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The Presidency

DLT: I can choose a Presidential


1. Qualifications of the

Constitutional Requirements Must be a natural born citizen (can be

born outside the U.S.)
Must be at least 35 years old
Must be a resident of the United States
for at least 14 years prior to taking

Other Qualifications
These are NOT required by law:
Government Experience
Access to Large Amounts of Money
Moderate Political Beliefs
The support of others within your party
Personal Characteristics (i.e. charisma)
Personal Growth

Presidential Term of Office

Four year terms
Originally the Constitution did not specify
how many four year terms a president may
serve. George Washington set the standard
at 2 terms
Franklin Roosevelt served for almost four
terms before dying.
Amendment 22- (1951) Presidents may only
serve for two four year terms, VPs that take
office that have less than two years to
election may serve two additional terms.

Roles of the President

Head of State
Chief Executive
Chief Legislator
Economic Planner
Party Leader
Chief Diplomat
Commander and Chief of Military

Salary and Benefits

Presidents make $400,000 a year in
taxable income, $50,000 in expenses,
and up to $100,000 in travel
Air Force One, limos, helicopters, etc.
The White House
Free Medical, Dental, and Health Care
for life
Lifetime Pension of $148,000 a year,
free office space, mailing services, and
up to $96,000 a year for office help

Presidential Succession
Presidential Succession Act of 1947

Vice President
Speaker of the House
President pro-tempore of Senate
Secretary of State
Secretary of Treasury
Secretary of Defense
Attorney General
Secretary of Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce

Becoming President
First, lets assume that everyone here
is at least on a level playing field as
people like the Clintons, President
Obama, Donald Trump etc. You are:
Politically connected
Popular with large numbers of people

Would you consider running for


Becoming President: A Step by Step

1. Meet Eligibility Guidelines Set by the US Constitution
2. Test the Water: Pre-Candidacy Process
3. Declare Candidacy & File Applications with Federal Election
4. Fundraise and Campaign
5. Party Primaries, Caucuses, and Delegates
6. Party Conventions
7. General Election Campaign: The Final Candidates
8. Election Day: Winning the Popular and Electoral Votes

Test the Water: Pre-Candidacy

Serious candidates for president must begin
preparing for the election years in advance.
The first decision potential candidates and their
families face is whether or not they are suited for
the demands of the office.

The next step usually involves testing the

candidate's appeal nationwide, and to raise
money for increasingly expensive

Declare Candidacy & File Applications

with Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission
(FEC), governs the financing of federal
elections, defines the process of
registering a candidacy for President.
You must register with the FEC, declaring your candidacy
once you receive contributions or make expenditures in
excess of $5,000.
Within 10 days of that filing, your principal campaign committee must submit a
Statement of Organization. Your campaign will thereafter report its receipts and
disbursements on a regular basis.

Fundraise and Campaign

Candidates must raise millions of dollars from the
party faithful and corporate leaders, ride buses
through the hinterland, and rub shoulders with
farmers, factory workers, veterans, and soccer
On the campaign trail they typically make speeches,
kiss babies, shake hands, pose for photographs, and
find other ways to connect with the 'average'
They must paint pictures of a better America, make passionate appeals to
reason, and stake a claim for moral leadership. Not for the faint of heart,
the modern presidential campaign tests the mettle of those who would live
in the White House."

Party Primaries, Caucuses, and

Caucuses: once the most common way of choosing
presidential nominees. Caucus meetingsare unique in
that they allow participants to openly show support for
Voting is often done by raising hands or breaking into groups according to
the candidate participants support.

Primary: registered voters may participate in choosing

the candidate for the party's nomination by voting
through secret ballot, as in a general election.
Two main types of primaries: closed or open
Closed primary: a registered voter may vote only in the election for the
party with which that voter is affiliated.
Open primary: a registered voter can vote in either primary regardless of
party membership.

Why do Democratic delegates

"The Democratic Party has two types of delegates: Pledged and

A pledged delegate is elected or chosen on the state and local level

with the understanding that they will support a particular candidate at
the convention.
However, pledged delegates are not actually bound to vote for the
candidate. Consequently, candidates are allowed on a state-by-state
basis to review lists of delegates who have pledged their support and
can delete anyone whose support they consider unreliable.
Superdelegates [created in 1982]... are usually Democratic members
of Congress, governors, national committee members or party leaders
(such as former presidents and vice presidents). They are not required
to indicate a preference for a candidate, nor do they compete for the
privilege like pledged delegates..."

Party Conventions
In the past, the national convention served as a
decision-making body, actually determining the
party's nominee...
Two significant changes have occurred in recent
First, most of the national convention delegates are now
selected by voters in primary contests rather than by party
caucuses and meetings.
Second, with the advent of television, conventions have
become tightly scripted made-for-TV spectacles. Each party
seeks to present itself in the best possible light and to
demonstrate a united front rather than to hash out its

General Election Campaign: The

Final Candidates
"Today's general election contest is an elaborate
production, with the candidates and their supporters
crisscrossing the country and blanketing the
airwaves with poll-tested political commercials.
With the primaries and the conventions behind
them, the goal of the presidential candidates during
the fall is to appeal to as many different kinds of
people in a country where close to two hundred
million individuals are eligible to vote.

Grassroots campaign:
Candidates themselves
have little
direct involvement
wage three
atin the
On the ground Campaign:
includes all of the candidate's appearances and speeches, as
well as the appearances throughout the country of key
supporters, from the candidate's spouse and children to the
vice presidential nominee, Hollywood celebrities, and
prominent party leaders.

On-the-air Campaign:
battle of radio and television commercials. This advertising is
the most expensive line item in the campaign budget--an
estimated one-third of the $1.5 billion spent on the 2000
presidential campaign. The advertising gives the candidates
massive nation-wide exposure that they couldn't possibly
achieve on the ground."

Election Day: Winning the Popular

On the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, control of
the presidential
election finally
passes into the hands of the American
The President of the United States is elected by the Electoral College
and not directly by the population.

Each state is assigned electoral votes based on the number of senators and
representatives that state has in Congress.

The members of the electoral college are individual who are active in
their party. They are pledged to vote for one or the other candidates. By law they are
not required to vote for their pledged candidate but in fact always do.

The Electoral College thus includes 535 electors from the states plus 3
electors from the District of Columbia, for a grand total of 538.

When voters chose a presidential ticket including the presidential and vice
presidential candidate, they are actually voting for electors pledged to this ticket.

To be elected to the presidency, a candidate must receive an absolute

majority (270) of the electoral votes.

The Electoral College: Does my vote