• What are the formal qualifications necessary
to become President?
• What issues have arisen involving the length
of the President’s term?
• How is the President compensated?
The President's Roles
Chief of State
• The President is chief of state. This means he is the ceremonial head of the government
of the United States, the symbol of all the people of the nation.
• Ceremonial head of government
• The Constitution vests the President with the executive power of the United States,
making him or her the nation’s chief executive.
• Practical limits are set on the President’s power by checks and balances.
• The President is the chief administrator, or director, of the United States government.
• Director of the huge executive branch.
• As the nation’s chief diplomat, the President is the main architect of American foreign
policy and chief spokesperson to the rest of the world.
Commander in Chief
• The Constitution makes the President the commander in chief, giving him or her complete
control of the nation’s armed forces.
• The President is the chief legislator, the main architect of the nation’s public policies.
• Most often it is the President that sets the overall shape of the congressional agenda.
• Sometimes clashes with Congress and does not always get his way.
Chief of Party
• The President acts as the chief of party, the acknowledged leader of the political party that
controls the executive branch.
• The President is expected to be “the representative of all the people.”
• He is supposed to work for an represent the public interest against the many different and
competing private interests.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, of the Constitution
says that the President must:
1. Be “a natural born
• A person must be born a citizen
of the United States to be able
to become President.
• A person born abroad to
American citizens is legally an
2. Be at least 35 years of
• John F. Kennedy at age 43 was
the youngest person to be
• Reagan the oldest at 69
3. Have lived in the United
States for at least 14 years.
• Any 14 years of the
Informal qualifications, such as
intelligence and character, are also
The President's Term
• Until 1951, the Constitution placed no limit on the number of
terms a President might serve.
• Traditionally, Presidents limited the number of terms served to
two. This tradition was broken by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940
when he ran for and won a third term in office.
• The 22nd Amendment placed limits on presidential terms.
• Each President may now serve a maximum of two full terms
(8 years in office).
• A President who succeeds to the office after the mid-point in
a term could possibly serve more than 8 years
• The President may finish out the predecessor’s term and then seek
two full terms of his or her own.
***the maximum number of years a President can serve is 10***
• Some people (and former Presidents) argue
that the two-term rule is undemocratic.
• Places limits on the people to decide who should be
• Propose an unlimited number of four-year terms.
• Several Presidents have urged a single six-year
• Argue a single, nonrenewable term would free a
President from the pressures of a campaign for a second
term which would allow the President to focus on the
pressing demands of the office.
Pay and Benefits
Congress determines the President’s salary, and this salary cannot be changed during a presidential term.
• The President’s pay was first set at $25,000 a year. Currently, the President is paid $400,000 a year.
• Congress has also approved an expense allowance for the President, which is currently $50,000 a year.
• Besides monetary benefits, the President gets to live in the 132-room mansion that we call the White House.
• The President is also granted other benefits, including a large suite of offices, a staff, the use of Air Force One, and many other fringe benefits.
According to the Constitution, the President must
a. be a man who owns property.
b. be at least 35 years of age.
c. have held one major public office.
d. have lived in the U. S. for at least 20 years.
A President can serve no more than ____ years in office.
a. 8 c. 10
b. 4 d. 12
Which of the following is NOT a formal qualification for the presidency?
a. must be at least 35 years old
b. must be a "natural born Citizen" of the United States
c. must have extensive prior political experience
d. must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years
Answers: B / C / C