The solution chosen by the founders was complex, but it satisfied all of the concerns raised at the convention.
An unlimited number of four-year terms would be served by the president.
The president wouldn't be chosen by Congress or the people.
The Constitution provides for his selection by the Electoral College.
For a slate of electors who cast their votes for the candidates about six weeks after the general election, citizens vote not for the presidential candidates, but for them.
The founders believed that this procedure would ensure that a president elected by well-informed delegates who had no other lawmaking power could not be bribed or influenced by candidates.
We will discuss how this process works in Chapter 14.
The four-year term and the manner of election are set in Section 1.
The president must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least thirty-five years old, and a resident for at least fourteen years.
If the president can't, Congress can make laws about the vice president's succession.
The powers of the chief executive are established in Section 2.
The commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the state militias has the power to grant pardons for offenses against the United States.
With the advice and consent of twothirds of the Senate, the president can make treaties, and with a simple majority vote of the Senate, he can appoint officials who are not otherwise provided for.
If the two houses of Congress can't agree on when to end their sessions, the president may call Congress into session.
The president gets ambassadors, public officials, and executes the laws of the United States.
As the debates over the American executive show, many options were open to the founders as they designed the office.
They chose a presidential system in which a leader is chosen independently of the legislature to serve a fixed term that is unaffected by the success or failure of the legislature.
The consequences of having a president chosen by Congress were briefly considered by the founding fathers.
In a parliamentary system the legislature and the executive are merged, but in a presidential system they are separate.
The executive is not accountable to the legislature in a presidential system.
The majority party in the House of Representatives could install its leader, the Speaker of the House, as the national executive.
If the parliament doesn't think the prime minister is doing a good job, it can replace him or her.
The American provision for impeachment of the president for criminal activity is very different.
Executives can be removed for political or ideological reasons.
There must be at least an allegation of criminal activity in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in order to remove him from office in a parliamentary system.
The executive in a parliamentary system can't check if the legislature abuses its power.
The parliamentary government in Germany is constrained by an independent court, while the British system has no check on parliament.
Even though it is a parliamentary system, the French split the executive functions between a prime minister and a president so that there is an executive check on the legislature.
Politics is different in a parliamentary system than it is in a presidential system.
In the former case, leadership is more focused.
The executive and legislative branches overlap because the prime minister usually chooses his or her cabinet from the legislature.
Under normal circumstances, a prime minister can get his or her programs and laws passed by the legislature because he or she already has the support of his or her party.
The prime minister can be forced out of office if the party has a serious loss of faith in him.
The prime minister has an incentive to work with the legislature.
The British prime minister has some countervailing clout.
The British prime minister has the power to call parliamentary elections at will within a five-year period and thus can threaten the jobs of uncooperative members of parliament or, alternatively, can time the elections to take place when the party's fortunes are high.
The ties of political party membership are strong in a parliamentary system because of the close relationship between executive and legislative.
George Washington was a model executive and the kind of man the founders wanted to hold the presidency.
They didn't mention that description.
The Constitution requires natural-born citizenship and forbids the president from taking expensive gifts from another country, but it's difficult to ram through legislation because of a separate executive and legislature.
The symbolic role and the political role are combined in the office.
The head-of-government role was never imagined to be as large as it is today.
The head-of-state role was important.
Lincoln's main goal in the Civil War was to hold the country together, and he had to oversee an actual split of the country.
The courts end up making law by establishing how a law is to be understood.
Much of the American federal judiciary under the Supreme Court is left to Congress.
Usually, when the president of the United States appears before Congress, it is a formal affair.
The prime minister in the United Kingdom does not have that luxury.
Theresa May and her supporters were laughing at her comments during the atypical parliamentary session.