-$1,000 for individuals and $5,000 for political action committees, in addition to
establishing spending limits and requiring accounting and full disclosure
-Supreme Court invalidated some of the rules, creating “loopholes”
Critiques? Turned conventions into an “empty ritual” done for benefit of TV
-Number of ballots to nominate a pres. candidate, % of uncommitted delegates, rise of
independent candidate organizations, how easily incumbents can be renominated, relationship
btwn party and pres. have all changed greatly in 20th century.
-How McGovern-Fraser Commission and 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act have changed
1)plebiscitary system-nom. is given to candidate who is most successful at
winning; opened process up to anyone who wanted to take part in it. It also
became much more responsive to public opinion.
2)”led to contemporary presidential marathon”=longer campaigns
3)lots of power given to one or two early caucuses or primaries
-Many candidates, such as the “favorite son”, never make it to the national convention.
Michael F HAGEN AND William G Mayer, “The Modren Poltiics of Presidential Selection:
How Changing the Rules Really Did Change the Game,” …
PAGES 21-43

-By Kahtryn McKinley,

The Advent of the Marathon: “another important effect of the rules changes has been a
dramatic lengthening of the presidential nomination race
a. 4 conclusions
1) Very large proportion of recent presidential contenders have announced
candidacy at least 400 days before the opening of their parties national
convention, 1.5 years before the novemebr election
2) Early announcers are not just long shots and also-rans, include democratic
and republic nominees, second place finishers
3) the first two trends do not of precedence in theyears 1952-1968
4) many candidates who delayed their announcement dates, claim that theiur
alte annoucnemtn dates hurt their cnadidiacies, denying opp to raise
money, build organization and line up support (ex: jerry brown, frank
church, Edward keendy)
b. Examples
1) past
a) It was confined to the election year itself (1952-1968, ex: Robert
Taft announced it the earliest in Mid October of 1951)
2) Now
a) Race stretches through most of the preceding year and infrequently
int he year before that (since 1968:, ex: Mcgovern announced
candidacy January 1971, 1.5 years before the Democratice national
c. Exceptions to early announcements
1) Incumbent presidents are generally spared the ordeal of announcing early,
even when they expect to face substantial opposition (ex: Jimmy carter in
2) Some candidates who have name recognition and national following (ex:
2) Problems with the marathon
a. Current officeholder—how can he attend to his governing responsibilities while
1) Effects:
a) many qualified people decide not to run
b) public officials leave government because they are thinking about
running (EX: Mondale turned down senate seat because he was
thinking about running)
c) attempt to do both: run while continuiong one’s current office—
most cases this is a false choice, one responsibility r the other will
suffer (ex: senate votes for elected officals running decreases, up
through 1968, congressional voting participation rates were
affected onl during the election year itself, but in post-reform
nomination races big change from that)

Race to Judgement: Candidates get forced out of the race within just a few days or weeks
after the first primary
3) then
a. Pre 1972 presidential races: once candidates announced, they were able to remain
in race a reasonably long time, at least to the end of primary season and uaually to
the actual convention balloting
4) Now
a. post 1976: people who did poorly in early contests (new Hampshire, ioowa) were
withdraying days after race formally began—name for this is WINNOWING
1) many states responded to this by moving primaries to early dates, -- name
for this is FRONT LODAING, exacerbating the problem
5) problems with front loading
a. weeds oout long shot candidates, need name recognition early
b. early withdrawl not just fate of candidates who do not do well (*ex; Gephardt)
c. forced to withdraw before having a change to run in the kinds of primaries and
cuscuses in which their strength might have been most evident (locations of
primaries do not reflect voter constituencies of all candidates)
6) other causes fro early dropouts
a. lack of MONEY
1) candidates who do poorly I early primaries and caucuses are written off by
press, deprive media attention, and unable tot thus raise funds
RATIONAL, FLEXIBLE AND MORE CHAOTIC---- because of process voters
learn about the candidates too late
b. The presidetnail selection process places too much withg on the two early
delegate selection events: Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary (neither state
represents national elecotorate

Conclusion: 6 ways the nominating process has changes since that in 1950s and 1960s
Midterm summaries:

Richard Pious, "The Presidency and the Nominating Process: Politics and
Power," in Michael Nelson, ed., The Presidency and the Political System, pp.

Andrew Kohut, "The Long and Winding Road to the Presidential Election,"
Miller Center Report, vol. 20, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2004), pp. 35-40.


Richard Pious “The Presidency and the Nominating Process: Politics and Power” in
Presidency and the Political System
Abstract: “The Constitution defines the pool of possible presidents in any election as consisting of every “natural
born Citizen” who has “attained to the Age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within
the U.S.” – more than one hundred million people. The Constitution also says that “the executive Power
shall be vested in a Pesident of the US”-one person. Historically, it has been the job of the major pol.
Parties to narrow the field of possible presidents to the two candidates from whom the voters make their
final choice. During the early 19th century, congressional caucuses did this job on behalf of their parties.
Caucuses were then replaced by nat’l party conventions dominated by state party bosses. The conventions
continue to meet every 4 years, but since the 1970’s they have been dominated by delegates chosen by the
voters in primaries. In this chapter, Pious reviews the history of the presidential nomination process and
analyzes the kinds of candidates whom diff. processes have tended to favor. He worries that in the current,
primaries-dominated process, “those who emerge with the nomination lack nat’l exec. Experience, a
situation that rarely occurs in other nations.” Pious suggests that “a nominating system that restores some
peer review and a greater role for party pros and members of Congress”-the same groups that dominated
earlier nominating processes-might yield more qualified presidential nominees.”
-“a costant in American politics is that no approach to candidate selection has been able to simultaneously maximize
participation of the voters and responsibility of the contenders’ peers to judge their qualifications.”
-King Caucus-nomination by congressional party-btw 1800-1824, electoral college votes were organized by party
members in Congress.Federalists and Republicans would each endorse a contender by plurality voted of
those present and send word of their endorsements to the state parties. Advantaged Washington insiders
who could lobby directly at the Capitol for nominations. Governors and state officials disadvantaged and
none ran for the presidency at this time. *Resulted in cabinet gov’t-President with cabinet secretaries with
their own constituencies in Congress. To get things done, president had to persuade these men. Led to
weakness and indecision.
-Nominating Conventions: Nomination by State Party Organizations
Jacksonian democracy brought down King Caucus and cabinet gov’t. Was not elected by congress, so felt no
obligation or accountability to a congressional party. Used veto and made his own policies. Established
principle that president could issue orders to cabinet secretaries and fire them if they didn’t follow policies.
-national conventions took place of caucus. State party boss dominated-necessary to have them bargain to get votes
of states to get presidency. Led to nominees with mediocre ability with little national government
experience but known by state party bosses. Influence peddling and corruption in administrations of
presidents handpicked by bosses.
-The Primary and Caucus System: Nomination by the Party in the Electorate
Erosion of Post-New Deal Democratic party in 1960s shifted power from bosses to voters bc of Primary Contest (a
vote within a party to determine the preferences of its members). Now, contenders had to win a majority of
the sixteen or so primaries to be nominated (not the case at all before). Means you don’t need state party
leader support and is “a contender loyalist who takes direction from the contender’s organization at the
convention.” But, now a matter of fundraising which can lead to obligations to major contributors.
Nominations: come from small group of career politicians with experience in public office, access to large sums of
cash, and experience in running a media campaign and influencing public opinion. But, often lack national
government (especially executive branch) experience. VP’s and Department Secretaries rarely win (Dept
secretaries hardly ever now but did in caucus system). Few connections with legislators they will be
working with. Governors have faired well in this system; anti-Washington mood in the electorate so they
portray themselves as outsiders who will change things and solve problems. Also can org. effective
campaigns and raise funds. Rarely military officers in pres. Nominations bc of media and fundraising skills
necessary to succeed.
Media coverage not enough about the candidates voting records and positions and too much about the fund-raising
and political strategy.
-Caucus-Convention and Primary Contests: Democratic?
1970s reforms designed to aid voters’ impact. Caucuses now open-particpation events rather than closed gatherings
of party leaders and supporters, but participation still very low with only hard-core out to support. Winners
in Iowa convention get more media coverage than other candidates and thus effectively weed out lower
performers. Critics see them as mass participation exercises in intraparty democracy. First primary is in
New Hampshire and enormous media coverage for winner gives him a great boost. But, primaries
demographic is mostly from high socioeconomic echelons (not representative). And, Iowa and NH are
predominately white-so not racially representative. *Primary voters more likely to be skewed to their
respective ends of the political spectrum than the rest of their voting party. Important for candidates to
swing to extremes during this part of the race. Must be well-funded and well-organized frm the beginning
to hang in the race and then be successful. Twofold strategy-eliminate similar candidates in early primaries,
and second, in “shakeout” period when states in specific region hold contests on the same day, they must
defeat the remaining opponents.
-National conventions
confirm results of primary and caucus contest. Delegates forced to agree on a platform and approve the candidate’s
choice of a running mate. For incumbent’s party, convention symbolizes a transfer of party leadership
from pres. To candidate. Most imp. Thing candidates do is win over national tv audience that has tuned in
for a coronation not a confrontation. Party unity key for success.
Candidates far more educated and econ. Better off than voters watching on tv. Must connect to them.
The Presidency and the Nominating Process: Politics and Power
By Richard Pious

This article explains the process of selecting a president. It is very similar to Prof. Porter’s
lectures on the subject except that Pious concludes that the system needs a greater role for party
professionals and elected officials so that we can increase the chances of electing candidates with
executive experience.

Brief summary of election processes: During the 19th century, congressional caucuses selected
their party’s candidate. This system was replaced by national party conventions dominated by
state party bosses. In the 1970’s this system was replaced by our current one, where the
candidates are selected by delegates who are chosen in primaries.

King Caucus and the early years: Originally, the electoral college was supposed to nominate 5
candidates for the Presidency and the House of Representatives would chose from among this
group. However, political parties began to develop (the Federalists behind Adams and the anti-
Federalists behind Jefferson). The parties chose their candidates from an exclusive group of
Washington insiders. Almost every President was a former Secretary of State, and none were
former governors. Presidents often gave away important cabinet positions in order to secure
votes, and cabinet officers had Congressional followings and a great deal of power.

Nomination by state party organizations: Andrew Jackson eliminated the King Caucus system
by declaring it corrupt and nominating himself for President. He campaigned directly to state
conventions and state legislators. His success and the advent of technology that made it safe for
people to travel across the eastern seaboard led to the creation of nominating conventions. State
party bosses controlled delegate selection and dominated these national conventions.

The Primary and Caucus system: This set of changes was a response to Hubert Humphrey
earning the Democratic nomination without entering a single primary. Humphrey was able to
secure the nomination with the help of party bosses who controlled 60% of the vote. The
McGovern-Fraser Commission was convened in response to this and created a system where
voters chose almost all of their state’s delegates. This system means that candidates are
accountable to voters, special interests, and campaign contributors rather than to party bosses.
The delegates are not representative of the average American; they are often more educated and

Primaries are ideologically skewed: Democratic primary voters tend to be more liberal than the
pool of all Democratic registered voters, while Republican primary voters are heavily skewed
toward the conservative end of the party’s spectrum.

Critics of the current system argue that it selects media-savvy people who have limited
Washington experience (and thus cannot be attacked as “a corrupt Washington insider.”)

Kohut: “The Long and Winding Road to the Presidential Election.”

In his article The Long and Winding Road to the Presidential Election, Andrew Kohut
gives a perspective on how voter attitudes were different in 2004 than they have been in previous
election seasons.
1. First, a few observations:
a) The voters decide who the candidates will be, not the press, pundits or pollsters
(i.e., Voters shot down Dean despite his support in the press and polls.)
b) The electorate is polarized more than ever in 2004.
i) Democrats disapproved of Bush in 2003 as strongly as republicans
disapproved of Clinton in 98.
c) The default position of the American Public is always to stay the course, not
to change horses.
i) this is especially the case with second term elections when people ask,
“Does the president deserve his job?” i.e., Bush.
d) The new concept of terrorism makes the 2004 election unique.
i) In terms of security issues, the incumbent always has a stature
advantage over the challenger.
ii) Voters always come to the side of the President when they see their
troops under attack (Iraq).
e) Deficit’s have become associated in the public’s mind wit deeper problems in
the economy.
i) Bush had an uphill battle in 2004.
f) Although people believe that legalizing gay marriage is unacceptable, they
draw the line at a constitutional amendment – Americans don’t like the constitution to be
g) At the time Kohut wrote the article, he viewed Bush as falling and Kerry as
rising; however, he notes that the election will hinge on perceptions of the conditions of
Iraq, the economy and social issues in the months closer to the election. He also
concludes by making the point that the American public has begun to view the media in
much more partisan terms. The public wants an independent media, not one that chooses
Assignment 8

John H. Aldrich, John D. Griffin, and Jill Ruckershauser, "The Presidency and the Election
Campaign: Altering Voters' Priorities in the 2004 Election, in Michael Nelson, ed., The
Presidency and the Political System, pp. 219-234.

The summary at the beginning of the chapter (which does a reasonably good job) reads:

“Presidential campaigns “are consequential,” argue John H. Aldrich, John D. Griffin, and Jill
Rickershauser. Most scholars agree that the campaigns the candidates wage help to shape the
policy agenda in Washington for the following four years. But some have expressed doubt that
what the candidates say and do has much effect on the outcome of the election itself. Instead,
these scholars argue, economic and political conditions prevailing before the campaign even
begins determines [the winner]. This chapter disputes this argument. The authors show that
prevailing conditions only have electoral meaning if the candidates discuss and debate
them. … [The authors] describe how each candidate tried, with considerable skill, to focus the
voters’ attention on the issues that were most favorable to him and his party.”

I will attempt to refrain from repeating facts above, but other important information includes:

Shaping Priorities
Although the candidates are unable to change the minds of voters, they are frequently
able to alter the public’s perception of what is important in the election. By choosing to focus on
specific issues, the candidates can “shape voter’s priorities” by forcing those issues to become
more prominent in the election.
Within issues, candidates frequently highlight those parts of the issues that are most
beneficial to their campaign. In the 2004 election, this was seen predominantly within the issues
of terrorism, the economy, and Iraq.
The candidates tend to be more successful when they highlight “party strengths” or
attributes which the public readily associates with a given party.

Issue Ownership
According to issues ownership theory, “the goal [of a campaign] is to achieve a strategic
advantage by making problems which reflect owned issues the programmatic meaning of the
election and the criteria by which voters make their choice.” Ie. Parties will tend to play to their
strengths within issues “owned” by particular voting blocks.
In this view, the a priori conditions of an election are not determinative—they merely
provide the raw materials the candidates must utilize.
This view also implies that campaign strategy is determined by the views of the voters
before the election, as candidates select issues that will speak (and largely to their base, though
perhaps also to targeted voting blocks and independents).
However, in the 2000 election, this situation rarely arose—in fact, 2/3 of the most
prominent issues belonged to independents (healthcare and education). The authors concede that
the 2000 election was unusual—both Bush and Gore were relatively unconstrained in the issues
they could select both because neither was a president seeking reelection, and there were no
“obvious issues.” The authors therefore turn to the 2004 election as a much more sensible test.
In 2004, there were obvious issues. Terrorism was on the radar screen, the economy hit a
severe downturn earlier in Bush’s administration, and the US was engaged in Iraq. Beyond this,
Bush was not popular enough to make the campaign completely asymmetric (as Reagan has done
in 1984).

Examining the Voters

Data reveals that voters make their minds up fairly early in the election—less than 1/5
make their decision within 2 weeks of the election. Partisans, as expected, tend to decide earlier
than independents. By collecting data from the 2000 and 2004 elections, we learned that there
were fewer undecided voters for Bush and Kerry to court than there were in 2000, but more of
those voters were independents than partisans.
Therefore, an “issue ownership” approach would suggest great incentives for Bush and
Kerry to target issues owned by Independents.

2004 Data
Early in the 2004 election, voter surveys established that the most important issues were
the economy (D), unemployment (D), terrorism (R), national security (R), and the war in Iraq
(D). These issues in turn were “owned” entirely by Republicans and Democrats (see letters next
to each issue).
Towards the end of the election, however, these priorities had shifted. The study was
repeated, and it showed that all three groups of voters were less concerned with the economy,
and more concerned with Iraq and Terrorism.

Coding Speeches
There are some neat graphs in the book (pp. 227-231) that reveal the individualized data
—if you’re interested, you can look there. I will only summarize the conclusions.
The authors looked at the candidates speeches and looked at 14 issues. Looking at the
percentage of the candidates’ rhetoric devoted to each issue, and comparing that to voter
priorities, the authors made two conclusions:
1. Candidates’ emphasizing particular issues strongly corresponded with those issues voters
identified as the most important issues.
2. As the candidates altered rhetoric and focused on different issues, the voters’ priorities
shifted. For example, in September, both candidates emphasized healthcare, when the
candidates turned away from the issue in October and November, however, so did the
voters. Similarly, Bush’s consistent rhetoric on the economy eased concern among
republicans that there was a problem. Kerry’s “more erratic attempts” were less

Even though the 2004 election was constrained by the pre-selection of particular issues,
and to a degree by the president’s tenure to that point, the candidates maintained room for
strategy through reshaping voters’ priority issues.

Thomas Patterson, Out of Order (Random House, 1994), chapter 1

This chapter proves to be somewhat repetitive; I’ll do my best to summarize the chapter
without repeating.

The role of the Press in the United States

The central premise of the argument is that the press in the United States has been asked
to perform two roles which it cannot simultaneously maintain.
In other nations, and until the 1960s in the United States, the press served only as a
critical watchdog, whose role was to watch government officials, and report objectively on
wrongdoing. Patterson argues that the press was given an additional role in the 1960s, however
—the role of ordering and giving direction to Presidential campaigns.

News and Truth

“News and truth are not the same thing.” Patterson points out that the news agencies, if
not directly misleading, frequently give the public only refracted versions of reality that
overemphasize particular aspects—those aspects that are sensational. Indeed, in a competition to
find riveting stories and attract viewers, the press devoted more coverage in the 1992 campaign
to issues such as Clinton’s draft record and Bush’s “wild charges (the Ozone-man, bozos)” than
to the economy.

The Nomination Process and the News

Through 1968, the nomination process was determined by party leaders. It was
Humphrey’s defeat that led to the McGovern-Fraser commission that instituted primaries to
determine the democratic nominee, and pressured states to impose similar systems on the
republic party. As a result, the nominating process quickly changed from a system where 2/3 the
states were “convention states” (determined by party leaders) to ¾ primary states.
This in turn place pressure on the voters to get to know the candidates in a way they had
not previously been asked to know them. Before, each candidate was attached to a readily
identifiable party, which implied the candidate had certain political positions. In primaries,
however, voters were confronted with a number of names, and oftentimes did not have the ability
to gather sufficient information on their own to make an informed choice.
The consequence is obvious—an increased reliance on the media to educate the public
about each of the candidates.
The intent of the McGovern-Fraser commission was to place the selection of the nominee
in the hands of voters. The commission’s recommendation, in the eyes of Patterson, was
therefore “naive.” The commission should have seen the newfound prominence and importance
of the media coming.
“The de facto premise of today’s nominating system is that the media will direct the
voters toward a clear understanding of what is at stake in choosing one candidate rather than
another.” Patterson goes on to state that even though the press can and does raise the public’s
consciousness, the news is unable to organize public opinion in a meaningful way (the way the
old party bosses used to).

Of great importance to Patterson is the idea of consistency within the parties. Patterson
appreciates the attempt of old party bosses to select candidates who fell in line with the party’s
views, to maintain a consistent option for voters from election to election. The press, however, is
concerned with finding the new, the interesting, the sensational—and therefore will tend to
highlight those candidates who tend against consistency.

The Electoral College

Patterson then offers a defense of the electoral college to demonstrate his point. In
turning to the Federalist Papers, Patterson quotes #68 (Hamilton): “Hamilton said there was ‘a
moral certainty’ that the choice of a president would rest on the candidates’ ‘requisite
qualifications,’ and not on their ‘talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity.’”
Patterson then proceeds to detail a number of examples from recent campaigns that
demonstrate the point that “low” issues tend to dominate the news, cutting against Hamilton’s
premise. Pages 66-69 offer these examples, which, though interesting, may not be important.

Patterson turns to the examples just mentioned and notes that the presidential election
system is essentially unpredictable. Patterson then offers a host of conclusive statements: “There
is no purpose behind an electoral system in which the vote is impulsive and can hinge on random
circumstance or minor issues.” “Disorder is a sure sign of a defective system.”
Indeed, Patterson returns to his point that voters “are not stupid, but have been saddled
with an impossible task.” Namely, knowing the candidates. Everyday life is too busy to remain
informed. “In reality, the voters act on the basis of little information and without the means to
select the optimal candidate in a crowded race.”
The candidates are similarly required to carry burdens they shouldn’t be expected to carry
—good men are discouraged from running, or prevented from running due to the requirement
that they fulfill other duties. Patterson adds that individuals might not run if they fear winning
the nomination but losing the general election—as such a move might brand them as “a loser”
and discount their chances in future elections.
Candidates are also forced to seek endorsements in primaries, in place of party brands.
Furthermore, the campaign trail puts pressures on candidates to make promises that they
feel compelled to make, but never should. Indeed, the campaign trail forces candidates to over-
As Patterson wraps up, he writes: “If we know now that the Framers were wrong in their
belief in the inevitability of a tyrannical majority, we also know that they were right in their
belief that an overemphasis on campaigning results in excessive appeals to self-interest and
momentary passions.”
Missing Jeffrey Wilf
Stephen J. Wayne, “Reforming the Electoral System” Ch9 in The Road to the White House,
pp. 303 – 330
Nomination process reforms, problems, and potential solutions:
• Choosing delegates
1. Democratic Party reforms of 1968 aimed at increasing democratic participation in
nominations. Reforms later forced on Republican Party.
2. Problems: campaigns more expensive, weakened state parties, longer campaigns,
calendar front-loading means most important part of campaign happens before
people are paying attention, conventions turned into coronations.
3. Potential solutions: compacting the calendar is resisted by individual states
seeking to maintain prominence (NH + IA), regional or population-based primary
grouping would favor regional candidates and promote sectionalism, national
primary day would be consistent with “one person one vote”, but would further
weaken parties and discourage lesser-known or less-well-financed candidates
from running.
• Campaign finance
1. 1970s Reforms were intended to shed light on financing, provide funding equity,
and improve accountability.
2. Problems: 527 loophole and PAC soft money allow unlimited contributions,
spending caps apply only to candidates who accept public financing therefore puts
them at a disadvantage, public financing encourages fringe candidates to run at
public expense, FEC is ineffective because of even partisan divide.
3. Potential solutions: increasing the individual contribution limit would give the
rich more influence, increasing public donation matching would require exhaust
current public funding model, restricting media buys prohibits free speech and
reduces information the voter receives about a candidate, limiting PAC and 527
money is unconstitutional by Supreme Court ruling.
• News media
1. The reforms of the 1970s enhanced media’s role in nominations process by
requiring candidates to seek popular votes through media advertisement and news
2. Problems: candidates play the media in a “spin” game, journalists cover
personality and drama instead of issues, coverage focuses on two main parties and
excludes third party candidates, voters do not get enough information about the
candidates election night predictions are often wrong and can influence outcomes.
3. Potential Solutions: networks assign reporters to cover issues much like they
already assign reporters to cover campaign drama, candidates can use
nontraditional media like talk shows, candidates can engage in debates which fit
with media’s game schema, could stop predicting results while polls are still open.
• Voter Turnout
1. Problems: In 1996, 51% of eligible Americans chose NOT to vote. Growing
disconnect between voters and the political system. Reduced legitimacy.
2. Potential Solutions: make registration easier or automatic, make election day a
national holiday (would cost employers millions of dollars in lost revenue),
extending voting period to multiple days, switch to mail or e-mail voting,
compulsory voting (has civil liberties drawbacks), introducing proportional
representation in congress (would make minority votes worthwhile), free media
time for candidates, increasing civic education, wider party policy appeals.
• Electoral college and alternatives
1. The general election is for different slates of Electors in each state that will be
sent to the Electoral College. Potentially unrepresentative of popular vote, favors
smaller states, winner-takes-all discounts minority vote
2. Potential solutions:
 Automatic Plan – give winner of popular vote in each state all of the
Electoral College votes, thus prohibiting an elector from voting against the
state’s popular vote. Unnecessary b/c electors rarely change their votes.
 Proportional Plan – assign elector votes for each state by proportion of
popular vote in that state. Would increase minority and third party
participation in all states and encourage nationwide competition, but
would decrease winning margins in Electoral College, decreasing winner’s
claim to a sweeping mandate.
 District Plan – 2 Electoral College votes in each state are determined by
state-wide election, the rest determined by votes within congressional
districts. Plan currently in use by ME and NE. Elector College votes
would resemble partisan divide in Congress, regional third parties might
benefit, large competitive states would lose.
 Direct Election – president chose based on popular vote, with at least 40%
necessary to win. Run-off election if no candidate receives over 40%.
Would encourage 3rd party participation, may lead to multi-party coalition
government, could increase incentive to voter fraud, difficulty recounting,
plan supported by the public but opposed by career politicians.
Lecture 4: Presidential Selection: nominations 9/29/2005
• Criteria for evaluating the nomination process: 1. Does the system motivate talented
people to run for office? 2. Does the system give adequate time and info for voters to
make informed decisions? 3. Does the system have legitimacy consistent with democratic
norms? 4. Does the system select for skill needed to govern effectively?
• History of the nomination: Framers feared direct democracy. Compromised on Electoral
College scheme, with each state having 1 elector for each senator and representative in
Congress. Each elector casts 2 ballots, one of which must be for someone from a different
state. Majority of college vote goes to President, second most votes go to Vice President.
If no majority, then the House decides among the top 5 vote-getters. Did not foresee
campaigns or parties.
• King caucus: 1800 – 1824. Congressional party leaders met in closed sessions to
nominate their party’s candidate after the Congressional session was over. Domination of
party and government insider candidates like Secretary of State. System fell apart after
1824 election of J. Q. Adams who had not received majority of popular votes.
• National Conventions: 1831 Anti-Freemason Society held the first national party
convention to choose a presidential candidate. State parties send delegates who vote on
platforms and candidates. Favored party insiders, dark horse candidates, and back-room
dealing. Reflected power of political parties.
• Unimportance of Primaries: TR beat Taft in most primaries in 1912, but only 42% of
convention delegates were chosen by primary, so Taft won anyway. Primaries became
less prevalent after WWI because people said they were too expensive.
• 1968: Humphrey won nomination at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago without
having entered a single primary. Protests and fights on the convention hall floor on
national television prompted the McGovern-Frasier reform commission to examine
reform options. By 1972 every state had to choose delegates by primary or open caucus
systems. New rules were also forced on Republican Party by Democratically controlled
state legislatures.
Today’s campaigns: all delegates except a few Democratic Super Delegates are chosen by
primary, and the winner is known well in advance of the convention, which has become a media-
orchestrated coronation. Today there are really 2 contests: who can raise enough funds to stay in
the game, and who can win enough votes. Candidates must endure a very long and expensive
process, appeal to a national audience, advocate a coherent set of ideas, and handle themselves
well in debates. Favors well-known and well-financed Washington outsiders with executive
Andrew Rudalevige

Main argument: Cabinet govt. is a fiction, but govt. can’t function without cabinet.

• Washington relied on cabinet to help with enormous job.

• Truman claimed cabinet was fundamental to policy formulation
• While there are exceptions, cabinet mostly does not do too much.
Evolution of the cabinet
• Cabinet anticipated, though not explicitly, in Constitution. In part, to put a check on
single executive.
• State, War, Treasury, and AG in1789 by Congress. More through the years.
• These form inner cabinet. The only ones that still have any real contact with the
Cabinet Government
• Some say cabinet not “institutionalized,” since role and power varies from President to
• Rudalevige says cabinet as institution has deep roots and broad scope.
• Into mid 20th century, many cite cabinet as crucial for functioning government.
• Every modern president claims he will get cabinet more involved.
o A promise rarely kept.
• Reasons for cabinet weakness
o Cabinet is often selected as political favors.
o Nominees must secure Senate confirmation.
o Presidents cannot compel anyone to join their cabinets.
 Once all of these accounted for, may not have President’s trust.
• Even without all these problems, cabinet still has structural problems.
o Cabinet is too big for detailed conversation.
o Too diverse a group for productive debate.
 Cabinet members don’t want others commenting on their problems.
o Presidents have to consider divided loyalties of secretaries.
 Constituencies, Congress, courts, and “national interest.”
• Much more attractive than cabinet is presidential and exec office staff.
o More loyal, fewer complications, less personal ambition.
• Conclusion: Presidents like cabinet government in principle but not practice.
“Cabinet Government” in the Modern Presidency
• Andrew Card: advise president and implement his decisions.
• Cabinet members are either
o Specialists, substantive stuff.
o Generalists, managerial stuff.
o Liaisons, political attributes.
• The Representative Executive.
o Cabinet used to please different constituencies.
 Regional diversity.
 Recently racial and gender diversity.
• Cabinet symbolizes openness and inclusivity.
• The Cabinet as Lightning Rod.
o Cabinet members rarely vocal. Not often good when they are.
o Can be used by presidents to give out bad news, deflect blame.
 “presidential lightning rods.”
“Real Loyalty”: The Quest for Bureaucratic Control
• Nixon valued loyalty so much that he put low profile people in positions, relying on their
loyalty and lack of personal ambition.
• Some presidents have been more controlling than others in terms of appointing cabinet
The President’s Program: Formulation, Passage, Implementation
• President’s staff relatively small compared to rest of executive branch.
o Needs cabinet resources and manpower.
• Departments play important role in forming ideas for policy.
o Have expertise.
• Cabinet councils have been used to try to deal with overlapping issues.
o Effective when small.
o Gave depts. Real voice.
Conclusions: “Creative Confrontations” and Presidential Governance
• Cabinet destined for failure as decision-making body.
• Still, some write off cabinet as not being useful, which is not true.
o White House staff cannot replace cabinet’s implementation.
• Cabinet meetings are generally not useful, but councils can be.
• Keeping communication channels with cabinet open is important for President.
• Cabinet crucial for creating constructive conflicts, and as a result, giving President good
Presidential Decision Making: The Economic Policy Board, pp. 5-29:
“Organizational Challenges” 1980 – Roger Porter

← Introduction
← The communications revolution has focused increased attention on the President as the
single most powerful figure.

← A president’s capacity to meet the unrealistically high expectations that are placed upon
him is directly related to how organized he is to make decisions.

← Why study economic policy? 1. Both foreign and domestic policy has become
increasingly important since FDR, and consumes large amounts of his time (read: organization is
key to success) and 2. Has received relatively little attention from scholars.

← The Interrelatedness of Issues
← Three reasons for recent increased complexity and interrelatedness of policy making:
• 1. Expansion of Gov. activity (domestic spending: 9% in 1929, 17.5% in 1960, 1976:
o Result: increased demands on the president; fewer problems fall within a
single agency or department’s province.
o Result: President responsible for administering the increasing number of
problems, and also for resolving expanding conflicts between their objectives
and priorities.
• 2. Sheer growth in number of issues to understand and organize.
o i.e. environment, energy, consumer interests
• 3. Blurring of traditional distinction between domestic and foreign economic policy
since the 1950s.
o Businesses are increasingly multinational, and thus global.
 Thus nat’l economies (incl. US) are more concerned with the
economies of their trading partners, which results in increased
openness of the US economy.
 + openness+interdependence+vulnerability
 Thus, domestic economic policy must involve foreign economic
policy, and as such, they are now increasingly intertwined.
 An example is agricultural policy: at once foreign (sanctions, imports)
and domestic (import activity affects farming, general food supply).
← Issue interrelatedness means that departments and agencies are less likely to be aware of
all of the overlapping elements of problems. Thus, OMB and WH staff are increasingly useful
for identifying interrelationships b/w issues and interests.

← A Fragmented Executive Branch
• “A many splintered thing” (Stephen Bailey)
• Presents an organizational challenge: People who do not know each other across the
fragmented top layers of the branch are less likely to be able to coordinate operations,
information, planning, etc. Thus mutual understandings of issues are much more
← Departmentalism
• For efficiency purposes, decentralization is key. However, some aspects of
departments different than the Presidency:
o More parochial view, by definition of being departmentalized.
o Department staffers narrow-mindedly aim to protect and progress their
respective department, issues, etc.
o Relationships b/w interest groups and agencies/departments extend beyond a
single presidency.
• Professionalism has maintained departmental influence.
o Bureaucratic core of departments are experts and professionals in particular
o Harold Seidman’s Iron Triangle of political power: these professionals,
interested legislators (i.e. subcommittees), and spokesmen for groups
benefiting from relevant gov’t programs.
• Mutual dependence (constituency groups on departments) encourages mutual support
(departments supported by constituency to increase authority in the executive branch)
o Departments represent specialized constituencies rather than holistic
American ideology. Ex: Ag. for farmers.
• Career bureaucracy: unlike UK, most servants remain in same department.
o Specialized expertise, but narrow perspectives
o Career civil servants depend on the health of their department, so they are
biased to preserve their institution, and expand its autonomy.
• Unity across horizontal lines of leadership is hampered since each is loyal to their
department before the whole administrative team.

← The Cabinet Secretary at the Crossroads
← New cabinet secretaries typically face career bureaucracies resistant to change, yet must
manage departments that contain multiple conflicting viewpoints.
• Most secretaries have short tenures (average of 4 mos. from 1933-1965, 18 mos.
during Nixon)
← Three main pressures on secretaries:
• 1. Advocating their departments and programs
o Charles G. Dawe remarks that because of this, “the members of the Cabinet
are a President’s natural enemies.”
• 2. Having close ties with constituency. Ex: Ag must have ear and more to farm
o This is most often the overriding attribute in selecting secretaries: the
likelihood of them meshing with their respective constituencies.
• 3. Having a good relationship with Congress.
o Congress confirms secretary, passes her legislation, oversees administrative
performance, appropriates funds, etc.
← Independence: while conflicting pressures present crossroads w/in Departments,
secretaries are afforded independence, which means that he can single-handedly influence
anything that applies to his Department.
← How secretaries spend time: largely administrative tasks, meetings to push programs and
policy, little time for reflection, and seldom confronted by peers.

← The View from the White House
← Has a unique role in the American political system:
• National constituency  broader policy perspective than cabinet.
• Congress and the nation expect initiative and direction from POTUS.
• The national public status and following gives POTUS more leadership, bargaining,
and persuasion resources than anyone.
• Because of the breadth of his role, 2 key organizational interests:
o 1. Integration of policy: with diffused power, a unified message is efficient but
difficult to achieve.
o 2. Balancing competing forces and interests in the major policy areas: results
in better informed policy advice
← Two prescriptions for overcoming or transcending departmentalism:
• 1. Consolidating departments
• 2. Cabinet government: held less for issue-oriented discussion, but for exchanging
information and getting direction from the President. Most secretaries lobby WH
staff because they know the President rarely seeks policy advice from the secretaries,
mostly because he knows their views, and knows them to be too narrow for his
broader responsibilities.

← Organizational Alternatives
← 1. Adhocracy
• President distributes assignments and selects who he listens to and when.
• Involves few regularized channels
• Frequently results in jurisdictional quarrelling, chaos.
• Typically used in transitional periods, figuring out who will do what.
• Still exists, though less random than in FDR’s time: now, OMB, NSC, and other WH
offices check and balance such tasks.
← 2. Centralized Management
• Heavy reliance on WH staff and EOP, to filter ideas, proposals, and recommendations
before they reach the President.
• Grounded in desire for advice from advocates.
← 3. Multiple Advocacy
• Relies on an honest broker to ensure a full and balanced debate on issues.
• Based on commitment to competition of ideas as best method of policy development.
• Such honest brokers are supposed to insure
o Due process: everyone with an opinion gets a fair shot
o Quality control: the information fed to the President is high-quality, relevant,
and structured.
← Rarely are only one of these approaches implemented, usually it is a combination of two
or all three or simply variations.
← Porter supports multiple advocacy the most:
• It’s theoretically promising, but largely unexamined in practice.
• Theoretically, it provides all points of view, bridges the gap between policy
formulation and implementation, and allows the expansion of the President’s
influence: he can tap a plethora of individuals in the Executive Branch for advice.
Thus multiple advocacy is the most inclusive of the three.
• However, it is difficult to implement because it depends on officials playing nice and
working together in groups. For example, the NSC.
o Such “fixed membership superstructures” have 5 operational problems
according to Francis Bator:
 1. Substance is watered down because secretaries, etc. represent many
people. 2. Such groups never stop growing, reducing each member’s
share of facetime and productivity. 3. Subordinates tend to replace
heads in such meetings. 4. Leaks common 5. Most real bargaining gets
done outside the boardroom, in informal, interpersonal interactions.
 Porter also adds that most often, a single personality dominates the
discussion although on paper everyone gets a fair shot.
• The Economic Policy Board, according to Porter, circumvents all of these problems
because it actually achieves the theoretical goals of multiple advocacy.
14/10/2009 20:01:00

Gov 1540: The American Presidency 14/10/2009

The White House Staff and Organization – James Pfiffner

• White House staff system is one of defining characteristics of modern presidency

• Argues that WH needs the firm control of a chief of staff, but too domineering approach
to job will result in trouble

Evolution of White House Staff

• very small during early years of country, paid for by President.

• Dramatic shift under FDR and birth of modern presidency
o Huge staff needed for New Deal
o Brownlow Committee  proposed that president should be center of control in
the executive branch
o Seen as power grab by Congress, approved two of its proposals with provisions
creating positions for 6 administrative assistants to the president.
o Committee Report would have major repercussions over the years as it articulated
justification for an active staff to serve president and laid foundation for growth in
numbers and power of the WH staff in the modern presidency.
o WH staff has grown from relatively small staff of FDR to more than 500 in the

How Presidents Managed their Staff

o Gave out assignments on an ad-hoc basis (adhocracy)
o Legendary for manipulation of his staffers, thrived on conflict in his staff and
used it be a more effective decision-maker.

• Truman
o Uncomfortable with personal conflict
o Did not give out overlapping assignments or encourage conflict/disagreement on
his staff
o Truman WH began trend toward functional specialization that has come to
characterize modern presidency.
o Layering of WH staff began in Truman WH as a result of this specialization

• Eisenhower
o Institutionalized the presidency
o Most important and lasting contributions to organization of presidency was the
office of chief of staff

o Took more active role than Ike, eliminated chief of staff
o Set up president at hub of the wheel for his WH
o JFK used loose organizational approach but increased centralization and WH

o Similar approach as JFK’s. Jealous of staff publicity, would cut them down to

• Nixon
o Wanted to give more power to cabinet/other agencies in executive branch because
he wanted them to focus on running the country while he could focus on domestic
o Changed strategy while president; brought the work of the deperatments and
agencies in the WH.
o Isolated himself and WH

• Ford
o Started off with spokes-of-the-wheel approach
o Didn’t work, needed a strong chief of staff to filter out people/issues

• Carter
o Did not want a chief of staff; thought he could do it himself.
o Eventually admitted that a chief of staff was necessary
• Ford and Carter presidencies proved that the modern WH cannot function effectively
without a chief of staff

• Reagan
o Passive, liked to delegated a lot of responsibility to his staff,
o Because of that, his staff was crucial to his presidency in a way that was not true
of FDR, JFK, or Bush I.

• Bush
o Strong chief of staff but kept lines of communication open with cabinet, other
members of executive branch/administration

• Conclusion
o WH staff and organization will faithfully reflect president, but should strive to
counter presidential weaknesses
o WH needs a chief of staff; someone short of the president must be in charge
o No president has successfully run WH without a chief of staff since 1969, and
since 1979 no president has tried.
o Chief of staffs must be honest broker and coordinator of administration policy.
Cannot be soft but nor can they be tyrannical, arbitrary, and egotistical.
o Ultimately, there is no salvation from staff. Buck stops with President.
Burke, John “The Institutional Presidency” from The Presidency and the Political System

• John Burke argues that the size and complexity of the modern presidential staff have
caused the White House itself to take on the character of a bureaucratic organization. In
this chapter, he chronicles a number of strategies presidents have adopted to make good
use of their staffs.

• The White House staff is made up of around 2,000 employees in significant policy-
making positions and can serve as an organizational context that can set limits on what a
president can do and sometimes thwart even the best of presidential intentions
• It is necessary to now recognize the American executive as an institution – a presidency,
not merely a president, and in doing this we can better understand the office, how it
operates, the challenges it faces, and how it affects our politics

The Institutional Presidency

• The concern of this chapter is to understand the organizational character of the
presidency – its growth in size, the complexity of its work ways, and the general way in
which it resembles a large, well organized bureaucracy
Complex Institution:
 The first aspect of the complexity of this institution is the increase in size which
can be seen by comparing the White House staff of FDR to that of Clinton’s or
 One of the primary causes of growth has been the addition of these units: Office
of Management and Budget (formed as Bureau of the Budget in 1921), the
Council of Economic Advisors (1946), the National Security Council (197), the
Office of the US Trade Representative (1963), the Office of Policy Development
(1970), the Council on Environmental Quality (1970), the Office of Science and
Technology Policy (1976), the Office of Administration (1977), and the Office of
National Drug Control Policy (1989).
 In the institution of the presidency, there is the presence of a central authority that
coordinates the contributions of the institution’s functional parts – the Chief of
Differentiation from Environment:
 The complexity of the presidency and its reliance on expert advice have given the
institution a unique place in the policy process, differentiating it from its political
environment. One way this has occurred is through increased WH control of new
policy initiatives
 Those seeking to influence national politics try to cultivate the people who have
the most to do with policy proposals: the White House
 The second aspect of the presidency that differentiates it from the surrounding
political environment is the way parts of the staff are organized explicitly to
manage external relations with the media, Congress, and various constituencies.

The Effects of an Institutional Presidency

• Do the presidency’s institutional characteristics, as opposed to the individual styles,
practices, and idiosyncrasies of each
president matter? It is the
personality, character, and distinctive
behavior of each of these presidents
that have generally attracted the
attention of press and public
• However, since the institutionalized daily workings of the presidency transcend the
personal ideologies, character, and
idiosyncrasies of those who work
within it (esp the president), it makes
sense to analyze the presidency from
an institutional perspective.
External Centralization: Presidential Control of Policy Making:
 The large presidential staff ahs centralized much policy-making power within the
presidency, and this has both positive and negative effects
 Positive: centralized control can protect the programs that the president wishes to
foster  new political initiatives usually not received well in DC
 Negative: WH control of the policy process can cause the institution to diminish
or even exclude other sources of advice
Internal Centralization: Hierarchy, Gatekeeping, and Presidential Isolation
 The centralization of policy-making power by the WH staff has been
accompanied by a centralization of power within the staff by one or two chief
aides, which also affects the way the institutional presidency operates, providing
both opportunities and risks for the president.
 Positive: this can ensure clear lines of responsibility, well-demarcated duties, and
orderly work ways. FDR’s staff is an example of the problems that can arise from
lack of effective organization. It can also protect the president’s political standing
by giving the highly visible staff member a significant amount of authority which
acts as a lightning rod, handling politically tough assignments and deflecting
political controversy from the president to himself or herself (Eisenhower’s
presidency was like that)
 Negative: Corruption and the abuse of power (when Sherman Adams under
Eisenhower was accused of accepting gifts from a New England textile
manufacturer). Also, a highly visible assistant with a large amount of authority
can act as a gatekeeper, controlling and filtering the flow in information to and
from the president (Jordan under Carter and Regan under Reagan were criticized
for limiting access to the president and selectively screening the info and advice
the president received). Another downside is that presidents can find themselves
isolated, relying on a small core group of advisers. If that occurs, the information
the president gets will already have been selectively filtered and interpreted, and
discussions and deliberations will be confined to an inner circle of like-minded
advisers (Pres. Bush has been criticized of this).
 As the top levels of the WH staff have gained authority and political visibility, the
rest of the staff has taken on the character of a bureaucratic organization.
 What develops as a substitute for work satisfaction or personal proximity to the
president are typical patterns of organizational behavior: WH staff members often
compete for assignments and authority that serve as a measure of their standing
and prestige on the staff and ultimately with the president. They also care about
how they are perceived by outsiders, ie the press, Congress, lobbyists, and other
political influentials.
 In response to this bureaucratization, presidents are increasingly politicizing the
institutional presidency meaning they are attempting to make sure that staff
members heed their policy directives and serve the president’s political needs
rather than their own. To advance their goals, presidents need broad agreement
among their aides and assistants with their political programs and policy goals.
 Excessive politicization can limit the range of opinions among the staff and can
weaken the objectivity of the policy analysis at the president’s disposal.
 The Office of Management and Budget has been the most politicized part of the
president’s staff.

Putting the President Back In

• Since its inception under FDR, the institutional presidency has undoubtedly offered
presidents some of the important resources they need to meet the complex policy task and
expectations of the office.
• As we have seen, however, the by-products of an institutional presidency – centralization of
policy-making in the WH staff, hierarchy, bureaucratization, and politicization – have
detracted from as well as served the president’s policy goals.
• Although the presidency is an institution, it is an intensely personal one, which can take on a
different character from administration to administration – presidents and their staff are by no
means hostages to the institutions.
• The most obvious management task a president faces is to recognize on first being elected
that organizing and staffing the WH are matters of highest priority
• Beyond striking a good balance between loyalty on the one hand and DC experience and
policy expertise on the other, the presidents must also be aware of strengths, and especially the
weaknesses of the various ways of organizing the staff members they have selected.
• Presidents can also take steps to deal with the bureaucratic tendencies that crop up in their
• All presidents also have the capacity to choose how they will act and react within a complex
political context populated by other powerful political institutions, processes, and participants.
Too much politicization weakens any special claims of expertise, experience, and institutional
primacy that the president might make in a particular policy area. Too much centralization
eclipses the role of other political actors in a system that is geared to share, rather than exclude,
domains of power; it may also set in motion a powerful reaction against the president.
• Presidents need to know that the character and intended audience of persuasion must be
tailored not just to the requirements of legislative bargaining and enhancing popular support
but to the institutional character of the presidency itself.
The Institutional Presidency and the Unwritten Constitution
Don K Price

In Sum, the executive office of the President, the core of the intuitional Presidency, has turned
out to be much bigger than its inventors expected, but at the sacrifice of its basic principles.
- Before it was set up in 1939 Congress did not believe that the President’s duties as chief
executive justified the establishment of an official staff for policy planning and of
managerial control over the Exec Dept. and agencies.
- However, in 1939 the Brownlow Committees recommendation changed this and set the
Executive Office up by Reorganization Plan in 1939.
- Brownlow report was based on the following principles: 1) the exec. office agencies were
to help the President, but not to have any authority in their own right, nor to be in a chain
of command b/w the president and the heads of exec depts. 2) they were to deal only with
issues of such importance to the President that they could not be delegated 3) the dept.
heads, and not the members of the exec office were to be the principal political
lieutenants of the President, and accountable to Congress 4) the Exe office except for a
small number of political aides in the White House office and the heads of the
institutional staff agencies like the budge bureau was to be staffed on a career and merit
- Unfortunately in “all of these respects things have gone wrong” – personnel in the office
has doubled
- Price then asks on what basis and for what purpose should we devise a new set of
principles or reaffirm the old?
- Brownlow’s committees sales pitch depended on two ideas: 1) efficiency and economy in
govt. are important and should imitate private business 2) a desire to reorganize the
distinction between policy, the preserve of the legislature and administration, which
should be left to the executive .
- These two lines of argument – business efficiency and the separation of policy from
administration led to distortion of the original principles of the executive office in several
ways: 1) the purpose of govt. reorganization resulted in the elimination of overlapping
and duplication in an effort to achieve economy – yet the complexity of modern
economic and social systems has forced an interlocking and interdependence of govt.
agencies – we shouldn’t focus on separating their function rather making sure that there is
a ‘coherent meshing’ 2) the old Bureau of the budget was committed by these ideas to
tend, in most of its parts to a negative and restricted outlook. 3) the implicit distinction
b/w administration, as something to be left to career officers, and policy, which should be
the province of political appointees may well have discouraged the development of a
strong career staff w/a good institutional memory. 4) most conspicuous of all the
emphasis on business principles restricted the development of a career generalist staff
with an aptitude for broad policy development.
- After the original conception of the executive office as an institution it became clear that
the original principles of the brownlow and Hoover reports were progressively made
more obsolete by successive presidents. Why did this happen: 1)economies were not to
be effected by managerial efficiency 2) Exec Office staff agencies had no real power but
they had a great deal of influence – special interests in Congress used this to their
advantage. 3) As congress attempted to exert control over the internal structure of the
office the president compensated by increasing the number of political appointees.
- Price states “ I believe that the exec office could not be made to conform to its original
principles, not because they were wrong but because of fundamental contraction b/w the
principles – these ideas, in caricature, were the beliefs in legalism, scientism, and
nonpartisan reform.
- In conclusion, the “main problem is not with our written Constitution but our unwritten
constitutions, which Congress may change if it wishes – the first step in the right
direction will be to quit talking about Constitutional separation of powers and
acknowledge that in all major issues of management both Congress and the president are
involved in the direction and control of depts. and agencies.
- In order to determine the status and role of the executive office we have to ask our selves
a number of questions related to number of legislative checks, legal or political checks,
procedures for initiatives, distinction b/w discussion and determination of policy,
Political and Career staff, and the size of the executive office.

Lecture 8
Super Brief summary – Bold terms are possible ID’s

-In this lecture we discuss the Staff secretary – very important determines who gets to
see the president
- Goes into detail regarding the care and feeding offices related to the president.
- There is a third set of offices known as packaging and selling.
- The myth regarding WH staff is that it has grown too much – myth is far from reality.
- He then ends the lecture discussing vertical coordination w/in the offices and concludes
that horizontal coordination is far more difficult.
Roger B. Porter, "Presidents and Economists: The Council of Economic
Advisers," American Economic Review, Vol. 87, No. 2 (May 1997), pp. 103-106.

- The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) was created by congress in the Employment Act
of 1946.
- Four key reasons why the CEA has survived as an important part of the executive office
o It has maintained modest size comparable to other executive offices
o The CEA has maintained a professional, nonpartisan staff with a reputation for high-
quality analysis
o The CEA has avoided operational responsibilities (stayed advisory only) and has
thus concentrated on what they do best- the CEA has not tried to exceed its
o The CEA has concentrated its energies not on long-term studies or detailed reports,
but on the steady stream of day-to-day economic decisions

- One of the primary reasons why the CEA has remained important and relevant
throughout various administrations is the fact that the information they provide has
remained consistent over the years.
- Examples of positive functions the CEA has facilitated:
o Deregulation of industries
o the clear air act of 1990
o the collecting and disseminating of economic statistics

- Pretty much all presidential administrations have had positive relations with the CEA;
most chairman and top advisors in the CEA have had close working relationships with
the president as well

James P. Pfiffner, "OMB: Professionalism, Politicization, and the Presidency,"

in Colin Campbell and Margaret Jane Wyszomirski eds., Executive Leadership
in Anglo-American Systems, (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991), pp. 195-217.
- The Bureau of the Budget was formerly the Treasury Dept. However, the BOB gained
importance and presence in becoming part of the Executive Office of the President in
- The Bureau of the Budget was renamed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in
- The BOB’s official responsibility is offering nonpartisan service to the President in the
pursuit of economy and efficiency; they are also the most important political body in
terms of ensuring that the transition between changing administrations runs smoothly
- The OMB has undergone extensive criticism for the fact that they have been too
responsive to individual presidents and their personal political agendas
- The OMB’s primary power is its control over the budget of the executive branch.
- The OMB’s power is based on their familiarity with agency budgets and requirements
- The OMB (primarily in the 70’s and 80’s) became more concerned with saving money
than with effectiveness
- The OMB has become much more involved over the years in getting the president’s
budget pushed through congress
- The OMB is given “central legislative clearance” whereby all agency proposals for
legislation that may have a bearing on the treasury (or funds) has to be cleared by them.
- The OMB has been effective in maintainin its role in presidential management through its
regulatory review process, however has fallen short in the organizational planning and
help necessary to help other agencies. (pg. 243)
- There are three main ways in which the OMB has become more politicized over the
years, thus facilitating the president’s agenda;
o The transition from institutional to personal staff in the agency
o The creation of the positions of Program Associate Directors (PAD’s); these
presidential appointees are directly in charge of examining divisions in an attempt
to make the OMB more directly responsive to presidential political priorities
o The third element of OMB politicization is its increasing public advocacy and
visibility; the OMB has adjusted information in its attempt to support the
president, and has downsized its permanent “career” staff. It’s role in supporting
the president has basically become more blatant

- The OMB has continued to expand its role in adapting to the needs of the president;
furthermore, presidents have become more interested in centralized control of the
executive branch, than with governance (pg. 250)
← Summaries for Study Guide

← Roger Porter, Presidential Decision Making, Appendix p.229-252

← The Three Presidential Decision Making Styles:

← Adhocracy
• Not a formalized system
• Relies heavily on delegation and prioritization by the President
• President assigns responsibilities to advisers or “Experts”
• Two types:
o Transition Adhocracy:
 Typifies decision making during early monthes of
 Characterized by newness
 Relies on individuals over institutions
o Traditional Adhocracy:
 Can occur at any time in an administration
 Can involve competing assignments (Roosevelt)
• Few regularized channels
• Assignment can be given to interagency groups responsible only for
specific tasks
• Open jurisdictional boundaries
• More likely to settle issues bilaterally
o Can also turn into “multiple bilateralism”
 President personally assigns the problems to someone
or the problems are raised by his advisers
 Then creates multiple advocacy situation by seeking
advice from other interested parties
• Leaves President final decision maker
o Image of President as “Commander in Chief”
• Strengths:
o Flexibility
o Increased confidentiality
o Ability to respond quickly
o Image of President in command
• Weaknesses:
o Heavy demand on president’s time
o Burden on president to integrate policies
o Fails to differentiate between major and minor issues
o Potentially excludes major interests
o Lacks provisions for comprehensive policy examination
o Scope for 1 on 1 pleading with the president
← Centralized Management
• Heavy reliance on the White House Staff and Executive Office to
filter ideas, proposals and recommendations before they go to the
• Indicates desire for advice and analysis from those who share the
president’s political views and know him best
• Ordered and Rational
• Driven by white house staff
• Shields president from raw decisions over policy—distills the
information he receives
• Concentrates power in 2 or 3 individuals who can become
• Departments and agencies play secondary role
• Strengths
o May have issues brought to his attention that would not
otherwise see
o Loyal and competent resource dedicated to him alone
o Increases likelihood of controlling timing and announcement
of new policies and initiatives
• Weaknesses
o Alienates departments and agencies, reducing their morale
o Objectivity of staff can be an illusion
o Small resources
o Does not reflect diversity of concerns or opinions
o Enormous burden on Chief of Staff
o Decisions will be made before some things get to the
o Widens gulf between implementation and formulation
o Widens gulf between departments/agencies and white house
← Multiple Advocacy
• “Open system based on inclusion.”
• Competing viewpoints presented to the president to expose him to
a wide variety of opinions by advocates and frequently hear them
argue in front of him
• Relies on honest broker to make sure all sides are represented and
process runs smoothly
• President hears all sides, asks questions and weighs options before
making decisions
• Executive director and staff ensure “due process” and “quality
• Consistency amongst advisers
• Strengths
o All points of view represented and considered
o Improves quality of alternatives and of supporting
o Bridges gap between formulation and implementation
 Decision less likely to be undermined if had say in
making the decision.
 Quality of decisions improves with more info
 Increases support for president in executive branch
o Mirrors forces in Washington
o Strengthens presidential influence
 Give power to cabinet officials who can then influence
 Sensitizes officials to broad range of interests
• Weaknesses
o Difficult to operate
o Disparities in resources and talent may distort
o No guarantee all viable options will be represented
o Agencies can withhold info
o Group ideology may emerge
o Full participation takes lots of time
o Leaks likely
o Forces decisions to the top
o Weakens ability of senior executives to deliver on
commitments to constitutents
Models can be used together
Three fundamental differentiating characteristics
• Continuity
• Individual responsible for organizing information president receives
• Participation pattern of white house staff, agencies and
← Wide variations in execution of all styles, and wide room for flexibility
Summary of Chapter 4 on “Foreign Policy” from Presidents, The Presidency, and
the Political Environment by John Kessel

• Presidents tend to give more attention to international events in their second year
than in their first, and still more in their third
• The do shift back to domestic questions when running for reelection in the fourth
year; but if they win reelection, international events are more important in their
second term than in their first.
The National Security Council
• Three Major Effects
o A committee of senior officials who meet to review foreign policy issues
for the president
o Provides a focus for formal planning and decision-making processes
o Has provided the institutional base for the emergence of a presidential
foreign policy staff
• Has four statutory members as mandated by National Security Act of 1947
o The President (chair), vice-president, secretary of state
o Also two statutory staffers: the director of CIA and chairman of the joint
chiefs of staff
The Department of State
• The Department of State employs about 5,000 professional diplomats (Foreign
Service Officers or FSOs) among its 20,000 to 30,000 employees
• Dept. is responsible for the implementation of policy while NSC is charged with
policy coordination
• FSOs are less likely to care about the political popularity of a policy because they
serve as career diplomats and are very removed from the President
• FSOs are very useful in getting expertise on the political trends of other countries
The Department of Defense
• Created by the National Security Act of 1947
• Cultivates very close relationships with members of congress
• In order to intervene meaningfully in these defense processes, one must first
master complex budgetary details, and then learn enough science and technology
to be prepared to argue, for example that a new missile will or will not work for
the following reasons
• Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff became a very important player with passage of
the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986
o Acts as the principal military advisor to the defense secretary and the
president and also responsible for unified theater commands
• National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and National Security Agency (NSA) are
part of the Defense Department not the CIA
Central Intelligence
• Also created by National Security Act of 1947
• Much intelligence is now gathered technologically, especially using satellite
• Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) is a statutory advisor to the National
Security Council
• Because 80% of the total intelligence budget goes to the Dept. of Defense, the
DCI can only coordinate intelligence with the cooperation of the Dept. of
• Two most important units:
o Intelligence Directorate, responsible for analysis
o Operations Directorate, responsible for the case officers overseas
Foreign Policy Activities
• Custodian Framework
o The national security assistant should be a custodian who should
scrupulously refrain from becoming an advocate himself and instead act as
a neutral guardian of the decision-making process
o The custodian should balance actor resources, strengthen weaker
advocates, bring in new advisors to argue for unpopular options, and
protect the quality of information reaching the president.
o Critique of this Custodian framework: he is an expert so it wastes his
potential to not have him involved in decision making
• Policy Advocacy
o If the recommendations coming from State, Defense, and other sources are
unwise, the national security assistant, familiar with the president’s
thinking because of his proximity, may be in the best position to suggest
• Negotiation
o For some time, presidents have sent national security assistants on
negotiating missions; e.g Henry Kissiner
o Should the NSA be engaged in diplomatic negotiation?
 Pro: As a person of standing in the administration, he can speak
more authoritatively than someone who can report to the secretary
of state and president through bureaucratic channels only
 Con: If the NSA travels freely in the name of the president, his
availability can undercut the capacity of the foreign service
officers on the scene to get the government leaders to speak
frankly to them
Defending the President
• The fates of the NSA and president are bound together
• The lack of consensus on US foreign policy makes this task particularly important
in international affairs
Decision Making in Foreign Policy
• International decisions are often crisis situations where there is a severe threat to
important values and there is a limited time for response
• Policy frequently has a shifting nature because it is continuously modified as
positions are taken vis-à-vis another nation
• Once a decision has been made, it is imperative that all units within the executive
branch actively support it
• If a subject is worth the president’s personal attention, he can phone or meet with
foreign leaders.
• The limitations to American influence overseas are substantial since there are
barriers to sovereignty and other nations will act in their own best interest even if
the US is military and economically stronger
• Actors: The list begins with the national security assistant, supported by the
national security staff. It continues with the State Department, the Defense
Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and central intelligence. Given his personal
responsibilities in this area, the president and/or his national security assistant,
oversees much of the coordination. Other foreign policy coordination is
conducted through the National Security Council or other presidentially devised
groups. The latter often have the effect of keeping foreign policy away from the
National Security Council.
• Foreign Policy Activities: Custodian view where the NSA gives full attention to
maintaining the policy process. However, many assistants have become policy
advocates and planners in their own right, as well as defenders of the president
and his foreign policies. They have also taken part in the traditional diplomatic
activities of negotiation and symbol manipulation. Foreign economic policy,
increasingly important at the turn of the century, is usually handled by a different
set of actors.
• Common Activities in an International Environment: Information about
international affairs is likely to be fragmentary, to present value conflicts, and to
be shadowed by uncertainty. Consequently, a great deal of effort is devoted to
extrapolating larger patterns from the bits of data that arrive from all over the
world. Standing decisions about foreign policy are sometimes made, often at the
beginning of an administration. More frequently, though, international decision
making must be adapted, either in response to crises or because of changes in the
international environment. The long-used metaphor of a static diplomatic
chessboard is out of date. Perhaps the greatest difficulty with foreign affairs
comes in persuading people to support a given policy. The domestic constituency
is divided into militant internationalists, cooperative internationalists, and full
internationalists. And these domestic problems are minor compared with the
difficulties in eliciting cooperation overseas. Foreign governments are guided by
their own interests, which are often quite different from American interests.
Presidents, advisors, and diplomats all try to convince other governments that it is
in their interest to cooperate with US policy, but if they don’t agree, nothing can
be done.
The Neutral/Honest Broker Role in Foreign-Policy Decision

Making: A Reassessment (John Burke)

The case for the Broker Role

• George – 6 tasks required of managerial custodian:

o Balancing actor resources within policymaking system

o Strengthening weaker advocates

o Bring in new advisers to argue unpopular options

o Setting up new channels of information

o Arranging independent evaluation of decisional premises and options

o Monitoring the workings of the policymaking process

• What is Neutral/Honest Broker?

o At minimum encompasses narrow notion of policy administrator eg

o NSA – briefing president, representing departmental proposals and

viewpoints, scheduling matters for presidential decisions, monitoring
NSC directives

o Neutral =/= honest broker

o Neutrality – ensuring quality and coherence of decision making

process – quality control

o Honesty – ensuring all relevant views represented – due process

o 1960s – policy advocacy came to fore from NSC adviser

• Why the Broker Role Matter

o Positive contributions of the role to presidential decision making

o How decision making process would suffer without it

o Contrast
 Eisenhower's decision not to intervene in Indochina in 1954

• NSC assistant Cutler moved in positive direction, not a

policy advocate, effective broker

 LBJ's decision to escalate forces in Vietnam in 1965

• Absent an affective broker, poor resultant


o Janis – criteria for ranking decision making

 Correlations between quality of decision process and success

of decision – suggests success where brokerage is present

• Brokerage Problems: Iran-Contra

o Machinations of NSC staff and NSC advisers out of control

o Tower – problem where NSC had operational control

o Tower - NSA responsible for duties to all of NSC not just President

• Brokerage Problems: George W. Bush National Security process

o Brokerage needed – GWB had little foreign policy experience and

cabinet and advisers all old hands and powerful – no dominant leader
or clear presidential direction

o Rice

 Drives towards clarity, Bush decides on the consensus

 But she acted as advocate – counseled and advised GWB

 Interpersonal tensions between principals – her job to resolve


o Decision to go to war "slipped into" – not clear was well structured

debate and whether, not how, to go to war

• Is the Broker Role Outdated?

o Presidents find needs best served from within WH

o Organization and structure of decision making has varied by President

and appointments – individuals matter
o Different roles for different NSC advisers

o "where you stand depends on where you sit"

o NSC adviser best to institute brokerage

Expanding the Broker Role

• George says should not be categories about to mention b/c of role conflict
and overload

• Policy advocacy

o Brokerage and advocacy difficult and combustible mix – personal

advocacy may compromise adviser's neutrality among principals
which is central to effective brokerage

o The two can coexist, although honest brokerage is the more


o Appropriate if

 Effective brokerage generates trust and confidence in process

 Competing views fairly and fully represented

 Participants have right of appeal

 NSC adviser not perceived as pursuing wholesale policy


 Advocacy is discreet

 Advocacy seen as representing President's unique, broader

strategic interests

• Visibility

o Differing opinions – passion for anonymity v spokesperson

o Appropriate if

 Secs of state and defense are administrations principal


 Other principals comfortable with NSC adviser's role

 Reality of media requires multiple spokespersons

 NSC adviser is effective public presence

 Public activities carefully orchestrated within broader

communications strategy

• Political Watchdog

o George – political calculations belong to others than the NSC adviser

o Appropriate if

 NSC adviser uniquely positioned to offer certain forms of

political counsel

 Issues dealing with political impact not presented by counsel

of others

 More public activities directed at explaining/defending

administration's positions

• Implementation and Operations

o Tower – implementation strength and responsibility of agencies – cant

be honest when implementer

o May require some degree of involvement in oversight though

o Could compromise claims to executive privilege and shield from

congressional scrutiny

o Limited activities feasible if

 Directed at monitoring and oversight

 Result from special circumstance such as foreign govt

expectations rather than routine practice

 Avoid freelancing and principals are informed about and

agree with actions

 Actions carefully weighed against brokerage role

Broader Contextual Fit

• Broker role and presidential needs and expectations

o NSC staff must mould selves to personality and desires of president –
need a good fit

o Open leaders (thrive on advice and information) v closed leaders

(more comfortable in restricted setting)

o Broker role largely concerned with quality not quantity of information

• Broker Role and Types of Advisory Structures

o Organizational structure largely up to president – formal hierarchical

v informal collegial

o Individuals matter greatly, as do institutions and structures

• Leverage, effectiveness and Presidential Responsibility

o Super-custodian = largely powerless, ie pure broker will lack

bureaucratic leverage

o Needs presidents confidence

o Leverage depends on will of President


• Significant expansion of broker's role since Ike

• Broker role might be expanded to a degree, but should remain bedrock of


• Effective brokerage requires interpersonal trust and confidence in the

integrity of decision making process that allow introduction of some policy
advocacy, public visibility and other activities.

← I.M. Destler, "A Government Divided: The
Security Complex and the Economic Complex," in
David A. Deese, The New Politics of American Foreign
Policy (St. Martin's Press, 1994), pp. 132-147.

← US Government institutions for foreign policy divided into two
• Security complex
o Diplomatic and military issues
o Priority to foreign policy goals and relationships
• Economic complex
o Trade, money and finance
o Priority on domestic security and impact
• Division has deepened
• Significant costs to the separation
• Creation of NEC could deepen divide
• Policy system that treats both separately can be damaging
• One sided decisions can have negative consequences
← Two major issues for presidents: peace and prosperity
• Economic and foreign policy tasks viewed as separate from
end of WWII
• Divided at end of WWII
← The Security Complex
• Dates from National Security Act of 1947
o Created National Security Council
o Created Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
o Coordinated military under Department of Defense
o Created Joint Chiefs of Staff
• These institutions plus Department of State main instruments
of postwar foreign policy making
• The assistant to the president for national security affairs
(head of the NSC) has come to rival and sometimes overtake
the Secretary of State as principal foreign policy adviser
• NSC increasing influence
• Congress possesses committees with counterparts in State,
Defense and CIA departments
← The Economic Complex
• The Employment Act of 1946
o Made prosperity a government goal
o New organizations:
 Created the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)
 Joint Economics Committee of Congress (JEC)
• CEA emphasized fiscal policy
o No operational role
• Bureau of the Budget
o Moved into executive office in 1940
o Responsible for overall spending
• Troika: Head of CEA, Secretary of Treasury, Director of
Bureau of the Budget
• Quadriad: Head of CEA, Secretary of Treasury, Director of
Bureau of the Budget, Fed Chair
• Federal Reserve Board (the Fed): Control monetary policy
• Secretaries of Agriculture, Labor and Commerce form second
tier economic advisers
• Congressional economic organization mirrored executive
← The shifting focus of “foreign” economic policy
• Immediate postwar years: US economy largely self sufficient
o Agenda domestic
o Foreign economic policy handled by security complex
o Foreign economic policy used to advance US political
• 1970s: Special Representative for Trade Negotiation (STR)
(soon to become USTR) developed
o Economic complex has primacy over foreign economic
policy issues
o Internationalization of American economy
 Trade became more important
 USTR made international negotiations possible
← Separate, Different and Unequal
• Little interplay between security complex and economic
• Officials whose job is to link the two
• Certain policy choices do engage both
• His point is that both remain separate most of the time
—especially in day to day treatment of the issues
• Complex ties to Congress
• Security complex is much more centralized
o President pulls together
o Leeway with Congress allows closed process
• Economic complex very broad, decentralized, fragmented,
• Coming from different intellectual traditions: strategy and
o Can’t communicate with one another
• Short term coping prioritized over long term policy
• National security usually takes precedence when two come
into conflict
Policy Making in Post-Cold War World
• Economic position of the US has eroded
• Americans should give greater priority to long term economic
o “This shift would require softening of the separation
between security and economic institutions and the
elimination or reversal of the security-over-economics
• Greater consciousness of need
• US global influence and prosperity will depend on strong
American economy
o “competitive interdependence” between major world
economies indicates close tie between security and
economic complex
• Options to solve the problem:
o Broaden NSC to cover foreign economic issues
o Transform the NSC into a National Policy Council with
jurisdiction over all US economic and security policy
 Might still behave like old NSC (prioritize security)
 Conclusion of Commission on Government
• Recommended creation of separate
Economic Council
o Created by Clinton as National
Economic Council (NEC)
o Risks institutionalizing
economics/security divide
 Clinton can help keep this
from happening
 Enlarge number of
top officials making
decisions and meet
with them regularly
 Assign White House
chief of Staff
responsibility of
 Modest substantive
overlap in two staffs
 Overlap staff joint-
staff issues and give
input on issues
affecting both sides
John H. Kessel, Presidents, the Presidency, and the Political Environment.

Chapter 5: Economic Policy

I. The Major Players
a. The Treasury Department
-part of the original cabinet
-enormous department—first among equals w/ respect to economic policy
-focus on tax collection, debt management, financial institutions/markets
-seek low inflation rate
b. Office of Management and Budget
-1921 Budgeting and Accounting Act created precursor to OMB
-major job is to produce budget
-to a lesser degree…legislative clearance, economic and domestic policy
c. Council of Economic Advisers
-1946 Employment Act stipulated the gov’t be involved in economy and
created CEA
-very small: three council members and less than forty staff
-has few defined responsibilities except to advise its client: the Pres.
-write annual economic report; run analyses on economy
-favor economic policies that reduce unemployment and stimulate growth
d. The Federal Reserve Board
-created by Congress in 1913
-independent from other Exec. branch actors: (governors terms don’t
coincide with presidential terms, decisions made by Fed are put up to
votes by governors, Fed is self-financing
-Fed deals with monetary policy (controlling money supply) in 3 ways:
-buys/sells government securities (open market transactions)
-sets the discount rate (rate at which banks can borrow $)
-sets reserve requirement (% of money banks must keep on reserve)
-Fed focuses on controlling inflation

II. Coordination
a. Tensions and Amelioration
-tensions b/w CEA and Treasury b/c treasury people tend to favor low
taxes and low interest rates… they are selected from business community
whereas CEA favor economic growth and low unemployment and are
from academia
-OMB tends to be neutral
-Fed independent but incentive to cooperate b/c effective monetary
policies depend on effective fiscal policies
b. The Troika
-started during Kennedy administration
-made up of President’s three main economic advisors: secretary of
treasury, the OMB director, and CEA chairman
c. Coordination and the Federal Reserve
-adding the chairman of Fed. to the troika  “quadriad” group
d. Troika-plus Groups
-troika and quadriad were principle groups used in Kennedy, Johnson, and
Nixon administrations
-in more recent administrations, other variations
-e.g. Carter’s Economic Policy Group… troika + domestic staff head
-e.g. Reagan’s Cabinet Council on Economic Affairs (I) and Economic
Policy Council (II)
e. Councils
-more complex arrangements for economic decision making
-e.g. Economic Policy Board under Ford
-e.g. National Economic Council under Clinton

III. Economic Activities

a. Fiscal Policy – taxing and spending levels
i. Budgeting
-very regular, very important process
-budget requests reach OMB around Labor Day
-by December, OMB director takes budget back to Pres. for review
ii. Taxation
-not an annual routine, dates back to country’s inception
-taken care of by Treasury dep.
iii. Limits on Fiscal Policy
-both proposals pass through separate processes  difficult to
coordinate the two which is essential to their success
-Congress involved in both processes
-takes a long time to pass a tax bill (and appropriations bills)
-Kessler concludes Pres. cannot use Fiscal Policy effectively
b. Monetary Policy
-Fed controls money supply but has incentive to coordinate with Pres. and
others b/c policies need to be coordinated to be successful
-can be put into effect more quickly… only takes a vote of Fed. reserve
board and/or Open Market Committee

IV. Miscellaneous
a. Forecasting
-Treasury Dep. provides revenue estimates
-OMB provides expenditure estimates
-CEA assesses economy + coordinates incoming info to Pres.
b. Coping w. Business Cycles
-main problem is that American public expects Pres. to be able to control
-if economy is in poor condition, it is his fault
-but there are economic and political business cycles
-it is very difficult to control economy
Assignment 23

John Kessel Presidents, the Presidency, and the Politcal Enviornment

Coping with Complexity
Domestic policy is a very complex business, it must incorporate Agriculture, Interior,
Energy, Commerce and Labor, Dept. of Healt and Human Services, Education, Justice,
Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation Dept. and all
their resource needs. Kessel contrasts domestic policy with foreign and economic policy
stating that there is a “core knowledge” that is shared by all economic policy experts, but
the expertise needed for domestic policy is incredibly diverse, necessitating different
kinds of expertise. The President doesn’t have as much time for the “outer cabinet”
members (everyone except sec. of state, defence, treasury, attorney general, and senior
white house staff). Also, outer depts can all of a sudden take center stage (e.g. Exxon
Valdez crisis) making the president’s staff learn quickly about it.
Kessel presents 3 questions regarding domestic policy:
Should decisions be made in the White house or should they be left to the departments?
What kind of expertixe is required of those who formulate domestic policy?
Can the presidential staff maintain any control over such a complex area as domestic
The Locus of Decision Making
Should decisions be made in departments or in the White House?
For departments: the white house staff does not have enough information to make
informed decisions, have too many problems to deal with and therefore act too quickly.
For white house: issues often involved more than one department, white house can
coordinate them; president needs to review decisions himself—must be looked at from
presidents view, can only be done in white house;
Summary: “the greater experitse and larger staff in the departments is contrasted with the
greater sensitivity to presidential wishes and political currents in the white house.”

The Evolution of Domestic Staffing

This section discusses how a distinct domestic advisor started in 1943 (under Roosevelt).
This pattern of one or two domestic policy staff continued until LBJ who increased staff
and had a policy making team in the white house. This brought domestic decision
making into the White house. Under Nixon the Domestic Council was created which was
supposed to be like the NSC for dometic affairs. Under Reagan, chaos erupted in
domestic policy—he had too many players involved. When George Bush took office he
used the idea of the “honest broker” and chose Roger Porter as his economic and
domestic policy advisor. He was used to make sure everyone who should be involved
was at the table, to make tentative decisions for the president, and to report views of
involved parties to president.

Coordination through Decision Processes

Because presidential decisions are binding across all government, it is very important that
right decision is made. Thus all the players involved must be able to express their view.
This is sometimes achieved through task forces composed of members from the different
agencies and a domestic council staff member in charge. (these tasks forces can also
operate within the council itself). If president needs to make decision, domestic council
must try to narrow the decision and provide him with a lot of info (e.g. from OMB,
economic advisors, legislative liason office etc), makes staff into gatekeepers.

Monitoring the Departments

Because the white house controls domestic policy, they must know what is going on.
This contact between white house and the departments is handled by assistant secretaries.
The secretaries only involved in big issues. It is impossible for the domestic council staff
to monitor everything, they focus mostly on issues the president is interested in. OMB
monits overall government activity. OMB is much larger therefore easier to track more

Information Gathering in Domestic Policy

Important: “The domestic staffers form the junction between the president and all the
domestic agencies.” They need to take all the info they get, decide what is important, and
present it to the president in a clear concise form. A head of the domestic council whom
the president trusts is essential to the system working properly (must trust they present
accurate information).

Decision Making in Domestic Policy

Policy making is like a pyramid. The base is a large number of people involved in the
formulation. It narrows until just prior to the decision when president meets with cabinet.
As it moves up, everyone is aware of pros and cons, so a decision is less likely to be
challenged, more stability in decision making. Some policy is made without president,
often if the players all agree, not necessary to involve president.

Exercising Influence in Domestic Policy

Once the president makes a decision, it must be implemented. Inside white house, his
decision is a command, but outside, must persuade agencies to support decision.
“Several techniques are used to ensure agency support of an administration policy. The
most important is to include the agency in the determination of the policy” Another
strategy is bargaining…”if the policy has been modified so as to make it easier for the
deparment to deal with its constituency, the dept is going to…[administer] the policy.”
Sometimes have to start confronting people, insist on action. Dealing with congress is
different. Top domestic assistants must be involved because they can discuss the detail
of the legislation in relation to larger program.
Tom Wooten
Assignment 24

Economists and White House Decisions by Stuart Eizenstat

Context: Stuart Eizenstat served in the Carter administration as the Assistant to the
President for Domestic Affairs and Policy. While he himself is a lawyer, here he reflects
back upon the role that economists played in the Carter White House. He asserts that
government has not yet provided economists with a suitable niche, and that many of the
Carter administration’s greatest mistakes could have been avoided had the role of
administration economists been more clearly defined.

The Question: “What is the appropriate role for economists in the White House? What
can they realistically be expected to do?”

The Answer:

• The Council of Economic Advisors is perhaps the most valuable arrow in the
President’s economic quiver, for the following reasons:

1.) It serves as a “counterweight for the competing, interest driven

recommendations of the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch.
2.) It drives constantly for economic efficiency in government operations…
something that individual departments aren’t inclined to do.
3.) It gives the President a realistic sense of where the economy is headed in the
long-run, and how his policies will effect its course.

• While the CEA is good, it is not the end-all solution to Presidential economic
problems for the following reasons.

1.) Often, administrations set out to fulfill campaign promises before they attain a
grasp of what it takes to manage the national economy.
2.) Economists have a set of “imperfect tools” that they must utilize to the best of
their abilities, but these tools do not give them economic clairvoyance.
3.) The President’s economic decisions will invariably reflect his own personal
political inclinations (duh)

• The following lessons can be drawn from Carter’s economic mistakes:

1.) Administration economists must be “team players”

2.) The White House needs a economic policy coordinator “to integrate economic
policy and politics for the President,” (p 69).
3.) The President needs to REALLY REALLY like and trust his Secretary of the
Treasury, because (s)he is the President’s spokesperson for all things
4.) Economists should concentrate less on tinkering with the economy, and more
on identifying broad trends.
5.) Economists should be involved in every level and type of administration
policy making.
6.) Economists cannot effectively “stand in” for a President who is not interested
in economic affairs.

Economic Advice to the President: From Eisenhower to Reagan

by our own beloved Roger Porter

Article Structure: First, the article reviews the creation of three entities which give the
President economic advice. Second, the article discusses three broad issues that confront
the President when he makes economic policy, and recommends ways in which these
problems can be addressed.

Part I: History and Structure of Economic Advisory Entities:

• The Council of Economic Advisors: This three-member panel was created by

The Employment Act of 1946. Its members are typically academic economists
who serve short (approx. 2 year) terms. It is served by a “highly qualified”12-20
person staff. The CEA is wonderful because its only constituency is the
President, and it can thus give him sound economic advice without catering to
anyone else’s agenda.
• Interdepartmental Committees: Porter traces the history if interdepartmental
economic committees from the Eisenhower White House to Reagan on pages 60-
67 of Packet #3. These committees have ranged from structured, official bodies
(under Eisenhower) to completely ad-hoc informal advisory groups (Kennedy).
These committees tend to be problematic because they don’t survive from
administration to administration, and because they often lack sufficient contact
with the President himself. Porter points out that these problems reflect the need
for an economic committee that would be equal in stature to the National Security
Council. (Clinton created such a council, presumably after this article was
• A White House Assistant for Economic Policy: The first person to fill such a
role was Arthur Burns in 1970 under Nixon. Republican Presidents have tended
to opt for Assistants for Economic Policy, while Democrats have shied away from
creating such a position. (See below for issues related to the merits of this

Part II: Issues in Economic Decision Making

• Developing Coherent Economic Policies: Porter asserts that the CEA is

awesome, but that it is too small to facilitate interdepartmental coordination and
integration of economic policy. He proposes four potential ways that this
integration could be brought about.

1.) Creating a Super-Department consisting of the current Departments of Labor,

Commerce, Agriculture, and Transportation.
2.) The (perhaps unofficial) appointment of a “Czar of Economic Affairs” to
oversee all economic policy in the executive branch. Nixon’s Secretary of the
Treasury, John Connally, essentially played such a role.
3.) Creating a National Economic Council staff that would follow Porter’s
“centralized management” model. This would consist of 40-50 individuals
who would work in the White House specifically on economic policy- similar
to the staff that served the Nixon/Kissinger National Security Council.
4.) Establishing a Cabinet-level economic policy group that would follow
Porter’s “multiple advocacy” decision-making model.

• Coordinating Foreign and Domestic Economic Policy: Foreign economic

policy is becoming increasingly important, and there is mounting support for the
creation of a separate advisory body for the President that would deal exclusively
with foreign economic affairs. It might, however, be difficult to differentiate
between “domestic” and “foreign” economic policy.

• A White House Economic Policy Assistant: This role has existed mainly in
Republican administrations, and there is still disagreement about its merit. Some
critics point to the potential for tension between the chairman of the Council of
Economic Advisors and an Economic Policy Assistant. Ultimately, the value of
such a position depends upon the structure of each particular administration.
American Presidency
Prof. Porter
Mid-term Review
For questions regarding this review, contact Zach Wyatt – wwyatt@fas

Presidential Decision Making

By Roger Porter
Ch. 3, pgs. 57-100

The Economic Policy Board: Operation, Organization, and Functions

--The EPB’s primary function was organizing the flow of information and advice
to the President for his decisions on economic policy issues. The Executive
Committee also
• produced and cleared presidential speeches and messages
• exchanged information among the leading economic officials
• coordinated presentations to congressional committees
• resolved disputes
• served as place where major White House policy-making entities
met to coordinate their activities.

Meetings and Operations

• Daily (3-4 times a week) executive meeting held at 8:30 A.M.
• Far more active than the other four presidential councils (OMB, NSC, Domestic
Council, Energy Resources Council)
Executive Committee meetings were restricted to members, allowed one staff person
to assist you in meeting but no one else (to reduce leaks to press)
1. When issues affecting your department were in question, you could attend
Exec. Comm. Meetings
• Agendas released one week prior to the meeting, and the process was very smooth
• Minutes were later approved by Executive Director (ED) for public dissemination
• Purposes of Minutes:
1. Insure appropriate follow-up on Committee Decisions
2. Acted as definitive record for disputes
3. Primary information source for exec branch economic comm.
4. Clarified outcome of certain decisions
• Agenda items originated from a number of sources:
1. Any member department or agency could request the EC to consider an
2. The EC had a dozen task forces, on various issues, submit issues
3. Requests from the ED to a dept. to report on a subject
4. Issues from Polling results from surveys taken every 3/6 months
Full Board Meetings
• Initially they were held monthly, but later moved to 3-4 times a year
• Served two functions: to inform and to explain
• Included a general discussion of likely major proposals, but was not a forum for
making decisions
Economic Policy Reviews and Special Sessions
• EC also organized two types of meeting to supplement the daily sessions:
quarterly economic policy reviews and EC special sessions
• Quarterly reviews: assessed overall economic outlook, last 2-3 days
1. Brought in 10-12 non-governmental economists for their outlook on the
economy and possible mechanisms to enhance economic performance
2. Troika II group presented a forecast of the economy, discussing
macroeconomic policy as well as considering problematic sectors
3. Scrutinized particular problems, planning began 8-10 wks ahead of time
4. Attended by Chairman of Fed
• Special Sessions: focused on a single issue; allowed further discussion
Presidential Meetings and Paper
• During 1974-1975, EPB met with the President more than once a week
• Briefing sent to President which contained:
1. Issues the EC had considered in the past week and action taken
2. Activity summary of task forces that had reported
3. Major upcoming agenda items
4. – Succinctly summarized the most recent developments in prices,
employment, certain key economic sectors

EPB Organization
Consisted of:
1. Quasi-informal subcabinet groups convened by EC
a. Members selected by individual expertise to represent a dept.
b. These people were close to dept. head, could mobilize people
2. EC established six permanent sub-cabinet level committees, each responsible
for a policy area or range of issues
a. Troika II
b. EPB/NSC Commodities Policy Coordinating Committee
c. EPB Subcommittee on Economic Statistics
d. EPB Task Force on Small Business
e. Food Deputies Group
3. EC formally created a large number of interagency committees and task forces
to develop policy alternatives on specific issues. (Nearly 20 created, such as
“task force for improving government regulation” or “task force for
“Questionable Corporate payments abroad”
• All committees or task forces represented a primary interest in the subject matter,
not by the White House
• Representatives of dept. were almost always assistant sec. or higher
• The permanent EPB committees reported biweekly or monthly
• Work plan was created by the EC for each committee or task force each quarter
• Helped generate an agreed upon data base and analysis of policy issues, shaping

The Executive Director

In his dual capacity, William Siedman (1974-1975) performed ten basic roles:
1. Clerk – Responsible for day-to-day operation of EPB
2. Policy Manager – Perhaps the most important function – insured that all
interested parties in the executive branch were included in discussing issues.
Decided which issues went to President.
3. Catalyst – Initiated study on numerous topics. Since his interest in an issue was
interpreted as a president’s interest, he was effective in getting a response
4. Implementor – Responsible for seeing presidential decisions implemented.
5. Mediator – Many disputes, although minor, were resolved through him
6. Arbitrator – Reluctant role, when mediation did not work. Decision could be
appealed by the President, but rarely done
7. Presidential Sentinel – Kept President informed on economic developments with
periodic memorandums assessing key economic indicators. Worked with
Chairman of CEA to keep president informed.
8. Presidential Guardian – Protected the integrity of the work that went out under
the President’s name. Checked all reports out from White House.
9. Presidential Representative – Addressed issues that the President had not gotten
10. White House Link to the Outside World – Worked to enhance link with other
government administrations and corporations
• Did NOT act as an advocate or spokesman for any issue

• Remained small (10 people) despite numerous efforts to increase the size
• Why? For three reasons:
1. Concerned about influence on staff size and honest broker role
2. Fear of large staff being viewed as competitor to other groups
3. It would be easier to increase staff than decrease it, he thought
• Supplemented by Council on International Economic Policy (CIEP), but not
joined together
• Staff worked very fluid and well together

Functions of the EPB

The EPB’s primary function was organizing the flow of information and advice to
the President for his decisions on economic policy issues. The Executive
Committee also
• produced and cleared presidential speeches and messages
• exchanged information among the leading economic officials
• coordinated presentations to congressional committees
• resolved disputes
• served as place where major White House policy-making entities
met to coordinate their activities.

Scope of Activities
• Responsible for overseeing the formulation, coordination, and implementation of
all U.S. economic policy, foreign and domestic, was a quite broad mandate
• EPB was unique among economic policy entities in the level of its activity and the
breadth of its mandate:
1. Devoted continuous attention to a wide range of policy areas
2. Addressed special problems or crisis issues
3. Undertook long-term studies and projects
Regular Policy Areas
• Not only considered domestic and foreign economic policy issues, but others
o Procedural issues, including organizational questions
o Agricultural policy issues
o Tax Policy Issues
o Employment and Unemployment issues
o Governmental Regulation issues
o International Investment Issues
Special Problems and Crisis
• The EPB did not spend large amounts of crisis management, but was involved in
many special problems that had an economic impact
Long-term Projects and Studies
• Organized several long-term projects, such as railroad reorganization, multilateral
trade negotiations

Met 520 times regarding 1,539 issues in 2 and one quarter years of existence.
Met with the President nearly 100 times, had much access to him.
Exercised responsibility for both domestic and international economic policy.
Missing Zachary Jones Carpenter
Gerald R Ford: A Healing Presidency by Roger B. Porter

I. Intro

a. Unelected as both VP and Pres

b. Entered when country was in trouble

i. Respect for institution diminished

ii. Foreign relations in disarray

iii. Stagflation, increasing unemployment

c. Situation precluded him from planning admin

d. This paper focuses on two aspected of Fords leadership that affect every Pres

i. Handling of transition into Oval Office

ii. Organization of admin’s internal policy development processes

II. Transition and Leadership

a. Establishing a New Team

i. Philip Buchen, Fords former lawyer, had given thought to a transition

1. created 4 man transition team: Donald Rumsfeld, William Scranton,

Rogers Morton, and Jack Marsh

2. they met with cabinet department heads to figure out Ford’s


3. formal report emphasized need to elevate the roles of the department

and agency officials and reduce dominant role of WH staff

4. Must establish presidency distinctive from that of his predecessor

and quickly

ii. By November, a new WH team and cabinet were in place but did so in
increments to continue with the healing

iii. Had been conflicts between Nixon staff and Ford staff towards end

1. when he became pres, sought to smooth relations

2. failed, removed Haig (Nixon Chief of Staff) because of “Nixon


a. moved him to UN, also moved others to nice places too.

3. similar approach with the cabinet

iv. Replacements came from several places

1. academia

a. professors, university presidents – weren’t considered


2. legal

a. made choices on conviction of independence, and ability

b. had not been public officials either

i. led to complaints of lack of expertise

v. Qualities were chosen: competence and compatibility

1. ford’s style = patient, deliberative, measured – influence by sense of


a. uncomfortable led to Halloween massacre – removal of

Schlesinger as Sec of Defense

i. Ford questioned integrity

1. Schlesinger had made up stories and told

them to the press

2. had gone behind back on Saigon removals

ii. 2 factors leading to removal

1. Schlessinger’s style in meetings

a. Aloof

b. Air of intellectual superiority

2. too independent for Ford

b. Accentuating the Positive

i. Declared “accessibility and openness” to be hallmarks of administration

ii. Less imperial President

1. didn’t play Hail to the Chief, but the Michigan Fight Song

2. size of staff decreased by 10%

3. no bugs in office

iii. cosmetic changes

1. paintings replaced

2. living quarters called “residence” rather than “the Mansion”

3. plane again called “AirForce One”

iv. declared inflation as domestic enemy number one

1. created summit on economics at various places around the country

2. final 2-day conference in DC hosted by him

v. demonstrate openness thru many meetings with governors, mayors, county

officials, AFL-CIO, black leaders

vi. symbolic actions

1. created program to give amnesty to the draft dodgers

a. wanted to put the recent past behind the country – worked

2. granted Nixon Amnesty

a. wanted to put Nixon behind him – didn’t work, country angry

b. approval rating fell from 71 to 49

III. Organization and Style

a. White House Organization (I don’t feel like doing intense outline anymore… will be less
formal from here on)

- ford wary of chief of staff because it might be a position used for bad as in Nixon admin.

- There was no chief of staff at outset of admin, ford was determined to be own chief of staff,
“spokes of the wheel” approach

- This approach was shortlived.because the former VP Chief of staff moved in on Aug 9, this
pissed off Haig

- Haig tried to continue as Chief of Staff, by end of month Ford moved him on, Rumsfeld
convinced to serve essentially as chief of staff, but nine people had direct reporting relationship to
ford on staff chart

- Book that influenced Ford presidency was George Reedy’s “The Twilight of the Presidency”
from which he drew 2 main lessons of LBJs presidency: must take care to avoid being isolated and
losing touch with rest of govt; 2. president must steer clear of aides whose principal interest lies in
advancing their own positions, especially young and untested
- This led to a pretty old staff of senior officials

- Wanted a chief of staff who was efficient “expert manager”, but not alter ego or super confidant

b. White House –Department Relations

- realized there needed to be more power for the cabinet, in comparison to the Nixon admin.

- Ford created and environment for the white house-deparmtement relations that kept cabinet
officer more involved in policy

- Viewd cabinet officers as able admins and advisers, who could operate in both roles, and chose
based on this.

c. Decision Making Style

- place a high value on collecting and weighing the opinions and advice of experts

- assembling experts what a characteristic of his leadership style

- other formulative experience was leagal training which led to 1. no special confidants within
cabinet 2. listen, don’t confide 3. donget get involved in any jurisdictional rivalries 4. have
confidants outside the cabinet 5. don’t get mired down in detail 6. move toward resolution and
decision 7. look at proposals as if you’re going to have to be the advocate to the public at large 8.
encourage dissents before a final decision is made

- constant on this approach, wouldn’t let a single person dominate discussion

- combination of written report and meeting

- didn’t constrain those who disagreed with dominant view

- had a kitchen cabinet of candid, constructive, diverse old friends who had ben on transition team
with whom he met every 6-8 weeks

IV. Executive Branch Policy Developments

a. Policy Development Models

- ford adopted different models of policy development (the 3 Porter Models) in national security,
domestic policy and econ policy

- for much of admin, national security was central management

- domestic was mainly adhocracy

- econ was mainly multiple advocacy

b. National Security Policy

- confident in his foreign policy abilities via his foreign operations appropriations experience on
- white house and NSC played central role

- kept Kissinger around for his intelligence, pragmatism, strategic approach to polcy and success as

- met every day for half hour at least

- would from time to time reject Kissinger advice. E.g. cut off of military aid to turkey

- eventually reduced Kissinger’s role a bit to reduce concentration of power in single person and
dominance of WH based views

c. Domestic Policy

- approach novel in both theory and practice. Delegates responsibility to the VP

- idea came from transition team meeting in which idea that presidency too large for one man was

- also sprang from 3 factors: 1. own experience as vp which showed unrealized potential of office
2.thought Rockefeller deserved a large role due to expertise 3. felt own expertise was elsewhere

- ran into 2 problems 1. Rockefeller wanted james cannon to be exec director of domestic council
but rumsfelf felt this was confusing 2. fords decision to oppose any new federal domestic spending
programs which made Rockefeller pointless and thus Cannon and domestic council pointless

- made ad hoc development of domestic policy inevitable

d. Econ Policy

- most important institutional innovation of admin according to ford

- created Economic Policy Board which would replace all existing cabinet level interagency

- non-statutory committtess were abolished, statutory ones would practice under aegis of EPB

- formal vehicle for conveying econ policy advice to Pres

- most sustained, comprehensive and successful collegial attempt to advise a president on econ
policy matters

- served as honest broker role

- people working had impression that Ford’s style was broader and fairer than in any other admin
they had worked

- collective responsibility felt

- created tax reduction of 1975

- managed multiple advocacy characterized Fords econ policy making arrangements

- emphasis on open and accessible

- shaped policies in different ways

- assumed office under most difficult circumstances, had no mandate, confronted a nation both
frustrated and disillusioned

- makes accomplishments all the more remarkable

- healed wounds of Vietnam and Watergate

- left legacy of remarkable skill in building morale within branch but also in adopting decision-
making approaches in major areas that took account of strengths of team assembled

N.B. Interesting piece because it really explains a lot about the way Porter is and the way he thinks
because its where he was during his formative years.
Zuriel Chavez
Gov 1540 Study Group
Roger B. Porter, Presidential Decision Making

Chapter 8-Organizing the White House for Presidential Decision Making P. 213-228

I. Organizing the White House for Presidential Decision Making

A. Growth, Complexity of Government, interrelatedness of many important
issues, competing demands for scarce resources, and high expectations for
presidential performance have contributed to renewed interest in
organization, particularly in the White House.
1. This study concerned with organizational arrangements,
procedures, and process.
2. There are two dangers with this emphasis.
i. Concentrating on the process by which decisions are
made and advice is organized may overemphasize the
importance of procedures and underemphasize the
importance of people.
ii. Second is assuming that structure is decisive, that if one
could just get things organized properly, then good
decisions would automatically follow. Thus, good
organization does not guarantee good decisions.
II. Structural Principles for Multiple Advocacy
A. Multiple Advocacy was the characterized by the Economic Policy Board’s
structure and operation. Multiple Advocacy in theory is a potentially
successful arrangement for systematically advising the President if certain
conditions are met.
B. What organizational principles can one distill from the EPB experience as
guidelines in organizing multiple advocacy?
1. A White House policy council’s effectiveness depends on its
having the President’s imprimatur. President must demonstrate
by the way he makes decisions that he relies on the policy
2. The policy council must meet and operate at the cabinet level.
Must operate at cabinet level so that the participants can speak
authoritatively for their department or agency.
3. The honest broker should control the policy council’s
operations. Whoever is in charge of the multiple advocacy entity
must be seen as an honest broker. The honest broker should not
have other responsibilities that would prevent him from devoting
sufficient time to managing the policy development process. The
honest broker must be free from any institutional tie that would
compromise his position or represent a conflict of interest. He
must be intelligent and capable enough to be accepted as a peer
by the other members of the council. He must have all the skills
of an effective advocate, yet consciously eschew that role and
genuinely accept the role of honest broker. The honest broker’s
effectiveness also requires that he enjoy the President’s
confidence. He must be perceived as close to the President.
Finally, the successful broker must be willing to function as an
advocate if the discussion is not sufficiently balanced and the
President needs to hear an underrepresented point of view.
4. The policy council staff should be small and consist of
generalists. Larger groups developed specialized areas and thus
this would lead specialists to advocate one particular point of
view. A small staff has the advantage as not being viewed as a
competitor by member departments. Finally, a large,
independent staff attached to the manager makes it possible for
him to end run the system himself. On balance, then, the
advantages of a small staff of generalists outweigh the benefits of
a relatively large staff independent of member departments or
5. The policy council should have responsibility for advising the
President over a broad policy area, such as economic policy or
national security policy. This helps ensure coordinated policies.
This also helps insure that the policies will be comprehensive.
Fragmenting responsibility among several departments or groups
weakens accountability.
6. The policy council’s deliberations should include all
departments and agencies with a legitimate interest in an issue.
Legitimacy of a process depends on it reputation for fairness.
7. The size of the core group or executive committee of the council
should be kept reasonably small. Small groups are generally
more flexible and efficient that large ones.
8. The policy council should be established by executive order and
should function as a nonstatutory body.
III. White House Organization: The Quest for Integration.
A. Several scholars have urged the establishment of cabinet level
interdepartmental entities-some new in scope and composition, some
modifications of existing arrangements.
B. There is an interest in integrating international and domestic
considerations by combining specialized councils and committees into a
single entity.
C. Three questions underlie any proposal to organize the White House for
presidential decision-making.
1. How many channels for policy advice should report to the
2. What policy areas should they cover and what should be their
3. What relationship should they have with one another?
IV. Organizing for Presidential Decision Making: A Proposal
A. One major consideration in organizing the White House is policy
B. Second Structural consideration is what policy areas should policy
councils cover?
1. One should avoid divisions that are likely to produce consistent
overlaps and jurisdictional battles.
2. The more closely a policy council’s work is tied to a regular
workflow, the more easily its members will develop a sense of
collective responsibility.
C. Thus, Porter recommends a fourfold division-Budget, national security,
economic, and social policy.