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Concepts of the American Presidency

             Constitution created a presidency of limited powers. It is also important to remember that when they created the office of the presidency, they did so without any model to go by. When the framers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to "revise the Articles of Confederation" and ended up creating an entirely new constitution, in no country in the world was there a democratically selected chief executive. .
             What the framers of the U.S. Constitution wanted in a president:.
             a national leader.
             a statesman in foreign policy.
             a commander in time of war &.
             enforcement of the laws.
             The framers wanted a strong and independent chief executive [remember, there had not been one under the Articles], but they did not want to create a monarch [like the one we had rid ourselves of in the American Revolution]. The framers of the constitution also represented the "elite" and feared that if the masses elected the president they would select "demagogues" [politicians that appealed to the fears and prejudices of the people]. The framers solved the second problem by creating a safety valve called the Electoral College. The president would not be elected by the people (as we learned in the 2000 presidential election), but rather he would be elected by a majority of electors (who in the beginning were selected by the respective state legislatures, representing the "elite" in the respective states). In the event that no candidate received a majority vote of the Electoral College, then the House of Representatives would elect the president. In short, the president would represent the people, but would not be chosen directly by them. This would be our only national election. In the first presidential elections (the one in which Washington was elected), the Electors would have two votes to cast for the five top candidates from the November elections > whoever received the most Electoral votes would be elected president (assuming one of the five got a majority of the Electoral vote) and whoever received the second most Electoral votes would become the VP (one additional point > no Elector could cast both of their votes for two candidates from the same state).

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