THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY
Political Science 350
Fall, 2014
W. Taylor Reveley IV and William Harbour

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Instructors: President Reveley and Dr. Harbour                                                  Office Phone (Harbour): 395-2219
Office (Harbour): East Ruffner 228                                                                     Home Phone (Harbour): 315-0352
Office Hours (Harbour): MWF 10:00-11:00                                                         E-Mail: harbourwr@longwood.edu 
                                         TR 9:30-10:30



Table of Contents:

COURSE DESCRIPTION                                                                                    COURSE OBJECTIVES
EVALUATION METHOD                                                                                REQUIRED READINGS
GRADES                                                                                                                   CLASS DISCUSSION
CRITICAL THINKING WRITING EXERCISES

HONOR CODE                                                                                                             TAKING EXAMS
ATTENDANCE POLICY                                                                                          COURSE OUTLINE
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY



COURSE DESCRIPTION:
The modern presidency and its role in contemporary politics, emphasizing the constitutional background of the office, the evolution of presidential powers, relationships between the presidency and Congress and the bureaucracy, the presidential election process, and the role of the presidency in policy making.
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COURSE OBJECTIVES:

 Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a capacity for critical and analytical thought about the Presidency.

2. Demonstrate an ability to communicate their knowledge and beliefs about the Presidency both orally and in writing.

3. Describe the essential features of the American Presidency.

4. Discuss the roles played by the Presidency in the American political system.

5. Identify information regarding the Presidency that is necessary for useful and responsible citizenship.

6. Discuss important philosophical and ethical issues associated with the exercise of Presidential power and leadership.

7. Describe the major ways in which political scientists have tried to understand the Presidency.

8. Discuss how the presidency has shaped and been shaped by dynamic social forces in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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EVALUATION METHOD:
The attainment of the course objectives by the students will be evaluated by examining student performance in class discussion and on the essay exams and critical thinking writing exercises required for the course.

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REQUIRED READINGS:

Robert E. Diclerico.  The Contemporary American President.  First Edition. New York: Pearson, 2013. 

 

James C. Pffifner and Roger H. Davidson.  Understanding the Presidency.  Seventh Edition.  New York: Pearson, 2013. 

 

Sidney M. Milkis and Michael Nelson.  The American Presidency.  Sixth Edition.  Washington, D.C.: Sage CQ Press, 2012. 

Students should also make extensive use of the resources on the Presidency available at the Miller Center site at: http://millercenter.org/president

Students are expected to follow news items of national and international importance found in The National Journal (a good nonpartisan source of news found at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/ ) and other news sources listed later in this syllabus.  Being aware of current political developments is important to good citizenship.  Each exam will have at least one essay question requiring students to reflect on current political news.  Students will be expected to follow the 2014 mid-term elections and the meaning of those elections for the Presidency. 

They should be checking on the facts presented in debates over the Obama administration, public policy, and competing claims regarding the issues and candidates in this year’s mid-term elections by making extensive use of the following site:  http://www.factcheck.org/
Many thoughtful students sometimes wonder how much they can trust information about politics they encounter when viewing political ads and reading political editorials. They also worry about the objectivity of media news reports. Both conservatives and liberals complain about the distortion of facts found in the political ads run by the other side and various websites sponsored by opposition ideological groups. Distorting the views and positions of the opposition to make them look as bad as possible is an all too typical campaign technique. As a citizen and a student you not only should consider examining many different perspectives and sources of information but also make use of above site sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. The experts at this site check out the factual accuracy of many political speeches, ads, and news releases. They take on both the left and the right, finding errors put out by democrats and republicans. This site is especially useful when elections approach in examining current political debates over public policy.
Being aware of current political developments is important to good citizenship.  Each exam will have at least one essay question requiring students to reflect on current political news regarding the presidency.


Students are required to view all the available American Experience documentaries on presidents found at:   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/

Useful Web Sites:

For good biographical information about all past president, a view of their records as president, and various programs and reports on the office, you may go to the Miller Center site at: http://millercenter.org/president

For information on the current president and office go to White House site at: http://www.whitehouse.gov

For information on former presidents go to the Presidential Libraries site maintained by the National  Archives at: http://www.archives.gov/presidential_libraries/addresses/addresses.html

For links to Official US Executive Branch Web Sites go to the page maintained by the Library of Congress at: http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/fedgov.html

To watch the American Experience programs on Presidents go to: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/

For very good resources on the presidency maintained by George C. Edwards III  at Texas A&M University go to:
http://presdata.tamu.edu/

To view many of the most well known television ads used in presidential campaigns, go to the following site: http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1952

For very useful information and data on different presidential administrations, go to the following site:  http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/

For videos of important presidential speeches you may go to: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/media.php

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GRADES:
Your grade will be based upon three tests given during the course of the semester, the combined score on ten critical thinking writing exercises, your contribution to class discussion, and a final examination. Each of these will count for 1/6 of your semester grade. All of the tests and the final examination will involve an essay format.

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CLASS DISCUSSION:
Students are expected to make contributions to class discussion. Your grade in this regard will be based upon daily participation during the semester.  Students should be prepared to relate the material being studied to current political developments.

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CRITICAL THINKING WRITING EXERCISES:
There will be 10 critical thinking writing exercises. These assignments will be three pages in length. They will be done in Microsoft Word with a Font size 12 and double spaced. Any documentation for these exercises will be done according to the Turabian format for a research paper. A shorter version of that style manual can be found on the History style manual at the following web address: http://www.longwood.edu/philpolhist/resources.htm
All of these essays will also be turned in at: http://www.turnitin.com/  When you go to this site you must first establish your own identification and password.  You then go to this course entitled American Presidency, use the course ID 8351508 and the course password posc350
Students will turn in a hard copy of the essay on the day the essays are due, and must also submit an electronic copy to the turnitin.com site or receive a 0 on the assignment.
Each essay is worth 10 points.  There are 10 essays due during the semester.
Late papers will lose points. These assignments are found in the course outline and are due by 12:00 each Friday of the week assigned.  

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HONOR CODE:


Students are expected to live by the Longwood University Honor Code. All work done for the class must be pledged.  Your instructor will not tolerate any form of cheating.

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TAKING EXAMS:
All tests and exams must be taken on time.
You are expected to provide proof for any legitimate reason (illness, participation in a University-sponsored activity, or recognizable emergency) you may have for missing a test or exam. Work not handed in on time will lose points.  Each exam will also have at least one question dealing with current political developments regarding the presidency.

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ATTENDANCE POLICY:


The attendance policy for the course is the same as the University policy found in the University Catalog and the Student Handbook.

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COURSE OUTLINE:

(Click here for the Study Guide to go with the course outline found below.)

Week 1 Introduction to the study of the Presidency; The Constitution and the Presidency; Washington
Aug. 25-29  
 
Read:  Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 1, Readings 1-5
           The Constitution
           Milkis & Nelson, Chpts. 1, 2, 3
           Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
           Also read about Washington at: http://www.mountvernon.org/meet-george-washington/biography-and-influence and be sure to read the accompanying links about his presidency; and http://bibowen.hubpages.com/hub/President-George-Washington
Special Topics:
Part 1. Introduction to the study of the Presidency
           What are the principal approaches to studying the Presidency?
Part 2. Creating the Presidency
           What were the most important issues at the Constitutional Convention regarding the office of the Presidency?
           What does the Constitution have to say about the Presidency?
           What were the challenges faced by the first two presidents in establishing the office?
Part 3. Case Study:  Washington

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise #1 In this essay you should explain what the office of the Presidency owes to Washington.

Week 2 The Early Presidency After Washington – from Adams to Jackson; Historical Perspectives on the Presidency
Sept. 1-5

Read:  Milkis & Nelson, Chpts. 3, 4, 5
          
Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 2, Readings 6-10
           Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
Special Topics:
Part 1.  What do challenges that faced the Adams administration tell us about the Presidency?
Part 2.  What did Jefferson contribute to the office?
Part 3.  How did Jackson shape the office?
Part 4. 
What have been some of the principal positions regarding the valid scope of Presidential powers?              

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise #2 What lessons should presidents today learn from the administrations of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson?  Explain what their experiences can teach us about the office today.

Week 3  Public Opinion and the Presidency; The Media and the Presidency
Sept. 8-12
 
Read:  Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 4, Readings 17-20
            DiClerico, Chpt. 4
            Milkis & Nelson, Chpt. 8
            Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
            Watch the following documentaries:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/tr/
                                                                      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/
            Study the data on the following sites:
            For excellent data on presidential popularity, along with a link to comparing different presidents go to: http://www.gallup.com/poll/124922/Presidential-Approval-Center.aspx?ref=interactive
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/popularity.php
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/initial_approval.php
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/100days_approval.php 
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/final_approval.php
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/newsconferences.php
Special Topics:
Part 1.  What are some of the primary factors that influence Presidential popularity?
Part 2.  How do Presidents try to shape public opinion?   
Part 3. Why is the relationship between the President and the press often strained? How has that relationship evolved over the years?
Part 4. The battle for public opinion - Case studies: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise #3  Explain the most important factors that shape public perceptions of the President and job approval ratings.  What can Presidents do and what should they not do in regard to building and maintaining popular support?

Week 4  The Debate Over the Extent of Presidential Power
Sept. 15-19 
Read: Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 5, Reading 24; Section 7, Readings 31, 32; Section 9, Readings 40, 42
          Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
          Watch the Frontline program, “Cheney’s Law” at:  http://video.pbs.org/video/1082073775/
          Information on presidential signing statements: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/signingstatements.php
          Information on executive orders: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php
Special Topics:
Part 1. How have Presidential powers evolved?  What dynamic social, economic, political and military forces have shaped the emergence of the modern presidency?
Part 2. Is there an Imperial Presidency?  What is involved in the debate over the theory of the unitary executive?
           To what extent has Obama’s exercise and claims of executive power resembled those of his predecessor?  To what extent are there differences?
Part 3.  First test
Note:  Your first test for the semester will be on Tuesday, Sept. 16 and will count for 1/6 of your semester grade.

Week 5   The Selection Process
Sept. 22-26     Read:  Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 3, Readings 11-16
                               DiClerico, Chpt. 1
                               Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
Exit poll data on 2004 Elections: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/
Exit poll data on 2008 Elections: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/
Exit poll data on 2012 Elections:
http://www.cnn.com/election/2012/results/race/president?hpt=hp_inthenews and http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president/exit-polls
Compare exit poll results between 2008 and 2012 at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/2012-exit-polls/table.html
Gallup data on voting by different demographic groups in presidential elections 1952-2012:
 http://www.gallup.com/poll/139880/Election-Polls-Presidential-Vote-Groups.aspx#1
Special Topics
Part 1. How does one go about becoming President?  How do Presidential candidates get nominated?
Part 2. What factors shape the conduct and results of Presidential elections?  How have presidential elections evolved since World War II?
           Is this nation served well by the manner in which it selects Presidents? Should the process be changed?
Part 3. Case Study: What can be learned from Election 2004, 2008, 2012? 

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise # 4 Explain the main factors at work in Barack Obama winning the 2008 election and his re-election in 2012. 

Week 6   The President and Congress
Sept. 29 – Oct. 3

Read:  Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 6, Readings 25-28; Section 7, Reading 29
           DiClerico, Chpt. 3
           Milkis & Nelson, Chpt. 7, 8, 11
           Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
           Watch the following documentary online:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/lbj/
           For an excellent study of ideological polarization in Congress go to the following site: http://nationaljournal.com/magazine/congress-hits-new-peak-in-polarization-20110224
           Make use of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum at: http://www.lbjlibrary.org/
           Make sure to read the material found at: http://www.lbjlibrary.org/about-lbj/timeline.html and http://www.lbjlibrary.org/about-lbj/ 
Special Topics:
Part 1. What does the President have going for him in dealing with the Congress?
Part 2. What forces limit Presidential influence with Congress?
Part 3. Case Study:  LBJ

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise #5 Why are some presidents more successful in getting their domestic agenda enacted by Congress than others? What makes for Presidential success in dealing with Congress? 

Week 7  Evaluating Presidential Greatness and Leadership
Oct. 6-10              

Read:  DiClerico, Chpt. 10
       Milkis & Nelson, Chpts. 6, 9, 10
       Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
       Watch the following documentary online:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/fdr/
       Online articles and surveys on ranking great presidents: You may check out some rankings of presidents at: http://www.americanpresidents.org/survey/historians
       For online information on the rankings of presidents done by the Federalist Society and Wall Street Journal, go to: http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB974336784441980753 and http://history-world.org/pres.pdf
       Make use of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum at:  http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/archives/resources.html
       Make sure to read the material found at:  http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/facts.html
       Read about Lincoln at: http://www.biography.com/people/abraham-lincoln-9382540 
           There is an interesting book review of Robert W. Merry’s recent book, Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians in the July-August Issue of journal the National Interest at:   
           http://nationalinterest.org/bookreview/the-great-white-house-rating-game-7063    
           Special Topics:
Part 1. What makes for Presidential greatness?  How do most surveys tend to rank our past presidents?  Which ones are seen as great?
Part 2. Case Study:  Abraham Lincoln
Part 3. Case Study:  Franklin Roosevelt

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise #6 What criteria should be used in evaluating presidential leadership and greatness?  Why are such evaluations so difficult and often controversial?

Week 8  Oct. 13-17
FALL BREAK   OCTOBER 13-14 (Since this class meets once a week on Tuesdays, we do not have class this week.)

Week 9    Recent One Term Presidents
Oct. 20-24  Read: Milkis & Nelson, Chpts. 11, 12
                             DeClerico, Chpt. 7 – pp. 336-340; Chpt. 11 – pp. 472-476
                             Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
                 Watch the following documentaries online:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/carter  
                                                                                    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/bush/                
                 You may go to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum at: http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/  and check out biographical material at: http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/documents/jec/jecbio.phtml  and a view of his record as president at: http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/documents/jec/chron.phtml
                 You may go to the George Bush Library and Museum at: http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/
                  You may also go to the Miller Center for more information on Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush (Bush domestic policies: http://millercenter.org/president/bush/essays/biography/4 and Bush foreign policies: http://millercenter.org/president/bush/essays/biography/5 )
Special Topics:
Part 1. Case Study:  Carter
Part 2. Case Study:  George H. W. Bush (Bush 41)
Part 3. Second Test
Note:  You will have your second test on Tuesday, Oct. 21.  It will count for 1/6 of your semester grade.

Week 10    The Presidency, National Security, Foreign Policy, and Emergency Powers

Oct. 27-31    
Read:  Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 8, Readings 34-38
           DiClerico, Chpts. 2, 8
           Milkis & Nelson, Chpt. 10, 11
           Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
           Review the work of the National War Powers Commission: http://millercenter.org/policy/commissions/warpowers
                                                                                                   http://web1.millercenter.org/reports/warpowers/report.pdf
           Watch the following documentaries:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/truman/
                                                                      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/jfk/   
           The War Powers Act, 1973 at: http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/nat-sec/War-Powers-r.htm  
           Optional:  CRS report on War Powers Act after 30 years: http://www.fas.org/man/crs/RL32267.html  
Special Topics:
Part 1. What is the extent of the President’s powers in making foreign policy?
           What limits a President’s powers in making foreign policy? 
           What institutional resources do President’s have in this area?
Part 2. Case Study: Truman
Part 3. Case Study:  Kennedy

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise # 7 Have presidents carried their war making powers too far?  Or are such powers necessary for the security of the country?

Week 11     The Presidential Office, The Executive Office of the President, The Cabinet, and Decision Making; Domestic Policy Making
Nov. 3-7
Read:  DeClerico, Chps. 6, 7
          Pfeiffer & Davidson, Section 5, Readings 21-24; Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 7, Readings 29, 30
          Milkis & Nelson, Material on Eisenhower in Chpt. 10 and Reagan in Chpt. 12
          Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
                  Watch the following documentary online:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/eisenhower/  
                  Check out this link to various offices serving the president: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration
                  The following link deals with the White House Staff: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/staff
                  The following link deals with the Executive Office of the President: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop
                  The following link deals with the Cabinet: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/cabinet
                  For data on number of employees in the EOP, go to: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/eop.php
                  For news story on transition team questionnaire for job seekers go to: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/13/transition.questionnaire/index.html?iref=allsearch
                  For information of President Eisenhower go to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum at:  http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/all_about_ike/presidential/administration_facts.html#
                  For information about his presidency, go to: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/all_about_ike/presidential/administration_facts.html
                  For information on Ronald Reagan go to his presidential library at: http://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries/visit/reagan.html
                  For more information on Ronald Reagan go to: http://www.presidentialtimeline.org/html/timeline.php?/n+MYE3d4oaHvCyUzQt1/zwGP8FRLtajQiJTGV9mk3g=
                  The following site is a useful list of major legislation enacted by Congress over the course of U.S. history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_federal_legislation
                  The following site has budget data, with deficit information, for presidents since 1930: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/budget.php
                  Differences between presidential budget requests and final Congressional appropriations: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/appropriations.php
                 Charts on public debt may be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_deficit
                 For more comprehensive charts on federal spending, gross domestic product, and debt go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms
                 The following link has a study of growing income inequality in the United States: http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266026/
                 The following link has information on median household income: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_income
                 The following link deals with the Office of Management and Budget: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb
                 The following link deals with the Department of the Treasury: http://www.treasury.gov/
                 The following link presents important data on the American economy over the past 100 years: http://ycharts.com/economy
                 The following site allows the student to retrieve all sorts of economic data: http://www.measuringworth.com/index.php

Special Topics:
Part 1. What are the principal offices and agencies which Presidents have at their disposal for decision making?
           What roles are played by the EOP, senior White House Staff, and cabinet in the Executive Branch?
           What are the problems of coordinating the offices serving the President?
Part 2. Case study:  Eisenhower
Part 3. Case study:  Reagan
Part 4. Making domestic policy: What factors dominate domestic policy and economic and budget policy?  What resources do Presidents have in these areas? What limitations do they face in these areas? 

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise #8 Write a position paper in which you advise a new President on the most important principles he or she should follow in organizing the work of the White House. Also explain the main sorts of problems he should try to avoid.  

Week 12  Presidents at Mid-term;
The Presidency and the 2014 Mid-term Elections (November 4)
Nov. 10-14
Read:  Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
           Data on seats gained or lost by the President’s Party in Mid-Term Elections: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/mid-term_elections.php
Follow all news reports on election results for 2014:
Exit Poll data on 2014 mid-term elections: http://www.cnn.com/election/2014/results/race/house#exit-polls and http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/04/us/politics/2014-exit-polls.html?_r=0
Articles on 2014 mid-term elections: http://www.nationaljournal.com/political-connections/the-tectonic-plates-of-2014-20141103
                                                           http://www.nationaljournal.com/against-the-grain/republicans-just-broke-democrats-blue-wall-20141105
              http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/us/politics/in-states-seen-to-be-tilting-left-voters-defy-democrats-forecast-.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=a-lede-package-region&reg
                                                           http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/05/us/politics/how-big-were-tuesdays-republican-swings.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/us/politics/swamped-in-a-red-surge-southern-democrats-contemplate-their-rebuilding-plans.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news                                               
        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/us/politics/gops-path-to-presidency-tight-but-real.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1
 http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/no-money-didn-t-buy-the-midterms-20141107
       http://www.nationaljournal.com/off-to-the-races/bad-decisions-came-back-to-haunt-democrats-in-midterms-20141110
Competing editorials on those elections:  http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/obama-isn-t-listening-to-voters-he-claims-to-hear-20141105
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/opinion/mr-obamas-offer-to-republicans.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

For information on the 2010 mid-term elections:
The following websites may also be useful:  http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/
            http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/election.2010/the.basics/
            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/index.html 
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/mid-term_elections.php
            For information about campaign finance rules and data on campaign spending go to the Federal Election Commission site at: http://www.fec.gov/ 
            For New York Times articles about campaign finance rules and data on campaign spending go to: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/f/federal_election_commission/index.html?inline=nyt-org
            For information on campaign spending for media ads and some of the ads themselves go to: http://www.kantarmediana.com/cmag
            Check out election results at:  http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2010/results/main.results/#val=S
            Check out exit polls at: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2010/results/polls/#USH00p1
            Check out big shift in voting patterns in the 2010 election: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/03/us/politics/election-results-house-shift.html?ref=politics

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise #9  Explain the results of this year’s mid-term elections.  What factors contributed to those results?  What do the results mean for the last two years of the Obama Presidency?     

Week 13    Presidential Personality and Character; Scandals
Nov. 17-21     Read:  Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 9, Readings 39, 41
                             Declerico, Chpt. 9
                             Milkis & Nelson, Chpts.
                             Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
                             Watch the following documentaries online:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/nixon/
                                                                                             http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/reagan/
                                                                                             http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/clinton/                  
Special Topics:
Part 1. Case Study: Nixon and Watergate
Part 2. Case Study: Reagan and Iran-Contra
Part 3. Case Study: Clinton, Lewinski and Impeachment

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise #10 What should be learned from the Iran-Contra scandal? What are the lessons about presidential leadership that should be learned from this scandal?

Week 14    The Presidency and the Courts, The Vice Presidency
Nov. 24-25
Read: Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 6, Reading 27
          DiClerico, Chpt. 11
          Miller Center Resources: http://millercenter.org/president
          Roosevelt’s speech on the “Court-Packing” controversy: http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/speech-3309
          For more on Vice Presidents:: https://www.google.com/search?q=vice+presidency&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb
          List of Vice Presidents: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Vice_Presidents_of_the_United_States
          Regarding Cheney’s Vice Presidency, watch the Frontline program, “Cheney’s Law” at:  http://video.pbs.org/video/1082073775/Special Topics:
Special Topics:
Part 1. What is the impact of the Presidency upon the courts? What impact have the courts had on the Presidency?
Part 2. How has the office of the Vice President evolved in the past half century?
Part 3. Test and Thanksgiving Vacation; Thanksgiving Vacation   November 26-30   
           Note:  You will have your third test on Tuesday, November 25.  It will count for 1/6 of your semester grade.

Week 15    Recent Presidents
Dec. 1-5     Read:  Milkis & Nelson, Chpts.
                             Pfiffner & Davidson, Section 7, Readings 31, 32; Section 8, Reading 37; Section 8, Readings 36, 37, 38: Section 9, Readings 41, 42
                             Miller Center Resources : http://millercenter.org/president
                             Article on Obama and other presidents in last two years: http://www.nationaljournal.com/political-connections/running-into-the-wind-20141114
                             Watch the following documentaries online:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/reagan/
                                                                                                   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/bush/
                                                                                                   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/clinton/
                             Check out the timelines for the lives and careers of the following presidents:
                            
                             George H. W. Bush: http://www.presidentialtimeline.org/html/timeline.php?VS2uwNqq86yid0BKAp1LqEMuZB/gb5bttoA+b1ZOmB8=
                             William Jefferson Clinton: http://www.presidentialtimeline.org/html/timeline.php?q2SRfR34FN7a1ClOcG/xdifh8h3Uhw9KGHxdnMf2IIg=
                             George W. Bush: http://www.presidentialtimeline.org/html/timeline.php?Uqr33C06xukM3FQKkgjSN2FRrAJNDIdtlCI4knS/PEY=
Special Topics:
Part 1.  Case Study:  Bill Clinton
Part 2.  Case Study:  George W. Bush
Part 3.  Case Study:  Barack Obama

Dec. 5          Last Day of Classes
Dec. 6            Reading Day
Dec. 8-12        Final Examinations
                       Your final examination will be a comprehensive essay exam.  It will count for 1/6 of your semester
                       grade.  It will be given on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 11:30 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.

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SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY
POSC 350 REQUIRED READINGS:

Robert E. Diclerico.  The Contemporary American President.  First Edition. New York: Pearson, 2013. 

 

James C. Pffifner and Roger H. Davidson.  Understanding the Presidency.  Seventh Edition.  New York: Pearson, 2013. 

 

Sidney M. Milkis and Michael Nelson.  The American Presidency.  Sixth Edition.  Washington, D.C.: Sage CQ Press, 2012. 

Students should also make extensive use of the resources on the Presidency available at the Miller Center site at: http://millercenter.org/president

Students are expected to follow news items of national and international importance found in The National Journal (a good nonpartisan source of news found at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/ ) and other news sources listed later in this syllabus.  Being aware of current political developments is important to good citizenship.  Each exam will have at least one essay question requiring students to reflect on current political news.  Students will be expected to follow the 2014 mid-term elections and the meaning of those elections for the Presidency. 

They should be checking on the facts presented in debates over the Obama administration, public policy, and competing claims regarding the issues and candidates in this year’s mid-term elections by making extensive use of the following site:  http://www.factcheck.org/
Many thoughtful students sometimes wonder how much they can trust information about politics they encounter when viewing political ads and reading political editorials. They also worry about the objectivity of media news reports. Both conservatives and liberals complain about the distortion of facts found in the political ads run by the other side and various websites sponsored by opposition ideological groups. Distorting the views and positions of the opposition to make them look as bad as possible is an all too typical campaign technique. As a citizen and a student you not only should consider examining many different perspectives and sources of information but also make use of above site sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. The experts at this site check out the factual accuracy of many political speeches, ads, and news releases. They take on both the left and the right, finding errors put out by democrats and republicans. This site is especially useful when elections approach in examining current political debates over public policy.
Being aware of current political developments is important to good citizenship.  Each exam will have at least one essay question requiring students to reflect on current political news regarding the presidency.


Students are required to view all the available American Experience documentaries on presidents found at:   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/


Useful Web Sites:

For good biographical information about all past president, a view of their records as president, and various programs and reports on the office, you may go to the Miller Center site at: http://millercenter.org/president

For information on the current president and office go to White House site at: http://www.whitehouse.gov

For information on former presidents go to the Presidential Libraries site maintained by the National  Archives at: http://www.archives.gov/presidential_libraries/addresses/addresses.html

For links to Official US Executive Branch Web Sites go to the page maintained by the Library of Congress at: http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/fedgov.html

To watch the American Experience programs on Presidents go to: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/

For very good resources on the presidency maintained by George C. Edwards III  at Texas A&M University go to:
http://presdata.tamu.edu/

To view many of the most well known television ads used in presidential campaigns, go to the following site: http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1952

For very useful information and data on different presidential administrations, go to the following site:  http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/

For videos of important presidential speeches you may go to: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/media.php


Suggested Readings:

Colin Campbell & Bert A. Rockman.  Editors.  The Clinton Legacy.  New York: Chatham House Publishers, 2000.
James David Barber. The Presidential Character. 4th Edition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1992. 
James MacGregor Burns. Presidential Government. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.
James MacGregor Burns. Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1956.
Lou Cannon. Reagan. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1982.
Robert A. Caro.  The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. (For Johnson’s earlier career there are in The Years of Lyndon Johnson series: The Path to Power, 1982; Means of Ascent, 1990; and Master of the Senate, 2002.)
Jimmy Carter. Keeping the Faith: Memoirs of a President. New York: Bantam Books, 1982.
Jeffrey Cohen & David Nice.  The Presidency.  New York:  McGraw Hill, 2003.
Jeffrey Cohen & David Nice.  The Presidency: Classics and Contemporary Readings.  New York:  McGraw Hill, 2003.
Byron W. Daynes & Glen Sussman.  The American Presidency and the Social Agenda.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2001.
Robert E. DiClericoThe American President.  Fifth Edition.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000.
George C. Edwards III & Philip John Davies.  New Challenges for the American Presidency.  New York: Longman, 2004.                                                                    
George C. Edwards III & Stephen J. Wayne. Presidential Leadership. Sixth Edition. Belmont, California: Thomson Wadsworth, 2003.
Edward Paul Fuchs. Presidents, Management, and Regulation. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1988.
Alexander L. George and Juliette L. George. Woodrow Wison and Colonel House: A Personality Study. New York: Dover Publications, 1956, 1964.
John Hart. The Presidential Branch: From Washington to Clinton. Second Edition. Chatham, New Jersey: Chatham House, 1995.
John S. Jackson III & William Crotty.  The Politics of Presidential Selection. Second Edition.  New York:  Longman, 2001.
Irving L. Janis. Victims of Groupthink. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972.
Doris Kearns. Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.
Louis K. Koenig. The Chief Executive. 5th edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jonavich Publishers, 1986.
William W. Lammers & Michael A. Genovese. The Presidency and Domestic Policy. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2000.
Lance T. LeLoup & Steven A. Shull. Congress and the President: The Policy Connection. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Pub., 1993.
Robert W. Merry, Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians. New York: Siomon & Schuster, 2012.
Richard Neustadt. Presidential Power. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley, 1980.
Richard Nixon. The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978.
Willard M. Oliver The Law & Order Presidency.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003.
Gerald M. Pomper  et. al. The Election of 2000.  New York: Chatham House Publishers, 2001.
George Reedy. The Twilight of the Presidency. New York: New American Library, 1970.
Clinton Rossiter. The American Presidency. New York: New American Library, 1956.
Larry SabatoEditor.  Overtime: The 2000 Election Thriller.  New York: Longman, 2002.
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. The Imperial Presidency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973.
Lester G. Seligman and Cary R. Covington. The Coalitional Presidency. Chicago: The Dorsey Press, 1989.
Robert J. Spitzer. President and Congress: Executive Hegemony at the Crossroads of American Government. New York: Mc-Graw Hill, Inc., 1993.
Tower Commission. Report of the President's Special Review Board. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987.
Shirley Anne Warshaw. The Domestic Presidency: Policy Making in the White House. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997.
Shirley Anne Warshaw.  The Keys to Power: Managing the Presidency.  New York: Longwman, 2000.
Stephen P. Wayne. The Road to the White House 1996: The Politics of Presidential Elections. New York: St. Martins’s Press,1997.
Theodore White. Breach of Faith. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1975.
Theodore White. The Making of the President 1960. New York: New American Library, 1961.
Marcia Lynn Wicker and Raymond A. Moore. When Presidents Are Great. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1988.
Aaron Wildavsky. Editor. Perspectives on The Presidency. Boston: Little,Brown, and Company, 1975.

Academic Journals:
American Political Science Review
Presidential Studies Quarterly

Extra Video:
                       Speech by Robert Kennedy on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr

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