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PSC 305: Presidency and Congress, Timetable

Revised 5/22/19 for summer term, by Dr. Jeremy Lewis.

Please check the following, using your Hawks identity only:

In summer, 3 semester weeks are compressed into each summer week, and each week of readings begins on Wednesday with a test each Tuesday following; each textbook chapter (though not GoogOlympics event) should be noted in 4-5 paragraphs, and each short reading in one paragraph, submitted in the Google form for reports on readings.

When adapted for course-by-conference, any class session missed will be replaced with report paragraphs as above, or an alternative.

Presidential campaign 2016 videos, debates and advertising
Week: [01] [02] [03] [04] [05] Test 1] [06] [07] [08] [09] [Spring Break] [10] [Test 2] [11] [12] [ePaper] [13] [14] [Final]

Week, Author, Reading: Topic
Week 1 (summer week 1A): introducing leadership

Edwards 1: Presidential Leadership: An Introduction [PPT]
Wadsworth Publishers' Site | Book Description - What were the original dilemmas over the design of the presidency?
- How has the president grown into the presidency?
- What are the contemporary problems of running the presidency?
- How, and to what degree, do the media and interest groups pressure the presidency?
- What types of presidential leadership does Edwards discuss?
- What is Edwards's approach to the subject?

US constitution, Article II, the enumerated powers | C-in-C | Diplomat [Lecture notes]
Presidential clauses, inherent powers and constraints [PPT]

Edwards 2: Nomination Process [PPT] - How did the US nomination system evolve?
- What have been recent changes in the political arena?
- How have these affected nominations: party reforms; campaign finance; public relations?
- What strategies work for each type of candidate?
- Who makes a successful candidate?
General discussion:
- How is the US nomination process unique?
- What are the stages of the nomination process?
- Who should be allowed to select the party's nominee, and in what forum?
- What role do the states play in nominating candidates?
What qualities come to the fore of the nomination process?

GoogOlympics: readings on Trump's fitness for presidential office, from Gdrive [reporters assigned for week 1]

Check for current opinion polls in early caucus and primary election states, at RealClearPolitics.com - What does the sample size tell us?
- What is the Margin of Error? - Can the media really tell who is ahead?
- What does "LV" signify?
- Are the timelines of individual candidates across different polls really meaningful?
- Are IA and NH typical of the rest of the country?
Week 2 (summer week 1B): electing the President
Edwards 3: Presidential Election [PPT]
- What shapes the strategic environment?
- How does the electoral college set rules for the game?
- How do finances shape the race?
- Do the media improve the competition?
- How can one shape a candidate's image?
- How can one create a winning coalition?
- How can a candidate use the media?
- What can a candidate use polls for, before and after the election?
- Have candidate centered campaigns actually weakened governance?
General discussion:
- How are presidential elections organized?
- What are the stages of the general election?
- Do presidential elections guarantee executive leadership?

Edwards 4: President & Public [PPT]
- How are presidential relations with the public organized?
- How informed is US public opinion?
- With what instruments can a president persuade the public?

Edwards 5: President & Media
[PPT]

- How useful are press conferences?
- Does it matter if the president's approval ratings drop?
- Which presidents are more effective with the media?

GoogOlympics: readings on Fake News and Truthiness, from Gdrive


Presidential debates

- To what extent do televised debates influence elections?
Week 3 (summer week 1C): the presidential staff and decision making Week 4 (summer week 2A): presidential relations with Congress
Week 5 (summer week 2B): presidential leadership; and the judiciary

Week 6 (summer week 2C): making domestic policy

Week 7 (summer week 3A): making foreign and defense policy Week 8 (summer week 3B): presidential power; and congressional representation Week 9 (summer week 3C): the fragmented Congress

Week 10 (summer week 4A: elections, constituents and parties

Week 11 (summer week 4B): the congressional office and the struggle with the presidency For Spring Break, see Calendar

Week 12 (summer week 4C): making policy in Congress Week 13 (summer week 5A): congress as an institution
Illustrated briefings by students of their research projects, followed by interrogation and critical thinking discussion
Course evaluations

Nivola 6: #26: Nelson Polsby, "Institutionalization of the US House" [Reporter]
- Does it matter if Congress is more institutionalized and professionalized?
- Do we need turnover in Congress, instead of seniority?
- Is meritocracy advantageous in Congress instead of seniority?
- Has the congress become too bureaucratized?

Nivola 6: #27: Richard Fenno, "Congressmen in Committees" [Reporter]
- How do committees operate in Congress, and how do they differ?
Week 14 (summer week 5B): fragmented Congress and partisanship
Loomis 6e, Ch. 9: The Competitive Congress: Centrifugal Forces in a Partisan Era
Notes of Loomis 5e, Ch.10: Partisanship, Individualism, & Contemporary Congress
- How has the Congress changed since 1994, and what has driven that change?
- Why do representatives commonly run against Congress?
- What binds representatives together to pass needed but unpopular policy?
- If everyone follows district interests, how is the common interest supported?

Briefings timetable | Illustrated briefings by students of their research projects, followed by interrogation and critical thinking discussion [Reporters]
See Calendar for Comprehensive Exam.