|General Information Sources||Specific Topics (A to Z)||Modern Presidents from FDR to the Present|
Following are presidential websites with descriptions
of what you'll find there. Please feel free to make serious suggestions for additions,
deletions, or descriptive revisions in these sites by e-mailing me at
email@example.com. I welcome anything to improve the quality
and usefulness of this list.
A note on internal navigation: since this is a single large text file, I recommend using a browser's "Find" operation with pasted terms rather than using a system of internal bookmarks. There are too many terms in here to warrant easy upkeep of a search function, and it's unnecessary. You can navigate via Find in any widely used browser, including Explorer, Opera, Netscape, or Firefox (my favorite). Where several entries are closely related, I close the topic statement with citation of the other topics for review.
American Political History and Politics web resources (Richard Jensen):
Jensen's American Political History On-Line by Richard Jensen at University of Illinois at Chicago Circle is very comprehensive on historical periods organized by presidential administrations. See also Guide to Political Research Guide On-Line with section on the presidency at 21. Presidents. But many of these links are now outdated (RDR - 2 August 2007).
Presidency: A Glorious Burden:
The Smithsonian Institute has very brief coverage of each president and his historical period, with some teaching materials and aids added on.
The American Presidency
This estimable John Woolley and Gerhard Peters enterprise (at University of California at Santa Barbara) features a Document Archive with 17 categories of important materials, in this order:
American President An Online Reference Resource:
The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia sponsors this site. It covers all 43 presidents by historical period with biographical background, Cabinet information, and essays on major aspects of that Administration and historical period. This was formerly labeled AmericanPresident.org, but that site no longer exists.
Events in Presidential History goes up to August now with a handful from each month (RDR - August 2007).
American President - The President at Work covers 7 pertinent categories of modern presidential activity: domestic policy, economic policy, legislative affairs, national security, presidential politics, administration of the government, and administration of the White House.
The Presidential Oral History Program has four "Presidential Projects" on Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and William J. Clinton. Also see the "News and Events" site. The Oral History includes non-presidential material, including a project on Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
The Presidential Recordings Project (PRP) has transcript and audio clips of nearly 5000 hours of presidential conversations from Roosevelt in 1940 through Nixon in 1973. Don't miss the selected Multimedia Clips or the Virtual Exhibits of major events. In summer 2007 a new Transcript site is on hand, at Home Page - Presidential Recordings Program or (by their filename) PRP TRANSCRIPTS PORTAL. Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon are the feature sites, as that's where the great bulk of recordings originate.
The American Experience - The Presidents: PBS/WGBH has published 11 films in The American Experience series. All 43 presidents are referenced here with brief summations. THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT PBS/WNET series covers 10 presidents by topical groupings of four each, in a sequence of 10 episodes.
POTUS - Presidents of the United States:
This Internet Public Library site has chronological listing of each president. Also use their indices for Names, Subjects and Topics. Note: recent evidence from examining their Biographies list (in January 2005) demonstrates that this site isn't being kept current.
Presidents of the United States
CB Presidential Research Services has 48 (that's right!) alphabetically organized topics, followed at file's bottom by a tabular list of all individual presidents by chronology from Washington through GWBush. Very comprehensive. But a fairly high proportion of their links are broken, so take this site's dead-end filenames as Google queries and you'll find some of them (but ignore the back reference to this same file site).
The University of Michigan Documents Center's Federal Government Resources on the Web/President has annotated links to numerous presidential sources, including documents such as Executive Orders and intelligence activities.
The President's Page by history teacher Terry Jordan maintains extensive links, including some for kids; but there's a full bucket of obsolete and dead links.
The Presidency Research Group's jointly administered site (see PRESIDENT Information for full credits) has supplements from original archival sources. See The Presidential Sites -- Specific Presidents for all 42 presidents (nothing so far on G.W. Bush) with biographies, links to libraries and/or National Archives presidential papers projects, articles, photographs, and numerous audio and video materials on recent presidents. But many links are now outdated or no longer operative. Also see The Presidential Sites -- General Sites for other links such as Mount Rushmore National Park, presidential inaugural addresses from Columbia University, the Internet Public Library's POTUS site, and historical documents at the Carrie Electronic Library of the University of Kansas.
Specific Topics (A to Z): Top
Advise and Consent (U.S. Senate): The U.S. Senate's constitutional confirmation authority once was quiescent save for an occasional noisy confirmation fight over a controversial high-level Cabinet, ambassadorial, or judicial nominee, but in the rising partisan era since the 1980s it's become a much broader constraint on filling executive and judicial positions. See U.S. Senate: power to advise and consent from The Senate Historical Office for some background. The rise and spread of the secret hold illustrates this, as does rapid expansion of the number of executive jobs subject to confirmation. Indefinitely long holdups have affected at least 10 percent of seats on the federal bench, and have created a deterrent to filling high political jobs in every new or early-stage presidential administration.
Appointment and Confirmation of Presidential Personnel:
The Plum Book lists executive branch positions. The quadrennial Plum Book 2008 Edition, Plum Book 2004 Edition and Plum Book 2000 Edition are available in pdf or text from these links. Plum Book: About lists "over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment, nationwide." These are politically appointed plum posts.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) document Transition to a New Presidential Administration: Individuals Appointed by the President has brief coverage of major laws and court cases pertaining to presidential appointments. See also Transition to a New Presidential Administration: Appointees in the Senior Executive Service.
The GAO has Presidential Appointments: Agencies' Compliance With Provisions of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.
Each Congress since 1969 has a Resume of Activity with "Disposition of Executive Nominations." The Index of Resumes catalogues these by Congress from the 91st (1969-70) through the 108th Congress (2003-2004).
John T. Isaacson's Presidential-Appointments.org has contemporary news on many Bush Administration appointment and confirmation troubles, at PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEES IN TROUBLE. Caveat emptor.
This is not a new problem suddenly appearing full-blown in 2001. See Calvin MacKenzie's Starting Over: The Presidential Appointment Process in 1997 (full text), sponsored by The Century Foundation.
These are related topics within this file: Advise and Consent, Inaugurations, Interregnums, Office of Personnel Management, Recess Appointments, Successions, Transitions.
Approval Ratings of Presidents:
This is a standard "job approval" poll rating of presidents, often mixed with terms like "presidential performance" and "presidential popularity." All three terms at Google will pull up these data sources.
Composite presidential approval polls (in listed or tabular form) are at:
Graphics on Bush and earlier presidential approval are at:
Ratings is "a unique depository for job approval ratings
obtained at the state level for state Governors, U.S. Senators and U.S.
Presidents from the mid-1900s to today" (Niemi, Beyle and Sigelman).
This permits sophisticated comparing of presidential approval ratings to those
of other individual politicians.
When using Google or other searches for other sites, use "job approval" in the search to separate references from election polls. Pollster.com and Pollster.com Blogs from Mark Blumenthal, Charles Franklin, and many informed guest bloggers provide insights to interpreting polls.
See also in this file: Greatness of Presidents; Ratings and rankings of presidents; Rally Effects.
Archives on Audio/Video:
Press - Presidential Libraries of the National Archives Launch Podcast on 2 August 2007 announced that The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century will start podcasting a series called “Presidential Archives Uncovered” via audio clips from the Libraries’ collections.
Also see in this file: Presidential Libraries, Timelines.
The Federation of American Scientists site is Official Documents on Special Weapons and Ballistic Missile Defenses. This includes the most extensive sites on the web for Strategic Defense Initiative (aka "Star Wars") since the Reagan period. File is divided by document sets dating back to the Truman Administration, but only those since 1982 with Reagan are available on line. Arms Control Agreements shows arms control treaties, executive agreements, and laws.
Artists' depictions of Presidents:
The Artful Presidency from Smithsonian Archives of American Art has a List of Presidents (ending with Carter in 1977-1981) with samples from each. Reagan doodles are elsewhere, at ABC News - The History of White House Doodles.
Assassinations, Assassination Attempts, and Security measures:
This is a thriving cottage industry on and off the web. Here's some more or less reputable sites. I've combed these to keep out the conspiracy junk. On Kennedy 1963, Reagan 1981, or other specific events, use that name plus the terms cited above on Google.
Formerly on the web were links to revelations that First Lady Nancy Reagan had consulted an astrologer to decide scheduling for President Reagan after his 30 March 1981 gunshot injury. Nowadays most web links are from astrologers themselves. Many of them promise special insights on the presidency. You're strictly on your own with those.
B Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
Baseball and presidents:
Not for scholars, perhaps, but presidents often appear at or comment on the national pastime. See this at Baseball Almanac - U.S. Presidents Menu.
Bibliography of the presidency:
See US Presidents 1901 to Present from Miami University's Digital Library.
Biographies of presidents:
A very good series is the Miller Center's American President An Online Reference Resource. Click on a president, then scroll down to "Essays on ..." and do "A Life in Brief" plus "Life Before the Presidency" and others (Death, Family Life, Impact and Legacy).
Elsewhere, Presidential Biography from CB Presidential Research Services has references, but it's heavy on popular work and lighter on scholarly works.
Washington, D.C. -- Blair Lee House is the President's official guest house, located at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue across from the White House itself. President Truman resided there for three years while the White House was extensively renovated. Visiting heads of state and other dignitaries often reside here on trips to see the President.
The Brownlow Commission, or President's Committee on Administrative Management (1937):
See Franklin D. Roosevelt Summary of the Report of the Committee on Administrative Management - January 12th, 1937 from The American Presidency Project. Chairman Louis Brownlow's papers at the University of Chicago include a biographical brief at Guide to the Louis Brownlow Diaries 1933-1936.
Budget information, federal government:
Government links include the executive Office of Management and Budget (Welcome to the OMB Home Page Executive Office of the President) and the congressional Congressional Budget Office. Contrast of the two since frequent periods of divided government have been very interesting, and sometimes informative.
Federal Budget Information from the Concord Coalition demonstrates relationships between expenditures and revenues.
See below in this file: Debt, Federal; and Deficits, Federal.
C Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
See Presidents' Cabinet and Staff from CB Presidential Research Services. A brief explanation of the presidential Cabinet is at Encyclopedia Americana-Cabinet of the United States. The current Cabinet with links to each Department is located at President Bush's Cabinet.
The Maryland mountain retreat has been important to modern presidents since Franklin Roosevelt in the wartime 1940s, and especially so as renowned site of the Carter Administration's Camp David Accords of 1979. Google has trouble sorting these two out, as its history is both that of true retreat and as locus of intensive personal diplomacy. That's shown in its mix of Image Results of Camp David. Best search remedy is to include "presidential retreat" in the query. This R and R side is exhibited by usnews.com Photography - Gallery Presidential Retreats (5-9-05).
The site's history is shown in Catoctin Mountain Park - Presidential Retreat (U.S. National Park Service) and also Retreat from the National Park Service. See also Journey Through Hallowed Ground - Camp David - A Presidential retreat in Catoctin Mountain Park.
Camp David A History of the Presidential Retreat by David Johnson captures some of its highlights. Brief coverage of the site is in Infoplease, Camp David: A History of the Presidential Retreat. Its background as a military retreat (originally run by the U.S. Navy) is shown by Federation of Atomic Scientists' Camp David, and by GlobalSecurity.org's Camp David, Thurmont Pennsylvania- United States Nuclear Forces.
Camp David Accords:
Use this full term plus "Carter Center" at Google.
Campaigns for the Presidency:
Historical coverage of past campaigns is extensive. See Presidential Campaigns, Conventions, and Elections with many links to conventions, campaigns, and primaries. America Votes: Presidential Campaign Memorabilia from Duke Special Collections is an interesting collection of historical photographs with text on presidential campaigns. Links are plentiful.
For a current campaign, Project Vote Smart is excellent for congressional election inquiries as well as presidential ones; it's nonpartisan and insightful on issue surveying of candidates.
See elsewhere in this file: Campaign Commercials; Debates; several files under "Election" headings; National Nominating Conventions.
The Living Room Candidate is the definitive site. It has commercials in each election from the dawn of televised ads in 1952 through 2004. Each year is divided by party. Many famous ads such as the 1964 "Daisy Girl" are featured.
A Historical Look at Campaign Commercials has a sampling from 1952 onward, as part of their "Road to the Presidency" course materials taught at the University of Delaware by Joseph Pika and Ralph Begleiter.
AllPolitics - Ad Archive has a delightful collection of 11 commercials dating from 1952 through 1988, covering Eisenhower, Stevenson, Kennedy, Nixon, Agnew, Humphrey, Johnson, Reagan, Bush, Quayle and Dukakis.
PBS sites The 30 Second Candidate: From Idea to Ad does exposition of an early classic ad, the 1952 "Eisenhower Answers America" ad. The 30 Second Candidate: Historical Timeline 1948-2000 shows other ads and highlights the progression of this technology.
See "Debates" from this site (under letter D below).
Campaign Finance in Presidential Elections:
See Line Item Veto in this file (under letter L).
Cartoons about presidents and presidential elections:
These are everywhere on the web, but are rarely organized by subject. The Busse Library Web (Webliography: Political Cartoons) at Mount Mercy College is a good entree site.
For modern presidents, Herb Block was a leader. OnPolitics (washingtonpost.com) has Herb Block's 50-year career divided by decades from 1946 through 1995, with cartoons plus essays and a biography. Also see Herblock's Presidents (Herblock's History Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium, Library of Congress Exhibition).
Also, HallToons has extensive cartoons, a hefty proportion involving one or another president. The site Click2History - Political Cartoons of American Presidents - Chapter 1 - Preface from Carole D. Bos has nice links and interesting contextual material on several modern presidents. J.N."Ding" Darling Foundation exhibits his work from T.R. through Truman.
Harpers Weekly Elections Homepage has an election overview, cartoons, biographies of candidates, and events for each presidential election from 1860 to 1912. Included are cartoons from Thomas Nast during the earlier elections. The 1876 edition has the infamous Hayes vs. Tilden: The Electoral College Controversy of 1876-1877.
Case Law on the modern presidency:
The Legal Information Institute site at Cornell has a list here of major cases from 1829 through 1937. Look here for cases starting at 1942 and concluding with 1998 and Clinton v. City of New York (the item veto case). This site is framed, so I separated the two lists for convenience. Each case is linked to a site with title, case information, and syllabus. Many of the famous cases are included--Prize Cases, Milligan, Myers, Humphrey's Executor, Curtiss-Wright, and so forth to more recent ones. Not all presidential cases are here, but all here are certainly presidential.
Center for the Study of the Presidency:
The Center is an important scholarly organization that publishes Presidential Studies Quarterly (see also Blackwell's Presidential Studies Quarterly - Journal Information), the Center sponsors Agenda 2008: A National at Risk.
Character, personality and temperament of Presidents:
Robert A. Wilson's Character Above All: An Exploration of Presidential Leadership has Essays for 10 modern presidents from FDR through George Bush. Each has occasional links to pertinent websites. See also Character Above All Overview by Robert Wilson.
The US Presidents - The History Project - Character in Time plans to have 40 plays, each to highlight the persona of one president. They've approached 10 completed works in summer 2007.
The James David Barber typology of presidential character is applied by John Dean to George W. Bush at FindLaw's Writ - Dean Predicting Presidential Performance.
Chief of Staff (White House Chief of Staff):
The White House Chief of Staff is the top official in the Executive Office of the President. White House Chief of Staff - Wikipedia covers many details well.
White House Staff in the Obama Administration covers this office.
Audio/video interviews conducted on June 15, 2000 with ten former White House Chiefs of Staff are at Rice University TV Archive - White House Chiefs of Staff - June 15 2000. The G2 multistream formatted video clips cover approximately 10 hours from this daylong event.
Inventory of postwar Chiefs of Staff is White House Chief of Staff from NNDB.
See also in this file: Executive Office of the President; White House; White House Office.
CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates:
CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates covers 1952-1992 in 7 chapters on 9 presidential transitions of these years. The 1996 author is John L. Helgerson with the Center for the Study of Intelligence. Coverage starts with Truman, with whom the CIA was founded in 1947. Some are exceptionally detailed, including a section on the Kennedy 1960 and 1961 briefings that brought controversy with the Bay of Pigs; see Chapter 3 -- Into Politics With Kennedy and Johnson.
CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates from The National Security Archives (George Washington University) is a duplicate site.
See also in this file: Transitions.
Coins, stamps and medals bearing a presidential likeness:
The U.S. Mint in 2007 launched the Presidential $1 Coins series. Our first four come up that year, so devotees of the modern presidency have awhile to wait. Past minting of presidential likenesses on coins is cited at The United States Mint Historian's Corner.
Greater detail on the 2007-launched program is The New Presidential Dollar Coin Program Begins in 2007 from US-Coin-Values-Advisor.com.
The Political Graveyard - Politicians Portrayed on Money has an alphabetically ordered list with numerous presidents.
Also see: Coins Currency and Stamps featuring the US Presidents from CB Presidential Research Services.
For stamp folks, a nice exhibit of each stamp with presidential image is Stamps with Presidents - US Presidents on Stamps from Sammler.com. Also see United States Presidents on Stamps (with annoying music) and U.S. Presidents on Stamps (chronological list by president, with no music).
On medals: the U.S. Post Office and U.S. Mint jointly sponsor Presidential Medals struck in bronze. A commercial site has these at American Presidents Collection.
The modern presidency requires a good understanding of the tense bilateral relations of the postwar superpower pair of U.S. and U.S.S.R. See History Server's Cold War Policies 1945-1991. Its nine sections contain Outline Notes for tracking the major Cold War events and policies of this period. Good images accompany each section of Outline Notes. Maps of the Cold War includes Europe in 1949, Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, and Central America and Iran in 1987 (associated with the Iran-Contra Affair). Excellent portraits of major presidential decisions and speeches are blended with a chronicle of major domestic and world events under each president's name and years. These are:
Cold War Documents:
The Cold War International History Project by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is a searchable database of primary documents with seven sections. Also see H-Net's Diplomatic History, Documents Related to the Cold War; and Cold War International History Project's Cold War Files. Cold War International History Project @ the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has extensive declassified documents.
Cold War - other source materials:
WWW-VL History -United States -US Cold War History - Index is a source and documentary clearinghouse.
The Cold War Museum (a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum as of 2001) has timeline organization by decade from the 1940s to 1990s with dozens of short-text files that maintain the link to other decades to ease navigation among varied sites across subtopic and time gaps. But a warning: much information is secondary, and it's acutely embarrassing to find George Bush's photograph next to a Grolier biographical brief of Ronald Reagan (at The Cold War Museum - Ronald Reagan).
CNN's CNN - Cold War offers a variety of documents, maps, and documentary materials. Some of these are useful. Another media site of value is BBC - History - Cold War.
A harder-edged site is The National Archives - Learning Curve - Cold War with entries such as The nuclear game - how close was it?.
See above in this file, under Appointments and Confirmations.
The Congressional Record:
Congressional Record Main Page has this sole official record from Congress of what was said, by whom, when, and in what context (with some "editing" after the fact). Parent page is GPO Access Home Page. Thomas has Search Full Text of the Congressional Record - 108th Congress (2003-04) back to the same service for 101st Congress (1989-90).
Constitution of the U.S. and Constitutional Provisions
on the presidency:
See U.S. Constitution - Table of Articles from Cornell University School of Law. Article II has useful internal links showing changes such as Amendments XII, XXII, and XXV. That's also evident in Constitutional Law - MegaLaw.com - Article II. Emory University School of Law has Constitution of the United States with comparably useful changes in Article I.
Recent court interpretation of clauses to 2004 are in Constitution of the United States - Browse by the Congressional Research Service.
A comprehensive background site is The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net. They have The Presidents, Results of Presidential Elections, Presidential Campaigns, and Results of Electoral College Votes in well-done formats.
"Constitution Day and Citizenship Day":
September 17 is the official yearly Constitution Day and Citizenship Day dating from federal enactment in 2004 at instigation of Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-W.V.) per FairVote.org - Senator Byrd and Constitution Day. If that date falls on a weekend, Sept. 16 or 18 is substituted as the Day. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day – Law Library of Congress has legislative and executive background with document links. Also see Wikipedia's Constitution Day (United States).
See National Constitution Center: Constitution Day (in Philadelphia) for outline of constitutional lessons; the law mandates federally funded educational institutions to teach this subject on this date. The American Political Science Association provides extensive Resources for Teaching about the Constitution - APSA.
Some treat it as the nation's true birthday in lieu of July 4. It's also a regular occasion for visits and speeches by current and former Presidents at the National Constitution Center and elsewhere, such as Barack Obama Proclamation 8418 - Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, Constitution Week, 2009. Use the date and year from Presidential Proclamations at The American Presidency Project to find additional statements.
Constitutional Debate in 1787:
The Avalon Project: Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention - Madison's Notes is what it advertises. See their outstanding compilation of predecessor documents at The American Constitution - A Documentary Record. Also see Roger A. Bruns, A More Perfect Union: The Creation of the U.S. Constitution for a more general overview of Philadelphia deliberations.
Constitutions and presidents: "Presidential Conversations
on the Constitution":
Presidential Conversations on the Constitution from radio/TV station WHYY has three recent in-depth hour-length oral conversations on the Constitution with former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush. It includes About The Program, audio links to each conversation from Radio Series, links to a brief bio of each president, Article II of the Constitution, and Inside The Presidency with six constitutional subtopics, and Educational Resources. Press release at Presidential Conversations includes presidential photos.
NPR Presidential Conversations on the Constitution has audio links with each president. NPR Senior News Analyst Cokie Roberts conducted each of these interviews. Her 15 October 2004 Morning Edition report on the Ford conversation is at NPR Presidents and the Constitution Gerald Ford.
There's little point in listing every provision pertinent to the presidency here. Just use good mega-sites such as Constitutional Law - MegaLaw.com.
Constitutional Signing Statements:
Much in the news since the January 2006 Senate confirmation hearings on Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., these are written statements on a measure's constitutional status made by presidents upon signing congressional bills into law. Some are direct statements against the measure's constitutionality; and some include threats to directly veto similar legislation in the future. Most in controversy, some imply that the President will not obey or heed the law despite the signature (see "Unitary Executive--theory of" below).
Details of the controversy are cited in this file under Presidential Signing Statements.
See also in this file: Legislative Intent; Presidential Signing Statements; Unitary Executive (theory of)
Consumer Price Index:
The official U.S. measure of inflation is so important to presidents that a suitable index should be understood and retrofitted to past presidential administrations. Professor Robert Sahr's Inflation conversion factors for dollars of 1800 to est. 2010 to dollars of CPI 1995 to 2001 has an Acrobat file at www.orst.edu "using the CPI-U-X1 series, which applies the CPI used starting 1983 to 1950-1982." That's important for interpreting debates over inflation and productivity in the 1970s U.S. economy; late 1970s inflation is now recognized as high under the revised CPI, but several points lower than the pre-1983 CPI figures would indicate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics site persists (unfortunately) in using the older CPI to calculate yearly cost of living changes. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data from U of Michigan Documents Center provides convenient data and source references for historical use with the 1982-84 CPI.
Counsel to the President (White House Counsel):
This is the post known best as "the president's lawyer." American President - White House Counsel's Office from Bradley Patterson describes the history and functions of the post. White House Counsel - Wikipedia lists those holding this post since its 1943 origin.
Course Syllabi on the Presidency:
Presidency Course Syllabi is a Presidency Research Group site with hundreds of university course syllabi on the American presidency and some closely related subtopics. It's for general use by scholars and students seeking academic information on the presidency. If yours isn't there, send to firstname.lastname@example.org for placement.
D Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
The Presidency Research Group has PRG's presidential data site with the Database of Historical Congressional Statistics. Visit the Example Query, then the instructions, for guidance in accessing these files.
Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections has extensive presidential election data with extremely detailed maps, including county-by-county returns from 1960 onward.
U.S. Presidency and Supreme Court Data from Richard Timpone, Jeffrey Segal and Robert Howard has rank-ordered ratings of social liberalism, economic liberalism, social salience, and economic salience of the modern presidents.
Debates in presidential and vice-presidential campaigns:
These began with the mythic 1960 Great Debate between Nixon and Kennedy on nationwide television in the prime time evening hours of 26 September 1960. Richard Nixon in 1962 forecast that debates between presidential candidates would become standard, but this did not happen until 1976.
The Great Debate & Beyond: The History of Televised Presidential Debates covers that 1960 event in detail and extends through 2000 via Televised Debate History: 1960-2000. Numerous other links underline the centrality of television to American politics and specifically to campaigns since the debates commenced.
Another site attesting to this is the Museum of Broadcast Communications' Kennedy-Nixon Presidential Debates, 1960. The U.S Presidency and Television site covers key presidential television events since then, some in context other than debates.
The major-party presidential candidates and their seconds for VP since 1976 were interviewed by Jim Lehrer of PBS via Debating Our Destiny. Site Map diagrams the 1976-through-1996 debates and the following four subtopics. Debates & Campaigns addresses debate effects on campaigns. The Interviews has interviews with 11 of the principles. Behind the Podium covers preparation for these important campaign events. Teacher Guide raises issues for discussion.
Commission on Presidential Debates is home to the 1987-created CPD that has conducted all the recent (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004) presidential debates. CPD Our Mission has links to each of those years, plus accounts of symposia held afterwards. CPD Debate History has unofficial Debate Transcripts of 1960 and 1976-2004 (including Vice-presidential) plus 1858 Lincoln-Douglas (with C-SPAN transcript) and a couple of pre-1960 presidential primary debates.
The League of Women Voters conducted the 1980 and 1984 debates. RealMedia formatted files are located at LWV Presidential Debates Archive.
Poynter Online - Presidential Debates has links to all the debates and to many other sites.
Presidential Candidates Debates from The American Presidency Project has years, dates, participants, and audio/video links plus text dating from 1960.
See also in this file: Debate Analyses; DebateWatch; Television and the Presidency.
Presidential debates to date have fallen far short of the ideals for true debate and for campaign discourse. See The Future of Presidential Debates by Stephen Bates.
A major reason for shortcomings is political stipulation by campaign managements, per Debates from Democracy in Action (Eric Appleman). Events in 2000 included an embarrassing flap over acceptance of the Commission-sponsored debate format; CPD's defense of their action is at Commission on Presidential Debates Media and News Information.
Another dispute covers restrictions to the two major-party candidates. Only Ross Perot in 1992 has broken the strict duopoly. The Candidate Selection Process outlines a 15 percent threshhold in polls required of all third-party candidates for inclusion in the 2000 and 2004 (and 2008) debates. Open Debates is an advocacy site devoted to getting CPD to drop its threshold for excluding third parties (currently 15 percent of the national popular vote in the previous election).
In 2004 both campaigns concurred on strict limits in personal contact of the two candidates on camera, but these were blithely ignored by the principals. Fact checking against distortion also made appearance this year, via Annenberg Center's FactCheck.org Distortions and Misstatements At First Presidential Debate.
CPD since 1996 has polled participants in DebateWatch settings profiled at CPD DebateWatch Overview. Survey results for the three Bush v. Kerry debates in 2004 are shown at CPD Final DebateWatch 2004 Results.
The Concord Coalition - national debt from this debt-conscious group highlights the basic numbers for this period. The Debt To the Penny and Who Holds It from the Bureau of the Public Debt (in Treasury) shows yearly debt accumulations. Treasury's historical pages (Government Section of TreasuryDirect) apply some context such as interest rate information, debt rollover (payment rates on obligations), and similar evidence.
See also from this file: Budget information, federal government; Economic Policy
See Federal Budget Information from the Concord Coalition; and (relocate, with graphics).
Disaster Declarations (Presidential Disaster Declarations):
Procedurally these are done via request for federal assistance from the governors of one or more affected states. These are now done through FEMA at the federal level. Per Hurricane Katrina in 2005, affected parties and their state/local elected sponsors must normally apply before a declaration is made. The complicated process is shown at FEMA The Declaration Process, FEMA Presidential Disaster Declaration, and FEMA Before You Apply.
FEMA keeps some data on Declarations by state (plus D.C. and territories) and per year, at FEMA Annual Major Disaster Declarations Totals. Major ones get their own file, such as FEMA New York Terrorist Attack.
Numerous other federal agencies address disaster responses. HHS - Disasters & Emergencies from Health and Human Services has 10 categories of these events. See their Disasters and Emergencies on response protocols. Other agencies publish disaster guidance for their clienteles, per Small Business Administration's HOW DISASTER DECLARATIONS ARE MADE and USDA Rural Development-- Nationwide Disaster Declarations.
The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) has PERI Presidential Disaster Declaration Site with Major Disaster Declarations by President by Type of Primary Incident 1953-2003. They also have Useful Links.
Another academic center is Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado. March 2001 Observer - Part A of Natural Hazards Observer has Politics and Disaster Declarations (V. XXV, No. 4, March 2001) by Mary W. Downton and Roger A. Pielke, Jr. It shows the average number of declarations for each president over 1965 through 2000.
FEMA - Baker MCC shows that the 1000-plus presidential disaster declarations for calendar years 1965 through 2000 are concentrated on heavily populated areas.
A more recent analysis with data from 1981 through 2004 is Andrew Reeves, Political Disaster? Presidential Disaster Declarations and Electoral Politics (unpub, dated August 29, 2005, in PDF). Most of these disasters were weather-related, but very few if any approach the national impact of Hurricane Katrina. Their incidence is frequent enough that an electoral factor (location in a large competitive state) is a contributor to incidence of declarations; but Texas was excluded from the data due to an apparently special concentration of declarations there.
E Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
Pertinent national economic data is posted by the White House at The Economic Statistics Briefing Room. The ESBR Income site is useful for basic indicators of economic well-being, including Disposable Personal Income and Per Capita Income. Those who use economic forecasting models for elections (see below under Elections) will find this useful. But data is restricted to simple profiles dating from January 1998. The site is part of Fedstats - One Stop Shopping for Federal Statistics, a consortium of more than 70 federal agencies that produce data for public use.
A good starting point for serious users of U.S. macroeconomic policy data is from AEA's Resources for Economists on the Internet, at RFE Table of Contents. Note RFE U.S. Macro and Regional Data for major governmental and academic data sites. Go from there to Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS Data Home Page, for descriptions of widely used data such as the inflation (CPI) and unemployment figures.
The JEC Index from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress has an extensive library of economic policy studies, many of them reflecting the White House policy position. Despite that, the JEC has earned an excellent reputation for even-handed and credible analysis. Studies are monthly, and are organized by categories such as Taxation -- Joint Economic Committee.
Economic Report of the President: Produced yearly by the Council of Economic Advisors for this February report to Congress, it has a searchable database back to 1996 and Acrobat files dating from 1995.
Americans tend to think their way of conducting democratic elections is the primary or only way, but it's not. The American way of choosing presidents is quite distinctive among the large family of contemporary democracies. See Psephos - Adam Carr's Election Archive from 174 countries. Election Resources on the Internet has other links.
Within the U.S. experience, go straight to Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; and Presidential Elections from The American Presidency Project.
A correct conclusion on Bush v. Gore in 2000 is Eric Appleman's 2000 Presidential Election Overview headline: "It Basically Ended in a Tie." Before 2000 there was the 1876-77 tangle that ultimately gave Rutherford Hayes 185 votes to Samuel Tilden's 184.
And there is the "corrupt bargain"
Election of 1824 for summation and links.
A "close presidential elections" search gives you The Closest Presidential Races from infoplease (but put your ad blocker on beforehand).
Political Forecasting is from "The Political Forecasting Special Interest Group" at the Wharton School. Numerous links are on hand. Political Forecasting - Bibliography covers nearly everything to 2006 in this voluminous lit.
One forecast model by Cuzan, Heggen and Bundrick is at Faculty Forums Government - The University of West Florida.
Professor Ray Fair's well-known models are profiled at Presidential Vote Equation 2004 and Presidential Vote Equation---2004 Update with 2008 forecasts. Mother site is Ray C. Fair.
PS: Political Science and Politics (V. 35, No. 1 - March 2001) has Election 2000 devoted to "Al Gore and George W. Bush's Not-So-Excellent Adventure" with 11 excellent and highly accessible articles. Five of these cover the 2000 forecasts. Some embarrassment over model performance is noted by several authors whose models did not handle 2000 well. But far more importantly, authors correct for the impressions held by many on how favorable the pre-election 2000 period really was for former Vice-President Al Gore. See Larry M. Bartels and John Zaller, Presidential Vote Models: A Recount (also PresidentialVoteModels-Bartels).
The PS homesite is PS: Political Science & Politics. Archived issues are at Online Journal Archives and Access.
Election Law (or Presidential Election Law):
On the 2000 Florida recount, see Jurist's Presidential Election Law under "THE FLORIDA RECOUNT" with 8 categories of inquiry. Presidential Election Law - 2000 Florida recount timeline will help.
Election 2000 Materials from Stanford Law School covers voting irregularities, the Voting Technology Project Report (from Cal Tech and MIT), and Building Consensus on Election Reform: A Report of the Constitution Project's Forum on Election Reform.
Voting Methods Vary Widely by county, as we learned the hard way in 2000. (Map is from the "Road to the Presidency" by Joseph Pika and Joseph Begleiter). On the likelihood of hand recounts altering election outcomes, see Odds of recounts altering outcome by mathematician Dave Rusin.
Other general election law sources: Guide to Law Online - Election Law is from the Law Library of Congress. Lawyers will like Election Law - MegaLaw.
Election Losers (of presidential elections):
For fun: historian Robert Cook has Rate the Losers: A Game to Teach Students Important Lessons of History with a list of them from the November general election. Not included: numerous losers in party primaries, mainly since 1972.
For primary losers, see this file under Primaries.
Among specific general election concession speeches, see American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank's John Kerry - 2004 Presidential Election Concession Speech; Al Gore - 2000 Presidential Concession Speech; PictureHistory's Jimmy Carter Makes His Concession Speech on 4 November 1980; and YouTube - 1960 election - Richard Nixon talks to his supporters in concession.
Presidential primaries are replete with concessions (and withdrawals). Candidates' victory, concession speeches - February 1, 2000 from CNN covers the four principles of the New Hampshire primary.
In this era these can become ring tones, per Rick Santorum Concession Speech - Now A Top Selling Ring Tone.
Election of 2008:
Look below at 2004 and update for this year. The same sites will be in play.
Election of 2004:
Some 2004 sites are still up and active. Many will be useful for comparing to 2008. (RDR August 07)
The Cook Political Report's Outlook on the Presidential Race used 2000 as a baseline. Its a 2000 Bush/Gore election map had revisions for post-Census state electoral college apportionments: 2000_red_blue. Also see 2004_ec_by_percentage with rank-ordered College units from Utah (72% Bush) to D.C. (90% Gore). Additional context is Electoral College: Last Five Presidential Elections by Times Carried. And of course there s horse race information: 2004 Electoral College scoreboard and The Cook Political Report National Overview.
George Washington University's Democracy in Action's P2004 The 2004 Presidential Campaign has daily news updates, and numerous links to media, party, and candidate sites. Keep an eye on their Calendar-February 2004. Its Clickable Map of the United States provides details for both congressional and presidential primaries in every state, plus a display of Electoral College changes since 2000.
Another good site with innumerable links is The Green Papers United States General Election 2004.
All the major media followed it. Start at The New York Times Campaign 2004.
Individual websites are also common. One with good links out is Better World Links site PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2004 and US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2004 !.
Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections - 2004 has primary results, an Electoral College Calculator, and Election 2004 Predictions showing the 2000 College result fitted to the new 2004 numbers per state.
Election of 2000:
GWU Democracy in Action--P2000 has a 12-part sequence taking readers from preliminary context to inauguration on 20 January 2001; excellent for understanding the complicated American primary and campaign finance arrangements. Links are abundant. The innumerable pre-primary and primary season polls are compiled by PollingReport.com at White House 2000.
Election Ballot Design - The Butterfly Ballot of Palm Beach
County, Florida in 2000:
General election ballot design site is Presidential Election Ballot - Topics in Usability: tons of links, by category. By now many do not work, but enough do to make it worthwhile.
Law and Data: The Butterfly Ballot Episode. The six co-authors were in that County as expert witnesses. They provide indisputable 'smoking gun' evidence that this ballot caused thousands of would-be Gore voters in Palm Beach County voting precincts to mistakenly vote for Buchanan or to mistakenly commit an "overvote" error by marking more than one presidential candidate. (But it does not prove that a statewide revote would have ensured a Gore victory.)
The Butterfly Ballot itself is a picture story. Use Butterfly Ballot - Google Image Search. I also recommend "Butterfly Ballot cartoons" for entries like this strongly Republican site: Humorous Perspective on Florida Presidential Ballot Counting.
Election Results and Maps--Presidential:
Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections has all presidential elections through 2004. You get county results from 1960 onward, and congressional districts. For earlier postwar elections like 1948, the map shows counties with some but not all states filled in.
Presidential Elections from The American Presidency Project covers all elections since 1828 with maps and tabular data per state on popular and College votes. President Elect also has the statewide results from every election.
Map cartograms: go to Maps and cartograms of the 2004 US presidential election results from Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman at the University of Michigan; and election 2000 maps from sara irina fabrikant at UC Santa Barbara.
The Caliper Corporation Maps Presidential Results by County for Election 2000 lets one select any county and obtain election results, per Map - Find Areas on a Map.
Printable Maps for Presidential Elections 1789-2000 by The National Atlas (Department of the Interior) has state-by-state summary maps with previews plus both PDF and EPS downloads. Only the 2000 map goes down to county results; its pastel blue and red profile is easier to read than Dave Leip's. The 2000 map downloads are also worthwhile.
Election Statistics - Office of the Clerk has the officially certified presidential and congressional election returns since 1920.
The Presidential Elections 2000 and Maps at Hunter College has an animation showing the 26 presidential elections of 1900 through 2000 via map sequence.
POLIDATA is a commercial site with highly detailed recent election analyses for sale.
Scan the course syllabi at the Presidency Research Group's Presidency Syllabi - 2004 and earlier presidential elections for detailed coverage.
The National Election Studies (NES) Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior has a wealth of data from 1952 through 2004. Of particular interest for presidency students are item 7, Evaluation of the Presidential Candidates; and item 9, Vote Choice including Split Ticket Voting, Presidential/Congressional, 1952-2004.
See also FEC - About Elections and Voting with "Voter Registration and Turnout Statistics" for extensive material on those topics dating from the 1960 presidential election. Included for useful comparison are congressional midterm turnout and also FEC - International Voter Turnout.
NARA's U.S. Electoral College covers this uniquely American institution well. See:
President Elect: The Unofficial
Homepage of the Electoral College (James R. Whitson) has a variety of features, including a blog site,
a set of election results, and ongoing 2004 commentary on our peculiar institution.
Calculations: See Electoral College Calculator and Map Generator - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections on dominance of statewide winner-take-all of the current and recent College. Also: Electoral College Vote Calculator; Cool electoral college calculators - CyberJournalist.net - Online News Association - CyberPolitics Blog. Banzhaf Power Index from Mark Livingston adds a much higher level of sophistication to this practice.
Electoral College Reform:
The 2000 election prompted another round of calls for demise of this enduring institution. Start with Presidential Selection: A Guide to Reform - Electoral College from The University of Virginia Center for Governmental Studies.
Defenses of the College: 09-04-97 Committee on the Judiciary - Berns Statement by longtime supporter Walter Berns set forth two propositions: 1) the College produces clear winners, and 2) it strictly observes the one-person, one-vote democratic principle. The House Judiciary Committee's hearings of 4 September 1997 are at Testimony Presented to Subcommittee on the Constitution with link to Proposals for Electoral College Reform.
Opposition to the College by good-government groups includes run from minor tweaks to outright abolition. Sample these:
See below in this file: Faithless Electors.
Electronic Briefing Books:
The National Security Archives Electronic Briefing Books Index has 9 categories of coverage and "more than 20 books written by Archive staff and fellows" along with many other sources, numbering hundreds in all. It's an excellent primary source starting point for presidential foreign policy, including Cold War, War on Terrorism, nuclear, and humanitarian policy documents; and for presidential secrecy (see in this file below: Executive Privilege).
E-Mail from the White House:
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform United States House of Representatives in 2008 held Hearing on Electronic Records Preservation
Encyclopedia source materials on the presidency:
Executive Office of the President
Created in 1939 for Franklin Roosevelt per Brownlow Commission recommendations in the Reorganization Act of 1939, this entity helps define the modern presidency. Its own website is Executive Office of the President in The White House. The list of offices includes the White House Office, which in turn is divided into many entities listed at this site.
Harold C. Relyea's 98-606: The Executive Office of the President: An Historical Overview from Congressional Research Service was updated on 26 November 2008. It shows all offices in the EOP with year of origin and termination, if that applies.
See also in this file: Chief of Staff (White House Chief of Staff); White House Office.
Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations:
The Federal Register's Executive Orders defines these as "official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government." The American Presidency Project catalogues them at Presidential Executive Orders. They separately catalogue Presidential Proclamations with an introduction from Brandon Rottinghaus that distinguishes them from Executive Orders this way: "executive orders are aimed at those inside government while proclamations are aimed at those outside government."
For more detailed navigation first see Albany Law School, How to find Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders. Executive Orders Disposition Tables Index lists the status of Executive Orders from Roosevelt in January 1937 to the current Administration time. National Archives Codification of Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders - Forward has additional details.
The Federation of American Scientists Intelligence Resource Program has Selected Executive Orders on National Security dating back to EO 8381 in 1940, with a great many during the Bush Administration of 2001 to 2009.
See also in this file: Presidential Decisions and Directives; Presidential Proclamations; Public Papers of the Presidents.
Congressional Documents on Secrecy from FAS (Federation of American Scientists) covers 1997 through 2007, a very busy period for this topic. The mother site is FAS Project on Government Secrecy. It includes Bush Administration Documents on Secrecy Policy from an Administration that so far is proving a standard-bearer for secrecy claims by any American executive. (See below: Government Secrecy).
On specific constitutional doctrine, see Law and Related Resources: Federal at Michigan State University.
United States v. Nixon (1974) [73-1766] is the most prominent Supreme Court case. Background Summary and Questions, United States v. Nixon (1974), Landmark Supreme Court Cases has precedents for the case. What Secrets are Protected under Executive Privilege, United States v. Nixon (1974), Landmark Supreme Court Cases has some questions and a discussion board on the applications of privilege.
Mark J. Rozell of Catholic University (Rozell Home Page) is a leading scholar whose Statement of Mark J. Rozell on the Presidential Records Act in 2001 includes a bibliography. See also: Hearing on Presidential Records Act Amendment of 2002: Opening Statement of Mark J. Rozell. (See below: Presidential Records Act).
The 2002 Bush Administration controversy over Vice-President Cheney on energy policy is at FindLaw's Writ - Michael Dorf, A Brief History Of Executive Privilege, From George Washington Through Dick Cheney (date: 2/6/02).
Executive Privilege and Executive Power from The Freedom of Information Center at the University of Missouri has news articles.
The Online NewsHour - The Executive Privilege Debate -- March 24 1998 reflects the controversy over the Clinton Administration's numerous claims that there is a presidential right to conceal some information from public, judicial or congressional review.
See also under this file: Government Secrecy; Presidential Records Act.
Martin Sheen~Executive Privilege is a television show, not reality. But it's good television.
The National Election Pool (Election 2006 Exit Polls Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International - National Election Pool) was the source for all media calls during Election Night 2004. Both NEP and its predecessor Voter News Service (2000 Election Night) invited major criticisms, and not simply from partisan or spin sources.
2004 United States presidential election controversy and irregularities - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia includes the exit poll dispute over predicting Kerry over Bush. I haven't checked for full accuracy.
One systematic critic is ElectionArchive.org. Exit_Polls_2004_Edison-Mitofsky analyzes the sources of the large 2004 discrepancy (predicting Kerry to win 6.5 percentage points more popular vote than he actually did). National Election Archive Project - Home has exit poll Web Links. MethodsStatementNationalFinal in pdf covers the methodology of the 2004 National and regional exit polls.
Democracy Now! National Election Pool: How the Networks Are Calling the 2004 Election covers the 2000 election in highly derogatory terms. Also see Voter News Service: What Went Wrong? (re 2000 election) from Larry Barrett.
After its replacement by National Election Pool for 2004, technical problems with statistical weighting led two networks to issue a wrong early-night forecast that Kerry would win (National Election Pool - Wikipedia).
Exit Poll Results - Election 2000 is from "Road to the Presidency" by Joseph Pika and Ralph Begleiter at University of Delaware.
These are the living former presidents, always few in number. Since 1997 they've been constrained to 10 years worth of Secret Service protection: United States Secret Service - Protective Mission, and How Protection Works.
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These are the 158 state or D.C. electors who voted against that state or district's plurality popular vote winner. NARA's State Laws and Requirements shows the "List of Electors Bound by State Law and Pledges, as of November 2000" with 24 states having no law binding the electors to cast their votes for a specific candidate.
Project Vote-Smart outlines this in Project Vote Smart - What is the Electoral College.
The faithless are reviled by EC reform organizations like FairVote: The Electoral College - Faithless Electors. National Popular Vote -- Electoral college reform by direct election of the President obviously seeks to eliminate the problem by abolishing the College itself. JURIST has Presidential Election Law - Faithless Electors: The Wild Card from William G. Ross.
James Whitson's President Elect - Articles - Faithless lists the faithless through election 2000.
Farewell Addresses (by presidents):
Famous ones were done by George Washington in print, and by Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan on television. A resignation speech tantamount to a national farewell was given to assembled staff with TV on hand by Richard Nixon as well. No single site exists with all or more of these, so use the above term to find the specific ones.
FirstGov -- Your First Click to the US Government is the "official government gateway" sponsored by the Office of Citizen Services and Communications of the U.S. General Services Administration. As of 1 May 2001 it replaced the now-defunct GOVBOT Search Engine (a site that one often sees on other sets of links) as a comprehensive website source for all official federal government sites.
The National First Ladies' Library has all presidential spouses with picture, biography, and links to specific materials. The First Ladies PresidentS site also lists all First Ladies with portraits. Also included are links for Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Rosalynn Carter, Lady Bird Johnson (indirectly) and Mamie Eisenhower (also indirectly). A short informative file profiles their influences on the State of the Union Address.
The White House has The First Ladies of the United States of America. All or nearly all presidential libraries contain additional information on the First Lady.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act from the Federation of American Scientists has extensive documents, including all the FISA Annual Reports to Congress from 1979 to the present.
Cornell Law has the 1978 statute US CODE Title 50,CHAPTER 36—FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE. FindLaw has each section in Title 50 per Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : TITLE 50. WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSE.
On 2007 legislative revisions: Center for National Security Studies provides critical views on expanded warrantless searches per this parent site, and also FISA.
EPIC - Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act from the Electronic Privacy Information Center also reviews surveillance practices under this law.
EFF FAQ The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (Sep. 27, 2001) is a post-9/11 Q and A from the Electronic Frontier Foundation's counsel.
Friendships and Collaborations (among presidents and ex-presidents):
Ex-presidents often hold bitter feelings toward those who defeated or replaced them, and some transitions such as Hoover-Roosevelt or Carter-Reagan are noted for frosty climates. But ex-presidents also form the world's most exclusive fraternity. See A meeting of America's most exclusive trade union, and Four Presidents (Reagan Library), showing the personal bonding of ex-presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter in 1981 en route to and from the funeral of Egypt's leader Anwar al-Sadat.
Is there life after the presidency? from Kathy McCabe of USA Today shows a similar exclusive gathering of Bush 41 (George H.W. Bush), Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. Any search via "Clinton and Bush" shows their close collaborations in the wake of the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean disaster. For examples: An unexpected friendship in the ex-presidents' club csmonitor.com, 15 March 2005; and Orlando Sentinel - Photos The Ex Presidents in Orlando by Joe Burbank, 29 March 2007.
Presidents do form collaborations and personal friendships with predecessors, often across party lines. Any "Nixon and Clinton" search shows their frequent meetings in 1993 on Russia preceding Nixon's death in 1994. Earlier, Hoover and Truman: A Presidential Friendship was fruitful in tapping Hoover's expertise on executive branch reorganization.
Funerals of Presidents:
These are major state events, complete with flag at half-staff for 30 days, for sitting or former Presidents. A good brief statement on the Pennsylvania Avenue processional is National Park Service, State Funeral Processions. The Washington National Cathedral - Services Following Deaths of American Presidents has been site of several funerals and associated memorial services. The Department of State in 9 June 2004 published the explanatory Department of State Washington File Memorializing U.S. Presidents upon the death of former President Ronald Reagan. State Funeral Fact Sheets from Log Cabin Republicans has 9 sections on the entire event.
Don't overlook Dead Presidents (from Manus Hand) for details, including a FAQ site.
See also in this file: Assassinations, Assassination Attempts, and Security measures; Gravesites of presidents; Obituaries of presidents.
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Geneva Convention and Article 3 on prisoners of war:
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, enacted on 12 August 1949, includes a Common Article 3 specifying permissible manner of treatment of prisoners of war. A synopsis on its context and effect from the 2001 ISIL Year Book is Common Article 3 Of Geneva Conventions, 1949 In The Era Of International Criminal Tribunals -  ISILYBIHRL 11 (sponsor: World Legal Information Institute). For broader guidance on the Conventions, see Reference Guide to the Geneva Conventions.
See Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 05-184 (2006) or Hamdan v. Rumsfeld () [05-184] for application to Bush Administration treatment of detainees dating from 9-11-2001.
Gifts of State:
As publicly elected leaders of a superpower state, modern presidents receive numerous foreign gifts which go into Library and public hands. Some are expensive, elaborate and beautiful. An exhibit of some is at NARA's Tokens and Treasures: Presidential Gifts with links to each of the last 12 presidential administrations.
Government's Greatest Achievements and Endeavors:
Government's 50 Greatest Endeavors from The Brookings Institution shows 50 tasks, with a link to each one. Government's Greatest Achievements of the Past Half Century -- Paul C. Light is his analysis of this Brookings endeavor. Government's 50 Greatest Endeavors - Methodology outlines how this list was derived from 450 historians and political scientists in summer 2000.
Government's Greatest Achievements of the Past Half Century is the full report of 50 successfully completed (or near-completed) endeavors. Also see Government's Greatest Achievements HTML Timeline or Timeline3 (in Flash) for listing by Congress dating from the 78th Congress in 1944.
The Federation of American Scientists specialize in uncovering this problem. See FAS Project on Government Secrecy and the excellent Bush Administration Documents on Secrecy Policy from an Administration that so far may prove the new standard-bearer for secrecy claims by any American executive. Their Congressional Documents on Secrecy covers 1997-2004. Other Government Secrecy Related Web Sites (from Steven Aftergood) has links.
Gravesites of presidents and vice-presidents:
Most of these are personal tour and hobbyist products. One can tour these via American Presidents Life Portraits - Gravesites, or Presidents Graves (including Vice Presidents), or All the President's Graves by Joe Ryan. A slide show of gravesites is linked from US Presidents by The Cemetery Project - Famous Dead People ("a Mission of Grave Importance"). Presidential Burial Sites - My Travel Hobby - Listed by President also does the job.
Arlington National Cemetery cites John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States, and William Howard Taft, President of the United States - the only two ex-presidents interred there.
See also: Assassinations, Assassination Attempts, and Security measures; Funerals of presidents; Obituaries of presidents.
Greatness of presidents:
I recommend caution in assessing these, but they're undeniably popular and widely used as summary judgments of our 43 presidents, including our 12 modern ones.
In 2009, see C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leadership from 65 presidential historians. George W. Bush ranks 36th out of 42, one rank below Tyler and ahead of Harrison, who served barely a month in 1841 before expiring in favor of Tyler. On the upside, Harry S. Truman now ranks 5th, below only Lincoln, Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt. Methodology is same as the 2000 survey cited below.
A compilation of presidential greatness surveys is at Historical rankings of United States Presidents - Wikipedia. It averages 12 dating from 1948 through 2005 per president. Another is Rating Game from Professor Ahern at the University of Dayton (see index 313 for details on his online course). This includes Siena Research Institute's 1994 study where scholars rated each former president on a 1 to 5 scale on twenty specific categories. Another summation of several ratings from Schlesinger 1948 through CNN 2000 is at ratings1.
Zogby Presidential Greatness Poll does an annual public opinion sample poll on the latest dozen presidents, including current President Bush. The January 2005 entry showed Bush ranked third, behind Kennedy (first) and FDR (second). Their January 2002 result also had Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy leading the list with President George W. Bush rated 3rd even though his presidential approval rating was about 85 percent then in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attack. Popular opinion often deviates considerably from judgment of scholars.
SRI - Presidential Survey - Aug. 19, 2002 is Siena Research Institute's most recent study, updated alongside those of 1982, 1990, and 1994.
OpinionJournal - Hail To The Chief has Wall Street Journal-Federalist Society rankings based on an October 2000 survey of 78 scholars. Federalist Society Research Report 2000-1 has James Lindgren explaining the methodology and providing several links to its conclusions.
C-SPAN's 2000 survey is at American Presidents Life Portraits. Results from 58 historians on ten categories are at American Presidents Life Portraits - Historian Survey Results; viewer survey results on the same categories are at American Presidents Life Portraits - Viewer Survey Results. Overall rankings are at American Presidents Viewer Survey Results with the "usual suspects" like Lincoln and Washington at the top; likewise for Harding and Buchanan at the bottom. Data per category is downloadable, so one can take a category, download results of historians and viewers, and directly compare the two.
These polls have historically been the property of historians, particularly Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. A r2004 article reprint at PBS from Schlesinger Jr. on his early poll of historians is "Rating the Presidents: Washington to Clinton" in Political Science Quarterly. Vol. 11, No. 2 (Summer 1997), pp. 179-90.
See also in this file: Approval Ratings; Ratings and Rankings of Presidents.
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"Hail to the Chief":
Hail to the chief Patriotic Melodies (Library of Congress) is the official greeting song for presidential appearances. Audio Brief Display Hail to the chief - United States Air Force Concert Band [sound recording] from the LOC site offers two formats.
See also Hail to the Chief from The James Madison Center for audio file.
Background is explained by Elise K. Kirk in JSTOR American Music Vol. 15, No. 2, p. .
The song's origin is also described at Military District of Washington - Fact Sheet Origin of Hail to the Chief.
Also see: United States Marine Band
Health and Mortality of presidents:
When the President is the Patient by The College of Physicians in Philadelphia has 8 useful categories. One of these is Deception, Disclosure and the Politics of Health. That includes the second Roosevelt, subject of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The Dying President. Another sobering one is Woodrow Wilson, The Disabled Presidency. Precedents in experience for the 25th Amendment are abundant.
Doctor Zebra's detailed Medical History of American Presidents has a nicely annotated symbol-list of numerous maladies, applied by separate file to each of the 43 American presidents.
See also in this file: Obituaries of Presidents; Medical History.
History Matters: The U.S. Survey on the Web at George Mason University has many pertinent resources. WWW.History is an annotated guide organized by broad time periods under Journal of American History auspices.
Digital History from the University of Houston has
Documents for the Study of American History US History AMDOCS 1000 - 2006 Primary Sources www.vlib.us has primary documents from each decade of 1930s to present, with a great many presidential speeches.
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy includes 20th Century Documents and 21st Century Documents.
United States Diplomatic History at Tennessee Tech has hundreds of links, but a fair share are inoperative now. H-Diplo diplomatic and international history is a discussion network of, by and for diplomatic historians.
The Department of State Office of the Historian - Homepage includes Foreign Relations of the United States, U.S. Visits Abroad by Foreign Dignitaries, and Visits Abroad by U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State. Elsewhere, State has Timeline of U.S. Diplomatic History and Timeline.
The Yale Law School site The Avalon Project: Papers of the Presidents has text file papers on major American foreign and economic policy actions with bearing upon Great Britain. Mixed in are important British actions without direct American participation. It's an excellent locale for close study of the WWII Allies and their postwar negotiations and antagonisms during the tenures of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower. A search engine tailored to papers for each President is included; typically these pull up inaugural speeches and a handful of other items.
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Ideology of presidents:
Analyses of Recent American Politics from Keith Poole includes application of his D-NOMINATE congressional ideology measure to presidential position-taking on congressional issues in roll call votes. Also see Site Map. Mother page is Welcome to the Voteview Website - University of California, San Diego, Dr. Keith T. Poole.
Images of Presidents and First Ladies:
This covers photographs, painted portraits, and other imagery on the presidency. The most extensive sites are the respective Presidential Libraries (below in this file). This site picks up other locales.
Photojournalism and the American Presidency - Presidents from the University of Texas Center for American History has six presidents from Nixon through Clinton. Click on each thumbnail photo to obtain a collage. Introduction to the site is at Photojournalism and the American Presidency - About. Dirck Halstead, Diana Walker, Wally McNamee and David Hume Kennerly are the Photojournalists. Press and the Presidency has six First Ladies in a group portrait (Pat Nixon through Barbara Bush), and The First Ladies Transcript for a video clip.
Life in the White House - Historical Photo Essays covers 14 White House locales, including the Oval Office.
Presidential Photos from PBS Newshour has 20 photographs, including some 19th century ones.
Picture History - Presidents has 171 pages of historical material with 2044 presidential photographs at 300 dpi resolution. Many are from the 19th century as far back as the 1848 presidential election.
American Photography: Presidential Image Making is part of the large PBS site American Photography: A Century of Images.
Presidential Portraits Time Line of The Library of Congress has presidents and First Ladies.
See also in this file: Inaugurals; Portraits
Impeachment and Censure:
For the whole impeachment and censure topic, consult Impeachment and Censure Materials Online - JURIST The Law Professors' Network for its vast Guide to Impeachment and Censure Materials Online. It includes a nicely done section on Senate censure as well. A good brief synopsis on impeachment is from Michael Nelson's The Presidency A to Z (published by Congressional Quarterly) at CQ Press Bookstore.
Watergate (1972-1974) is also specifically covered by NARA documents at Constitutional Issues: Watergate and the Constitution.
Another good locale--not mentioned by Documents Center--for coverage relevant to President Clinton in 1998-1999 is The Impeachment of President Clinton at UNT.
Impeachment 1868-1999 by Eric Foner is an early 1999 retrospective offered on the eve of the Clinton Senate trial that year.
A comprehensive Clinton impeachment site from U of Michigan's Documents Center is located at Government Documents in the News-Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton. Consult its Historical Materials for precedents in the Federalist Papers, on Andrew Jackson, on Andrew Johnson, and on Richard Nixon.
Impeachment documents separated into three files, on Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, are at Auburn University's Impeachment Documents Relating to a U.S. President.
Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States (The American Presidency Project) has audio clips of all addresses from FDR in 1933 through George W. Bush in 2005. Not included: Gerald Ford's 1974 "Remarks on Taking the Oath of Office."
The Bartleby site Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States has full texts from Washington in 1789 through Bush in 2005 with a nicely done presidential portrait together with brief preface and dating of the speech.
Presidential Inaugural Addresses: Length and Date of Speech — Infoplease.com shows that Lincoln's famed Second Inaugural of 1865 (Abraham Lincoln Second Inaugural Address) is the third shortest of nearly 50. Washington gave the shortest in 1793, a mere 135 words. The longest is a forgettable screed of 8444 words from William H. Harrison in 1841 outdoor chill of early March, followed promptly by his taking ill and dying in office.
The Senate site Inauguration of the President - Inaugural Address defines the location and context of this event over history.
The Washington Post OnPolitics site has commentary on the best and worst historical inaugurals; very subjective judgments, but interesting as a start for dialogue. See also the Post's Inaugural Addresses through History by Jason Thompson with excerpts from 11 "notable" inaugurals plus a link to the full text of each.
See also from this file: Farewell Addresses; Inaugurations; Rhetoric of Presidents; Speeches by Presidents and Presidents-elect.
Inaugurations (of Presidents):
I Do Solemnly Swear... Presidential Inaugurations from The Library of Congress has "a collection of approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files relating to inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to George W. Bush's inauguration of 2001." This is a comprehensive site that will warrant thorough sampling for any student of inaugurals. Note the six listed Special Presentations, including Some Precedents and Notable Events.
The LOC's Presidential Inaugurations Menu of all Presidents has a chronological list of first and later inaugurals beginning in 1789. Notice that all inaugural addresses were on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol until Reagan in 1981 switched to the spacious and far more scenic west front facing the Mall (Presidential Inaugurations Ronald Reagan, First Inauguration, January 20, 1981). Amplified sound made this feasible. See also: LOC's Photographic prints and Portrait drawings list for greater detail.
On the 2005 inauguration see Presidential - Inaugural . com - Home; some links to past inaugurals are at its Inaugural History. For the 2001 inauguration see PBS, The Inaugural Classroom.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has Inaugural History, with a photographic collection at I Do Solemnly Swear: A Half Century of Inaugural Images for 1853 through 1905; Inauguration Day Events describing the full day's proceedings, with photographs.
Documentary Photographs of Presidential Inaugurals from the Smithsonian Institute has extensive photographs from inaugurals since 1980, and some preceding that (Inauguration Celebrations at the Smithsonian).
National Geographic News Photo Gallery U.S. Presidential Inaugurations has 8 photographs.
See related topics within this file: Appointment and Confirmation, Images, Interregnums, Oaths of Office, Successions, Transitions
CIA-sponsored declassified articles at Online Publications include some of considerable interest to presidential scholars and students.
This refers to the period of transition between election in November of a new President-elect, and departure of the outgoing Administration (by January 20 the next year, since 1937). See (fill in - new search)
These are related topics within this file: Appointment and Confirmation, Inaugurations, Interregnums, Successions, Transitions, and White House 2001 Project.
Interviews with former Presidents and their aides:
Oral history interviews are available from the C-SPAN AMERICAN POLITICAL ARCHIVES site. Included as of March 2004 are interviews with Harry Truman in 1959 (C-SPAN Truman Tapes), Dwight Eisenhower in 1967 (C-SPAN Eisenhower Interviews), Gerald Ford in 1986 (C-SPAN President Gerald R. Ford Interview), and Jimmy Carter in 2003 (C-SPAN Jimmy Carter Oral History; also see American President - Jimmy Carter Oral History Project at the Miller Center).
One section of the C-SPAN site has five Secretaries of Defense (Forrestal, Marshall, McNamara, Cheney, and Rumsfeld). Another has C-SPAN Civil Rights Leaders.
Greater detail on specific oral histories associated with each modern president are listed below under specific presidential names, at Presidents from FDR to George W. Bush.
Iowa Straw Poll:
Held in August before each quadrennial Iowa caucus in January of the following election year, this is an influential GOP fund-raiser during the "invisible primary" season. See Ken Rudin, NPR - Ready, Ames, Fire: The Iowa Straw Poll (1 August 2007). Official site is Republican Party of IOWA Straw Poll (in August 2007).
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Jokes about presidents:
They're more for fun than scholarly understanding, but hey, what would political life be without them? And they do honestly reflect generally held sentiments. For example, BEST MONICA LEWINSKY and BILL CLINTON JOKES, HUMOR, and SCANDAL NEWS is a usable commercially oriented joke site--one of many. But I won't link most sites, since they're eat-up with that dreaded commercial ailment known as "pop-up disease." You may know this malady, so we'll avoid it. For a single humor item free of the disease, see Presidential Savings Plan.
Judicial Appointments--Supreme Court:
The 108 U.S. Supreme Court justices are alphabetically listed at the Legal Information Institute's Supreme Court Collection, in Historic Supreme Court Decisions - by Justice. Along with key decisions are brief biographies for each Justice, including citation of which President made the appointment.
For those seeking broader use of this superb site, start at LII Supreme Court Collection.
The Supreme Court Historical Society's Appointees Chart and courtlist2 have all Supreme Court nominees chronologically shown from Washington through Clinton.
Judicial Nominations and Vacancies:
The USDOJ OLP Office of Legal Policy has tracked judicial nominations since the 107th Congress of 2001-02 at start of the Bush Administration. Click on each Congress to find inventory of nominations, confirmed nominees, and vacancies. The Vacancy List Archives date back to 1981. The U.S. Courts Federal Judicial Vacancies covers the current (111th) Congress.
Judicial Nominations and Confirmations from the Senate Judiciary Committee also covers the 107th Congress onward.
Partisan combat over cultural questions in court has deeply influenced the senatorial nominations process. During President Clinton's second term (1997-2001) preceding the 107th Congress, extended judicial vacancies in the Circuit Courts of Appeal and District Courts became commonplace. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the chief administrator of the federal court system, concurred. The Revised Definition for Judicial Emergencies was posted in 1999, Clinton's 7th year, to highlight this problem. That has abated since 2001, but some vacancies remain contentious.
The Brennan Center for Justice - Resources has an October 1999 article on the Senate's policy since 1995 of systematically delaying or denying hearings on numerous Clinton judicial nominees. They claimed that shortages produced "judicial emergencies" on six of the 13 federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. A leading figure in the delay strategy was Senator John Ashcroft (R-Mo.), who in 2001 became Attorney General in the Bush Administration.
Partisan combat on judicial appointments continued in the Bush Administration. The 107th Congress saw Senate Democrats after May 2001 assume an 11-to-9 majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee to freeze some conservative Bush nominees. That ended when 2002 midterms returned the Committee to Republican control with Senator Orren Hatch as chair in 2003-04. Senate Democrats then used floor filibusters on selected conservative nominees, resulting in an escalated conflict. JURIST - Judicial Confirmations Symposium was a 2004 online symposium of a dozen scholars addressing these 2003 Senate conflicts over Bush judicial nominations.
MDG Judiciary Testimony May 2003 (from National Women's Law Center) illustrates some liberal group testimony on the dynamics of this process.
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Legislative Actions related to the presidency:
Lexis-Nexis has CIS Congressional Universe - Universe Overview. Students of divided government will find Political Divisions of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives On Opening Day, 34th-110th Congresses,1855-Present very helpful in discerning the legislative balance of power for or against a sitting president. Each Congress from the 91st (1969-70) to present also has a Resume of Activity, including disposition of executive nominations. See for the 105th Congress (1997-1998), Resume of Congressional Activity - 105th Congress- Disposition of Executive Nominations.
Legislative Agenda of the President:
Important data sets are available at (fill in)
This is the realm of data searches for articles. For those seeking an overview of the literature, on-line sampling of Rich Conley's recent book with Texas A&M University Press is available at The Presidency, Congress, and Divided Government.
Programs - Oral History - Presidential Oral History - Legislative Liaison Symposium has results of an October 2003 symposium held at The Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Program. (See also Oral History, and Telephone Transcripts, for related Miller Center files. The Oral History parent site is Programs - Oral History - Presidential Oral History.)
Bills passed by the Congress customarily are accompanied by statements on the law's intent for use by federal courts during judicial review.
See also in this file: Constitutional Signing Statements, Presidential Signing Statements, Unitary Executive (theory of)
See in the file: Presidential Libraries.
Lies and alleged lies by presidents:
Cartoons are useful here: Presidential lies, Bill Clinton, Reagan, Nixon, cartoon, cartoons by John Pritchett.
Reference to books and articles on this topic include When Presidents Lie by Eric Alterman; Carl Cannon at Presidential Lies (Atlantic interview 9 January 2007); David Corn via John Dean at FindLaw's Writ - Dean Has George W. Bush Met His Own Ken Starr; and James Pfiffner, The Contemporary Presidency: Presidential Lies, at Blackwell Synergy - Presidential Studies Q, Volume 29 Issue 4 Page 903-917, December 1999 (Article Abstract).
These sources provide reputable evidence of lying, not restricted solely to one party, one ideology, or one recent president. Elsehwere, presumptions and idle accusations of habitual lying and deceit are epidemic features of blogville, so a strong filter is recommended when you tour Google using this term.
Line Item Veto (by presidents):
Also known as "presidential cancellations," these are currently granted no constitutional acceptance per (fill in).
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Medical History of American Presidents is written by physician-hobbyist 'Doctor Zebra'. Medical History of U.S. Presidents - List of Presidents shows the commonplace medical symbols for various ailments and conditions organized chronologically for each president. Links exist for each condition to cite more about it. Then one can click on each president for a short exposition on the patient's condition.
See also: Health and Mortality of presidents; Obituaries of Presidents.
Military Actions by Presidents - Use of Force Abroad:
A central contention of presidential resistance to the War Powers Resolution is that use of force abroad has always been regularly conducted by presidents without advance approval of Congress. See Use of U.S. Forces Abroad by Ellen C. Collier, Congressional Research Service for a cataloguing of instances through mid-1993.
Modern Presidents from FDR to the
This is a separate index for each modern president from FDR forward. Included are separate files for Speeches. So far I've completed four of these: Kennedy speeches, Nixon speeches, Reagan speeches, and Clinton speeches.
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National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States:
See below in this file, under 9-11 Commission Report (July 2004).
National Nominating Conventions:
This is the formal site for presidential nominations from both major parties. Distinguish this site from "Nominations by Presidents" immediately below. Presidential Campaigns, Conventions, and Elections is a good starting point.
Websites on nominating conventions are relatively few, but written sources are many. A bibliography of these is Professor Loudon's Political Conventions: Rhetoric and Campaign Films."
National Security Advisor:
The current (2/8/05) White House site is labeled Biography of Stephen Hadley for the current NSA. Formal office title is "Assistant to the President for Nationa1 Security Affairs."
Rice Webcast Archive - National Security Advisors, April 12 2001 has video clips in G2 multistream format, of a Forum on this office with 10 former holders of the post. Descriptions of participants and summation of discussion are at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, WWICS News, under title "Former National Security Advisors Discuss Their Role" by Lauren Crowley. This site also has a full PDF transcript of the Forum.
National Security Archive, The:
The National Security Archive at The George Washington University is a tax-exempt public charity that "collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)." The Documents link has Electronic Briefing Books "on issues including U.S. national security, foreign policy, diplomatic and military history, intelligence policy, and more."
The Digital National Security Archive Online, Home Page from ProQuest has similar document access.
National Security Council:
Created in 1947 by President Truman at outset of the Cold War, NSC is the president's coordinator of national security information. Site in the White House is National Security Council. Go from there to History of the National Security Council (1947-1997). Unlike many other White House "history" sites, this one is detailed and useful, with long descriptive files on each presidential administration.
The Federation of American Scientists site also has this History of the National Security Council 1947-1997, from the Office of the Historian at D of State.
Exact organization and membership of NSC varies by Administration. A February 13, 2001 Bush Administration document at the FAS site is NSPD-1 Organization of the National Security Council System.
See above in this file: National Security Advisor. See below: White House Situation Room, The.
National Security Council Project, The:
FP NSC, a Project at the Brookings Institution by Ivo H. Daalder and I.M. Destler is a Brookings Institution-sponsored series of statements on national security, including homeland security (see this file above, under Homeland Security). There are three NSC Project Publications pertinent to the current Bush Administration. Also included are seven topically organized Oral History roundtables on the NSC and the National Security Advisor.
National Security Presidential Directives (NSPDs):
See Federation of American Scientists, NSPD-1 Organization of the National Security Council System.
Also see below in this file, under "Presidential Decisions and Directives (PDDs)".
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization):
H-Net's excellent site includes Documents Relating to the History of NATO and its Contemporary Issues. Founded in 1949 during the Truman period, the site includes a handful of early and important declarations together with extensive article and journal pieces from the 1990s.
Neustadt, Richard E. (died on 31 October 2003):
The patron saint of presidential scholarship, Richard E. Neustadt, died on Friday, October 31, 2003 at the age of 84. The Presidency Research Group recognizes his extraordinary contributions at Richard Neustadt Commemoration Page.
See Guardian Unlimited The Guardian: Richard Neustadt for an obituary by Godfrey Hodgson dated November 3, 2003. Neustadt's passing was also cited in the New York Times at Richard E. Neustadt, Historian Who Advised Three Presidents, Dies at 84. He was, of course, a political scientist, and a preeminent one at that. The professional accreditations of the NYT are occasionally blind to distinctions of this kind.
Also see Presidential Scholar, White House Adviser Richard Neustadt Dies (washingtonpost.com).
9-11 Commission Report (July 2004) and follow-up Project:
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States is the official website of the 9-11 Commission's 567-page Report. The full 13-chapter 9-11 Commission Report (at 7.4MB in pdf) is accompanied by an Executive Summary (at 5.9MB) and a Public Statement by the Chair and Vice Chair Regarding the Report (36KB).
White House response to the Report's July 2004 issuance is at National Security.
The 9-11 Public Discourse Project is a private 501(c)(3) entity created after disbanding of the Commission as a governmental entity on 21 August 2004. The Project's core purpose is to follow "The Unfinished Agenda" of the Commission's Recommendations. Their summer 2005 hearings and Report are backed by Voices of September 11: non-profit 9-11 family advocacy group providing information and resources for families and survivors. This same group of 9-11 family survivors was the principal factor behind creation of the original governmental Commission and Report. Their Voices of September 11th - 9-11 independent commission demonstrates backing of the Project's June 2005 Unfinished Agenda hearings.
The New York Times International News World Special is the mother site for the newspaper's coverage of the event(s).
Specifics of the 9-11 attack and the Commission analysis are also at my Modern Presidents file: George W. Bush.
See also in this file: Terrorism and American Presidential Response.
Nominations by Presidents:
Each Congress since 1969 has Résumés of Congressional Activity, 91 - 108th Congresses that includes the disposition of executive nominations. For example, see Resume of Congressional Activity - 105th Congress- Disposition of Executive Nominations.
Elsewhere, see this file below, under "Transitions." Also see above, under "Appointment and Confirmation of Presidential Personnel" and "Judicial Appointments--Supreme Court."
An excellent starting point is the Federation of American Scientists' Nuclear Resources. Coverage is mostly current but historical contexts are frequently incorporated; links are very extensive.
The National Security Archive has Electronic Briefing Books - Nuclear History.
The NORAD site SPACECOM--United States Space Command has extensive Links on nuclear space defense. See also Strategic Defense Initiative under President Reagan (below).
On use of the weapon in Hiroshima, see Documents Relating to the Development of the Atomic Bomb and Its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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Oaths of Office, Presidential:
See Library of Congress's Presidential Inaugurations: Presidential Oaths of Office; and Inauguration of the President: Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
See also in this file: Inaugurations
Obituaries of Presidents:
Internet Obituary Network, Obituary for Presidents of the United States is developing but already useful. Presidential Last Words have attached obituaries for each president from the New York Times ("On This Day" series). For individual presidents, consult presidential library sites for detailed biographies and post-mortems.
See also in this file: Assassinations, Assassination Attempts, and Security measures; Funerals of presidents; Gravesites of presidents; Obituaries of presidents.
Office of Communications:
revise to erase 2001.org whitehouse2001.org has Report No. 33, The Office of Communications. Parent site is White House 2001 Project Home; look under its Institutional Memory Series for this file plus a zip file (in MS Word) showing the Organizational Chart. See also: Office of the Press Secretary (below), Press Briefings (below).
Office of Personnel Management:
US Office of Personnel Management is "the Federal Government's Human Resources Agency" for higher level managerial and political appointments. It is the quadrennial publisher of The Plum Book on political appointments. On lower-level and Civil Service positions it publishes USAJOBS - The Federal Government's Official Jobs Site.
See in this file: Appointments and Confirmations.
Office of Presidential Personnel:
Personnel in the White House proper is covered here separately from the political appointees of the executive branch, which are covered in the Plum Book issued by the Office of Personnel Management. whitehouse2001.org has Report No. 27, The White House Office of Presidential Personnel, in PDF format. Parent site is White House 2001 Project Home; look under its Institutional Memory Series for this file plus a zip file (in Word) showing the Organizational Chart. Presidential Appointee Initiative - Home Page from Paul C. Light at The Brookings Institution assesses this Office's performance after 2000.
See also: Plum Book, The (below).
Office of the Press Secretary:
See below in this file: Press Secretary (White House Press Secretary)
The Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Program has Programs - Oral History - Presidential Oral History. Included is a taped record of Programs - Oral History - Presidential Oral History - Congressional Affairs Symposium held in October 2003 at the Center. (Cross-reference to Legislative Liaison above.)
Home page is the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs. (Also see Telephone Transcripts of Presidents below, for additional Miller Center holdings.)
See also the individual presidential libraries for extensive holdings.
Origins of the Presidential Office:
The Library of Congress provides excellent guidance on The Federalist Papers by listing all 85 with subject referrals. See also About The Federalist Papers for brief general background. Of specific papers, the most recognized one on the presidency is Hamilton's Federalist No. 70 (Version 2). More generally, see Nos. 67 to 77 (all by Hamilton) from the previous list of 85.
Oval Office, The:
This is universally recognized as the President's official business office within The White House. Caution: use of this term at Google or other search engines goes first to the White House itself. But once there, go to its search protocol with "Oval Office."
The White House Virtual Tour is at The Oval Office, complete with slow motion 360 degree camera turn. Then see Inside the Oval Office for a brief description and view.
A promotional site for William Doyle's book Inside The Oval Office illustrates the office with locale of taping devices used by President Nixon and several others; see Inside the Oval Office.
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Pardons by presidents:
Presidential Pardons (from JURIST: The Legal Education Network) is a comprehensive source with 15 file categories, including Presidential Pardons - Constitutional Basis and Presidential Pardons - History and Development alongside extensive material on the controversial Clinton pardons at Presidential Pardons - News. Presidential Pardons - Notable Pardons lists the famous and infamous up through Clinton's pardon of financier Marc Rich. Presidential Pardons - Clemency Statistics from Professor P.S. Ruckman, Jr. has extensive data on this practice covering 1789 to 2001.
A contemporary conference paper by Mark H. Morris and Jody C Baumgartner comparing American and Russian presidential pardon powers is Presidential Pardon Power.
Pardons of presidents:
The Political Graveyard - Politicians Who Were Pardoned has one former president (Richard Nixon, of course). It also shows important political actors such as Caspar Weinberger who received pardons, listing the pardoner near end of the entry. File claims to be incomplete; but it's a good start.
PATRIOT Act (or USA PATRIOT Act):
Officially called the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56, enacted 26 October 2001 by the 107th Congress), the law established sunset for its provisions on 31 December 2005, leaving reauthorization for the 2d Session of the 109th. The Act has its own promotional Bush Administration Department of Justice website entitled Preserving Life & Liberty.
A comprehensive critical site is EPIC USA PATRIOT Act Page from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). Like its counterpart above, it provides enough detail to allow reading side by side with its advocates.
Another critical site is American Civil Liberties Union USA PATRIOT Act.
Multi-sided analysis of the Patriot Act renewal controversy is NPR The Patriot Act. Their site NPR The Patriot Act Key Controversies explains key Sections with Pro and Con arguments about the Act's renewal. NPR The Patriot Act Provisions Expiring Dec. 31 shows the 16 provisions requiring renewal to stay in effect beyond calendar year 2005.
Legislative history of the 2001 original law is shown at THOMAS (Library of Congress) H.R. 3162. Original passage history of the lengthy 10-title law is remarkably brief, about four days' worth with one-sided wartime floor votes for passage (USA PATRIOT Act - Wikipedia - Legislative History) plus some folding-in of earlier legislation following the 9-11 terrorist attack. GovTrack House Vote 398 Oct 24, 2001 (107th Congress) shows locale of the 66 dissenting House votes.
Pay and Perquisites of Presidents:
The Salary and Compensation of the President of the United States has links. Official provisions for presidential salary are in US Code Title 3 Chapter 2. See also Presidential and Vice Presidential Salaries Exclusive of Perquisites from Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the Presidency. Congress in 1999 doubled the salary to $400,000 per annum--somewhat more commensurate with the nature and gravity of duties inherent to this office. This went into effect upon succession from Clinton to Bush on 20 January 2001. The former presidential salary of $200,000 per year was established in 1969.
One can confirm this via tax returns from the current Clinton return back through Nixon in 1969, plus four returns from Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, at Presidential Tax Returns.
Comparative pay can only be interpreted with an historic account of inflation, measured via Consumer Price Index (see file under that heading above). Professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State provides this with Inflation conversion factors for dollars 1665-est. 2012 to dollars of CPI and 1995 to 2002. These include graphics such as www.orst.edu/Dept/pol_sci/fac/sahr/prpy7060.htm that shows how presidential pay at $400,000 is still far lower in constant 2001 dollars than it's been during most of U.S. presidential history. During the modern presidency, there are three upward spikes, two for doubling of pay, and one for the depression 1930s deflation of prices.
See also in this file: Consumer Price Index (above).
Plum Book, The:
Issued by the House and Senate Government Reform Committee(s) via the Office of Personnel Management during each presidential transition to a new term, the plum-colored book lists 2500 political posts including Cabinet and sub-Cabinet positions. Plum Book Main Page is linked to these from 2004, 2000 and 1996 but none earlier than that. Plum Book: About explains its operation.
See also: Office of Personnel Management; Office of Presidential Personnel (both above).
Polls on Presidential Elections 2008 and 2004:
Do the 2004 poll sites and you're sure to find 2008 as well.
See PollingReport.com - Public Opinion Online with 15 daily election updates. Also try RealClear Politics - Polls with a dozen or more battleground states featured. Election 2004 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections is also comprehensive.
Charlie Cook's A Primer For Handicapping This Race To The Wire advises readers how to handle daily poll information. His chief advice is to employ mega-poll averaging via sites like the three that are listed above.
He and Mystery Pollster Mark Blumenthal (with blog at Mystery Pollster) also advise that one follow Pew Center poll director Andy Kohut's advice to watch the incumbent candidate Bush rather than Kerry, because late undecided voters tend to break strongly for the challenger. Actually Kohut isn't completely sold on that take, but we'll soon get a reading on this (RDR, 10/21/04).
PROFESSOR POLLKATZ's A POOL OF POLLS summarizes Bush-Kerry pre-election polls of 2004, at The Electoral Landscape: Final.
Rasmussen Reports include President Bush Job Approval.
Portraits of Presidents and First Ladies:
Before photojournalism was painting, and that remains a favored way to produce images of the president and First Lady.
Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies Home Page (Library of Congress) has official and unofficial portraits of nearly all presidents, and many of the First Ladies.
The History Place - Presidential Portraits has one of each President, including George W. Bush.
The Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery is another source--but be patient, as thumbnail downloads are quite slow.
Presidential Portrait Collection at USHistoricalArchive.com is chronological from Washington onward, with all presidents and most First Ladies through Clinton. (Current President and First Lady in the White House gallery).
Presidential Portrait - Pictures of Presidents of the United States (Jacob Klein) as 10 presidents and 30 shots.
Presidential Conventions from Life Magazine shows presidential candidates at the party nominating conventions of 1948 through 1992.
See also: Images of Presidents; Inaugurals.
Presidency Research Group (PRG):
The PRG is an organization of professional scholars on the American presidency and is affiliated with the American Political Science Association. See About PRG and Presidency Links as starting points. I'm the website manager for PRG; suggestions on its coverage and organization can go to Russell Renka at email@example.com.
Presidential Appointee Initiative:
A Brookings Institution enterprise led by Paul C. Light, Presidential Appointee Initiative - Home Page tracks the president's appointments. Note the Appointee Contributions analysis to see who gave what in precedence of taking appointments, for the 1992 (Clinton) and 2000 (Bush) administrations; excellent for students of ambassadorial appointments. Conversely, see Presidential Appointee Initiative - Transcript of Presidential Appointees Pay a Price to Serve Their Country Press Briefing, March 22, 2002, to confirm the financial sacrifices made by a great many appointees.
See A Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees published in Nov. 2000.
"Presidential Conversations on the Constitution":
See above, at: Constitution's and presidents: "Presidential Conversations on the Constitution."
Presidential Decision Directives (PDD):
Federal Government Resources on the Web - President uses this term for National Security decisions in the Clinton Administration from 1993 through 2001. The Documents Center conveniently lists the various formal names used by administrations since 1947 for these decisions.
The Federation of American Scientists' Intelligence Resource Program has Presidential Directives and Executive Orders, including all currently declassified documents. Their list also shows the varying terminology used over time for these directives. The FAS has a separate itemized list under Presidential Decision Directives [PDD] Clinton Administration 1993-2000.
These are related topics within this file: Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations; National Security Presidential Directives - NSPDs (applicable since 2001 with the Bush Administration); Public Papers of the Presidents.
The National Archives and Records Administration manages the Presidential Libraries covering Hoover through Clinton, including Nixon as of mid-2007 (for the first time). Go to Contacting the Presidential Libraries for web links to each, or follow these:
Presidential Libraries Act:
Presidential Libraries - Presidential Libraries Act of 1955 from NARA outlines the original PLA law, which was enacted 9 years after completion of the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park in 1946. The Presidential Libraries Act of 1986 (PL99-323) is a major update. The Presidential Libraries Act After 50 Years (by Raymond Geselbracht and Timothy Walch) illustrate governance of the 12 presidential libraries, including the George W. Bush Library scheduled for completion at Southern Methodist University in the University Park section of Dallas, Texas.
See below: Presidential Records and the Presidential Records Act.
Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Issued by rather than of presidents is the Presidential Medal of Freedom - The Highest Civilian Award For Distinguished Americans and Humanitarians from every walk of life! That breathless filename denotes one of the nation's two highest civilian awards in recognition of exceptional merit. These sometimes go to the "heroes of the Gallery" present at Reagan and post-Reagan era televised State of the Union addresses.
Executive Order 11085 established this Medal in 1945, and in 1963 President Kennedy changed its emphasis from military to civilian merit. NNDB lists all recipients at Presidential Medal of Freedom. The list is heavy with prominent names from many walks, including James Cagney: "New York tough guy" and Joe DiMaggio: "Where have you gone." It's worth a close look.
See Presidential Proclamations Project at the University of Houston for a searchable database compiled by Professors Brandon Rottenhaus and Jeremy D. Bailey. The American Presidency Project has Presidential Proclamations - The Power to Proclaim from Professor Rottenhaus. Further detail on this and related items is above in Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.
Presidential Records and the Presidential Records Act:
This 1978 law prompted considerable court action and conflict during the Bush Administration (2001-2009). President Bush issued Executive Order 13233 entitled "Further Implementation of the Presidential Records Act." Issued on November 1, 2001, this Order "gave current and former presidents and vice presidents broad authority to withhold presidential records or delay their release indefinitely." (National Coalition for History » Presidential Records Reform Act of 2007) Further detail is at Federation of American Scientists, Executive Order 13233 - further implementation; Wikipedia's Executive Order 13233; and the White House, Presidential Records Act Executive Order.
In turn, the Presidential Records Reform Act of 2007 would "nullify the Bush executive order and establish procedures to ensure the timely release of presidential records." (National Coalition for History » Presidential Records Reform Act of 2007) Details of its status in the Senate during October 2007 are posted at National Coalition for History » Blog Archive » House Overwhelmingly Passes Presidential Records Act Reform Bill.
See also History News Network » NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 13, #9; March 16, 2007) for House passage of H.R. 1255 after hearings in the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The National Security Archives site has the committee testimony from its Executive Director Thomas Blanton at The Presidential Records Act in Crisis: House Subcommittee Asks Archive for FOIA Reform Advice on 1 March 2007. Full statement by Blanton is PRA_testimony_1_March_2007.
Testimony in 2001 shows this law's implications for executive privilege, at Statement of Mark J. Rozell on the Presidential Records Act. See also: Hearing on Presidential Records Act Amendment of 2002: Opening Statement of Mark J. Rozell.
Also see in this file: Executive Privilege; Government Secrecy; Presidential Libraries Act.
Presidential Roast (White House Correspondents' Dinner):
The WHCA website includes the WHCA DINNER held each spring. The President attends this annual event in expectation of being the butt of good-natured humor from a prominent comedian. Usually that is what happens. But there is also 2006, the year when "presidential roast" at Google brings forth Stephen Colbert per Colbert Roasts President Bush - 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner (also YouTube - Colbert roasts Bush, 10:19 length and YouTube - Bush Realtime Reaction to Colbert Speech, 7:15 in length). Preparing the Presidential Roast - WSJ.com explains this Washington custom in 2009.
Presidential Selection: A Guide to Reform (introduction) and Presidential Selection: A Guide to Reform (report) from the Center for Governmental Studies (University of Virginia) is based upon a 2001 conference of scholars and presidential candidates in reaction to the troubled 2000 election process. Presidential Selection: A Guide to Reform - Resources has extensive links. Presidential Selection: A Guide to Reform - Video Archives covers full presentations.
Presidential Signing Statements:
Also known as the "Constitutional Signing Statement," these refer to presidential statements on the meaning of a law when signed (or allowed to become law) by a chief executive. The systematic practice dates from Reagan's second term in 1985-89. The rationale is that the Congress frequently attaches statements of "legislative intent" to guide courts on interpreting a prospective law prior to its presentation to the President; so presidents ought to do the same.
Below the radar for a long time, journalists at start of year 2006 have noted Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr.'s contribution to its origin with Reagan, per Alito Once Made Case For Presidential Power (Washington Post, 1/2/06). NPR - Bush and the Presidential Signing Statement on 1/8/06 has statements from Debbie Elliott and from political scientist Andy Rudalevige. Scholars and bloggers have taken note via papers and books from Phillip J. Cooper of Portland State University, Christopher S. Kelley of Miami University of Ohio (1031858822 - MPSA paper 2003 - A Comparative Look at the Constitutional Signing Statement: The Case of Bush and Clinton), and Andrew Rudalevige of Dickinson College. Kelley has a useful blog: Media Watch. Kelley's view is obviously at some variance from Cooper's.
Alito's February 1986 recommendation is at Using Presidential Signing Statements .. . In November 1993 President Clinton's Counsel to the President Bernard Nussbaum did this analysis: The Legal Significance of Presidential Signing Statements.
The American Bar Association's Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements and the Separation of Powers Doctrine was created in June 2006. Its report issued on 24 July 2006 is aba_final_signing_statements_recommendation-report_7-24-06 (pdf). In April 2007 came a CRS Report for Congress, Presidential Signing Statements: Constitutional and Institutional Implications, by T.J. Halstead.
Many links are available through Wikipedia footnotes at Signing statement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
See also in this file: Constitutional Signing Statements; Legislative Intent; Unitary Executive (theory of).
President's Daily Brief, The:
This is the CIA-conducted daily morning briefing to presidents on security concerns. The PDB is a valuable primary document, is always classified at time of origin, and has recently become subject to lawsuits seeking declassification of 40-year-old Johnson Administration documents.
The Bush Administration has released certain PDB-based information because the July 2003 release of the Report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry Into The Terrorist Attacks Of September 11 (9/11 Report) highlighted this document (from August 6, 2001) in its Appendix. Democrats in Congress sought further disclosures such primary evidence--without success. See 33_prewarintel from Congresswoman Annie Eshoo (D-Ca.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
The Bush Administration has since made public a couple of specific PDB-based warnings about post-9/11 al Q'aeda terrorist intentions, per Federation of American Scientists' President Bush Remarks on 9-11 and the President's Daily Brief - Leaks of October 28, 2003; The New York Times Washington Text of the President's Daily Brief for Aug. 6, 2001 (published April 11, 2004); PBS Online NewsHour The Presidential Daily Brief -- April 12, 2004 ; and President's Daily Brief for Aug. 6, 2001 - Council on Foreign Relations.
A FindLaw blog from John Dean outlines some particulars per the 9/11 Report, at FindLaw's Writ - Dean The 9-11 Report Raises More Serious Questions About The White House Statements On Intelligence. The NS Archive site MemoryBlog has MemoryBlog - 9-11 Commission to Release 1998 President's Daily Brief on release of a 1998 Clinton Administration PDB re intelligence on terrorism.
Meanwhile the Bush Administration and the CIA resist declassification of older documents and others from their own tenure. Professor Sues CIA for President's Daily Briefs - December 23, 2004 from The National Security Archive outlines a lawsuit from University of California, Davis Professor Larry Berman. The NS Archive's May 6, 2005 decision Bush Administration Claims Presidential Privilege for LBJ Documents illustrates the Administration's position. PDB News Prominent Historians, Political Scientists Urge Court to Reverse Lower Court Decision Withholding Two 40-Year-Old Memos to LBJ is a January 27, 2006 update (with AHA and APSA filing amici briefs on his behalf) of the appeal after the district court decision upheld the CIA's right to keep the old documents classified.
See also Thomas S. Blanton, The President's Daily Brief (updated April 12, 2004); and The President's Daily Brief - Documents with two sections, one from 9-11 and another from declassified Johnson-era briefs.
The CIA website has an unclassified document on generic use of the PDB. See Richard J. Kerr and Peter Dixon Davis, Mornings in Pacific Palisades: Ronald Reagan and the President's Daily Brief from the CIA article site Studies in Intelligence Vol. 42 NO.2, Winter 1998-1999.
Presidents' Day (also called Washington's Birthday):
This more-or-less official holiday is the combined February observance of formerly separate birthday observances for Washington (February 22) and Lincoln (Feb. 12). It goes by the commonly used Presidents' Day and also (officially in the federal government) Washington's Birthday designation. Since a 1971 Executive Order 11582 by President Nixon, this has been the third Monday in February (dates 15 to 21, never Feb. 22). It is codified in law per US CODE Title 5,6103. Holidays.
Presidents' Day is a calendric site with explanatory links.
President's Day from Miami-Dade County Public Schools also explains this in part--with a lesson plan. It is representative of many school sites for kids' observance of this event.
Press Briefings (by the White House Press Secretary):
Press Briefings by Date - Archives from The White House has these.
Press Conferences (of President with the White House Press Corps):
Presidential News Conferences (Press Conferences) from The American Presidency Project span Hoover 1929 to the current second Bush term in early 2006.
More current are from the White House.
Press Corps (White House Press Corps):
The White House Press Corps consists of White House Correspondents who collectively have formed the White House Correspondents Association. They routinely meet the Press Secretary and occasionally the President in periodic Press Conferences.
They reside in the cramped Press Corps Offices - White House Museum (aka the "Press Corps Cube Zoo") and meet the Press Secretary (and President) at the newly renovated Press Briefing Room (summer 2007).
White House Correspondents List - washingtonpost.com lists the current ones alongside their sponsors and syndicates.
Press Secretary (White House Press Secretary):
This is the president's spokesperson and chief contact with the White House Correspondents.
White House Press Secretary - Wikipedia has a List of press secretaries by Year(s) and Name back to FDR's Stephen Early in 1937.
Primaries and Primary Elections - Presidential:
See Democracy in Action--P2004 from Eric M. Appleman with Democracy in Action, Inc. for an excellent compilation of current and upcoming events for the 2004 primary season. Its Clickable Map of the United States has information on each state's primary procedures, lists of candidates, and major newspapers. All are well linked. Rules for presidential campaign finance are briefly explicated at its Presidential Campaign Finance--Main Page. For serious followers and junkies alike, every conceivable candidate who might make the news has linked sites on the principal page (see also immediately below).
Frontloading of primaries: The Year 2000 set a new standard. See The Rest of the Primaries for the section shown below the calendar entitled Frontloading and Compression: Primaries Will Go Off "Like a String of Firecrackers" demonstrating that early March 2000 (March 7 and 14) was intensively front-loaded by both parties, even though the Republicans conferred extra delegates to states willing to move to the rear of the calendar. Over half the delegates in each party were selected by March 7 alone! For another interpretation of crowding of the presidential primaries into early weeks in 2000, see Washingtonpost.com - Primaries Could Be Decisive by Mid-March by Terry Neal. It shows increased crowding due to California's move from its traditional June date to March 7, 2000. California was also a "jungle primary," designed to promote ideological moderation of candidate positions in lieu of the left or right positioning of traditional party primaries in that state. (Thanks to my former student Jeremy McCrary for this link and description.)
Regional Primary Elections Plan - Sooner or later something like this appears inevitable. See the National Association of Secretaries of State's NASS Home Page and its Regional Presidential Primary Plan. This is a rotating regional primary plan based on four natural state groupings (Eastern, Southern, Midwestern, and Western) with each taking turn going first. The Regional Primaries site is a link at bottom of The Rest of the Primaries, to show how the NASS legislation reads.
Profiles of U.S. Presidents:
Presidents: A Reference
History (from historian Henry A. Graff) includes
Profiles of U.S. Presidents - General Information based on the 2002
publication of its third edition;
Profiles of U.S. Presidents - Washington to Andrew Johnson (1789 to 1869)
of U.S. Presidents - Grant - Eisenhower (1869 to 1961) and finally
U.S. Presidents - Kennedy - Bush (1961 to the present).
Each president gets an article followed by a Forum site at bottom of the file.
Project Look Sharp - Media Construction of Presidential Campaigns has 9 segments dating from the first serious presidential campaign in year 1800 through the 2004 Bush v. Kerry campaign. Designed with lesson plans for 7-12 grades, it also provides ample illustrative material for college and university use. Audio and Video Clips are accompanied with Teacher's Guide and Student Handout materials.
Public Funding of Presidential Elections: See Campaign Finance above, in this file.
Public Papers of the Presidents:
This official record is published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR). Materials date back to Herbert Hoover. Start with The American Presidency Project's Public Papers of the President as it dates from Hoover onward.
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Search from GPOAccess dates from George H.W. Bush in 1991 to Clinton in 2001. The National Archives (Archives.gov) site also has Public Papers of the Presidents with online material from 1991.
For specific presidents, consult that president's Library for more Public Papers.
Also see within this file: Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations, Presidential Decisions and Directives.
Q Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
R Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
Rally Effects (rally around the flag):
Emergency national conditions typically cause a short-term boost in presidential approval and diminution of disapproval.
Ratings and Rankings of Presidents: See in this file: Approval ratings; Greatness of Presidents.
Most of these have applied to federal judgeships, but since Reagan in 1981, executive recess appointments have become common. The Congressional Research Service has RS21308 (Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions) and RL31112 (Recess Appointments of Federal Judges). Included is some recent information on incidence of use. An earlier 2005 review at CRS of their legal status is 50801 (Recess Appointments: A Legal Overview).
Congresspedia covers information on frequency of use by recent presidents (but I have not tracked this back to primary source material): Recess appointment - Congresspedia.
See also: Appointment and Confirmation of Presidential Personnel
Presidential Campaign Rhetoric 2004 by Andrew R. Cline has analyses of the 2003 State of the Union Address, debate transcripts from the Democrats' 2003 debates, and Cline's Essays and Commentary (The Press-Politics of the Presidential Primary Process).
American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States includes Top 100 American Speeches of the 20th Century with several from recent or modern presidents--not surprisingly including Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. There is also American Rhetoric - Rhetorical Figures in Sound with many excerpted examples of these from presidential speeches. American Rhetoric Online Bank has many recent presidential speeches. The Rhetoric of 9-11 covers presidential statements and those of other principals for the year after this event.
A concise historical take on the emergence of the modern rhetorical office is Arthur Schlesinger Intro The State of the Union Messages, based on a 1966 publication.
Speeches for COMM 26000 from Kent State University is a linked list of important speeches, mostly from sitting presidents. For secondary, Presidential Rhetoric Sources lists academic books and articles alphabetically by last name of first author. All the modern presidents are listed along with articles and sources specific to each of them. Another extensive source list is Rhetorical studies in pol comm from Allan Louden's Political Communication website.
Welcome to PresidentialRhetoric.com is directed by Martin Medhurst at Baylor University and Paul Stob at Texas A&M University. Their work is linked closely to SCOM @ TAMU The Program in Presidential Rhetoric at Texas A & M. Their PresidentialRhetoric.com: Contemporary Speeches has George W. Bush speeches, mostly from recent months but also covering major 2001 and 2002 speeches. PresidentialRhetoric.com: Programs links to major academic speech and rhetoric programs. PresidentialRhetoric.com: Links has outside links with special attention to rhetorical and media sources. PresidentialRhetoric.com: The Presidents has links to standard informational sites for each of the 43 presidents. PresidentialRhetoric.com: Archives covers the presidential libraries and museums.
Epideictic (ceremonial) rhetoric is prominent among presidential speeches, especially inaugurals. The file presidential genres from Campbell and Jamieson is a brief summary of the forms and settings for presidential rhetoric.
See also from this website: Inaugural Addresses; Speeches by Presidents and Presidents-elect; Speech Analyses: Speech Excerpts; and individual modern presidents.
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Scandals associated with Presidents:
See (fill in) for links and a list of book sources. Impeachments are included; one can find specific material on that in this website, under "Impeachments ..." (above) or (below) by reference to specific Presidents, including Nixon and Clinton. A general warning: this type of subject invites the creation of bad websites, so proceed with due caution. Time & Again - Presidential Scandals from MSNBC has a few recent ones.
See also from this file: Impeachments, Pardons.
Science Advising of the President:
The Office of Science and Technology Policy is housed in the Executive Office of the President. At comm_1989 (in PDF) is the Miller Center's Report of the Commission on The Presidency and Science Advising, 1989.
Setting the Record Straight: The White House promptly responds to news reports with which the White House takes exception. The practice arose with the Clinton Administration in 1993 and is routine practice of the current George W. Bush White House per this link. It is housed in News & Policies at the White House website.
Room: Created in the Kennedy Administration, this White House
Museum website has a brief history with a sequenced photographic profile of the
famous West Wing room where many presidential war policies have played out.
Inside the White House Situation Room is a longer essay on the "Sit Room"
and its National Security Council staff.
See also: National Security Council.
Social Security Online includes a history, plus separate collections from the telephone logs of Johnson and Nixon. The Johnson one includes numerous conservations with Wilbur Mills and others who were instrumental in creating the Medicare program in 1965. There is also a Social Security - Presidential Statements file with material from 12 presidents starting with Franklin Roosevelt in 1934.
A staple of American national policy since Kennedy, and before that Sputnik in Eisenhower's latter years, the space program is discussed in detail below under President Kennedy and successors. Site of choice is run by NASA itself at history.nasa.gov-1960s documents. Since 1 February 2003 this has been a prime site on loss of Shuttle Columbia on that date. Extensive links also go to the 28 January 1986 loss of Challenger. But most of the links demonstrate the triumphs and successes of the program. Other evidence of that is detailed below under Kennedy, then Johnson, and Nixon, for the watershed period of 1961-1972 and the Cold War-driven space race.
Also see below: President Reagan--Space Program and Challenger Disaster.
The Federation of American Scientists maintains Space Policy Project with very broad coverage, including detailed history, references to space enterprises of the former Soviet Union, and many other facets. Challenger and Columbia disaster reviews are extensive.
Speeches by Presidents and Presidents-elect:
Sounds of History -- Main Room is an outstanding alphabetized name list of important 20th century speech-givers with some of their main contributions in .ram files. All 20th century presidents are included, with entries ranging from one (Ford, Clinton) to ten or more (Kennedy, FDR). All files are nicely organized to show the speech author, link, and brief excerpt setting its theme and memorable lines. It is up to date enough (in November 2001) to include President George W. Bush's 20 September 2001 speech ("Justice will be done.").
Public Broadcasting System has a timeline of speeches at Great American Speeches: Speech Archives. Associated with it are brief contextual citations. Five speeches are from Franklin Roosevelt, including his 1938 "grilled millionaire" and the celebrated "My Dog Fala" of 1944. There is also Harry Truman's "do-nothing Congress" of 1948, Eisenhower's 1945 Guildhall address and 1954 warning against an Indo-China "domino effect"; Nixon's 1952 Checkers and 1959 Kitchen Debate in Moscow with Khrushchev; three from Kennedy; an example of Johnson on the telephone; and others. Some are difficult to find elsewhere. In addition to these, other major political figures are chronologically shown to help set context for presidential offerings.
The Audio - Video Archive from The American President Project has audio and video excerpts of 19 presidents, including all since Coolidge.
American Rhetoric: The Top 100 American Speeches of the 20th Century has famous presidential speeches in print, audio, and video forms. American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States is the parent site; links include American Rhetoric: Online Speech Bank.
American Presidency has many audio and video speech excerpts organized on a vertical time line, starting with Harrison (1889), including a handful for early 20th century presidents, and then offering a wide array from Franklin Roosevelt through Bill Clinton. See also The Program in Presidential Rhetoric: Presidential Speech Archive; Texas A & M's Center for Presidential Studies maintains a short text file list of 30 important speeches from FDR through George Bush. The Vincent Voice Library - Presidents sound file has brief voice excerpts of 30 seconds to 4 minutes length from each president since Benjamin Harrison in 1889, in Real Audio or MP3. Most are from inaugural or State of the Union addresses, but the Kennedy excerpt is from the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Speeches of the Presidents of the United States has RealAudio files from all 20th century presidents.
General indices for online speech resources include speeches -- rhetoric -- AASU; Web Sites for Political Speeches; and U. Iowa Communication Studies Resources Speeches and Speechmakers.
See also from this website: Inaugural Addresses; Rhetorical Presidency; Speech Excerpts; and speech entries for individual modern presidents.
See The History Place - Sounds of History. Contained here are RealAudio documents displaying high moments (Kennedy--"Ich bin ein Berliner") and low (Clinton--"I have sinned ..") from 10 of the 11 modern presidents, excepting only George Bush. All are billed by The History Place as dramatic, and indeed some are. Note in particular FDR's seven-minute speech before Congress asking for a declaration of war against Japan after Pearl Harbor.
The History Channel - Politics and Government - Speech Archives has an extensive RealAudio list of presidential speeches and statements from 10 of the 11 modern presidents, excepting only President Clinton.
The US History Out Loud site has a handful of RealAudio addresses from Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton.
Sound Bytes from Grolier Encyclopedia contains one sound byte sample per president back to Cleveland and forward to Reagan.
A valuable general website source listing for speech communication students and scholars is Public Address Division Links & Resources; a half-dozen or more of its linked sites are useful for presidency students.
State Dinners (White House State Dinner):
The White House regularly conducts these as part of high and not-so-high diplomacy. See C-SPAN State Dinner for a sampling. Welcome to the White House search protocol leads to innumerable ones. But (as so often) systematic data on these events may not exist on the web until someone compiles it.
State Funerals (of presidents):
See "Funerals" in this file.
State of the Union Addresses:
Gerhard Peters of The American Presidency Project explains their modern usage and has links to all of them at State of the Union Addresses of the Presidents of the United States. Also see State of the Union Address - Wikipedia.
Michael Kolakowski of Congressional Research Service has The President's State of the Union Message: Frequently Asked Questions, published 7 March 2006. It explains distinction of State of the Union from related terms.
State of the Union from GPOAccess has text of each since 1992.
C-SPAN (at www.c-span.org/executive/stateoftheunion.asp) has all since 1945 in transcript form. Video links also exist for years 1974, 1989 and 1990, and 1992 to the present.
These documents undergo extensive word analysis. Brad Borevitz of onetwothree.net has State of the Union from 1790, saying "SOTU allows you to explore how specific words gain and lose prominence over time, and to link to information on the historical context for their use."
The current White House has a short history of these
See also: Inaugural Addresses; Farewell Addresses.
Statements of Administration Policy:
These are issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), per Statements of Administration Policy on the Bush Administration dating from the 107th Congress in 2001.
Statistical Abstract of the US:
Statistical Abstract is "the National Data Book" published annually by the U.S. Census Bureau. Useful PDF data extracts covering 1995 through 2000 are available at Statistical Abstract of the United States - Interactive Index. Some of its archival material may be usefully compared to recent stuff from Latest Federal Government Statistics in The White House.
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2007–complete PDF is from The Trickle-Down. Earlier pdf files on 2006 are now numerous at Google.
For comparing to other data sets, consult Grace York's Statistical Resources on the Web-Comprehensive Sources; and see next entry below.
Statistical Information on the U.S.:
The best direct source may be the Statistical Abstract cited above. Elsewhere, a general links source is Statistics - Facts About the USA InfoUSA. It's divided into three categories: General Statistics, Economic Statistics, and Population Statistics.
FedStats Home Page advertises as the gateway to more than 100 federal government statistics resources. Go directly to FedStats Subjects A to Z to see how comprehensive this is.
The Library of Congress has a wide array of links, some from statistical sources. Try out Search the Library of Congress Web Pages.
Statistical Resources on the Web-Political Science from Grace York's University of Michigan Documents Center is always up to date and comprehensive.
Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner - Wikipedia explains his inclusion here.
Succession of Presidents:
Succession is customarily applied to non-election changes in the presidency due to death, disability, impeachment and conviction, or resignation, of the sitting president. The three most pertinent sources are the 20th Amendment, Article II, Section 1, Clause 6; 25th Amendment; and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (Amended). John Feerick explains this in Encyclopedia Americana: Presidential Succession.
See also Line of Succession.
The major succession crisis was in 1973-74 amidst Watergate turmoil when Vice-President Agnew resigned office in October 1973 and then Nixon himself turned over the presidency to Agnew's 25th Amendment successor, Gerald Ford.
The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 was instigated by President Truman in 1945 to include the Speaker of the House immediately after the Vice President in line. As C-SPAN explains (Capitol Questions), the Republican Congress elected in 1946 accepted Truman's counsel in 1947, making the Republican Speaker of the House Joseph Martin Truman's immediate successor should the Truman presidency have terminated in 1947 or 1948. Presidents who left office prematurely (or nearly did so) for various reasons are in US Presidents Lists and Records under the "Presidents" subheading.
The U.S. Senate has information on the Vice-Presidency and succession to the Presidency, at U.S. Senate -Senate Briefings - President of the Senate. Thanks to my student Adam Baker for this link.
FindLaw U.S. Constitution Twentieth Amendment provides the Senate's stated rationale for enacting this succession amendment in 1932-33. FindLaw U.S. Constitution Twenty-Fifth Amendment has the 1967 provisions for replacement of vice-presidential vacancies and for dealing with presidential disability. Also note FindLaw U.S. Constitution Twenty-Second Amendment for 1951 creation of the presidential two-term limit (influencing the importance of the Vice-Presidency).
These are related topics within this file: Appointment and Confirmation, Inaugurations, Interregnums, Transitions, and Watergate.
T Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
Telephone Transcripts from Presidents:
These are becoming more and more available. WhiteHouseTapes.org The secret White House recordings of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower fromthe Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs has extensive telephone audio recordings from all six presidents.
Miller Center White House Tapes Project samples from Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Miller's Presidential Recordings Program began in 1998 and has published a book and CD-ROM from the completed work. Introductory page is Programs in Presidential History at the Miller Center. (They also have Programs - Oral History - Presidential Oral History, listed above under Oral History).
American RadioWorks - White House Tapes: The President Calling by Stephen Smith and Kate Ellis covers the tapped telephone conversations of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon from 1961 through 1974. The taping practice of each is separately discussed. See also the fascinating short file, American RadioWorks - The President Calling - All the President's Bugs.
For specific presidential library and other transcripts, confer below under individual presidents, dating from Kennedy through Clinton.
Television and the presidency:
American Presidents Life Portraits - American Presidents Archive has extensive radio and television coverage of all modern presidents. Some are major speech events. Other spots are commemorations of library openings, and recollections from friends, associates, and scholars.
U.S Presidency and Television by Roderick P. Hart and Mary Triece has brief accounts of 10 important television events dating from the 1952 Checkers Speech by Richard Nixon, to the 1992 appearance of Bill Clinton on MTV. Political Processes and Television provides some background context on modern television coverage of political events and persons. Watergate receives its due in U.S. Congress and Television. Ronald Reagan's television career is profiled at Reagan, Ronald. All sites are part of The Museum of Broadcast Communications.
See also: Debates, and Debate Analyses, in this file above.
Terrorism and American Presidential Response:
The National Security Archive at George Washington University has an online reading file with index entitled The September 11 Sourcebooks. Volume I (www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB55/index1.html) has pertinent documents preceding the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack.
The Executive Summary of U.S. Commission on National Security Report was issued on 31 January 2001 from a 14-person bipartisan commission headed by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. Included is a "proposal for a new, cabinet-level National Homeland Security Agency that would combine the Federal Emergency Management Agency with several other agencies, and a prescription for recasting a "crippled" State Department and the Department of Defense."
See also in this file: 9-11 Commission Report (July 2004) and follow-up Project.
The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century is a new site begun on 19 February 2007 to coincide roughly) with Washington's Birthday. It has an Interactive Timeline dating from Hoover through Clinton, based on the 12 presidential libraries. Personal history of each president is The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century - Index with presidential names, a list of Exhibits, and a Gallery of records from each Library.
I have a Timeline of Modern Presidents for Franklin Roosevelt through George W. Bush with links from each (and assignments, so watch out to avoid that).
Presidential Time Line from MHHE is based on excerpts Encyclopedia Britannica articles on each president.
Cold War histories include United States US Cold War History by the year from 1945 through 1991. Also see Cold War - Timeline Index.
See also from this file: Cold War (extensive and detailed timelines for Truman to Clinton).
The period from the November 2-to-8 general election to the following January 20 inauguration of a new president is the Transition Period. The 9 postwar transitions by regular calendar concluded in January of 2009, 2001, 1993, 1989, 1981, 1977, 1969, 1961, and 1953. All but 1989 saw a change of party control (Renka, Party Control of the Presidency and Congress, 1933-2010). "Special transitions" took place twice, with the Kennedy assassination on 22 November 1963 and the Nixon resignation on 9 August 1974.
See Stephanie Smith, CRS Report for Congress - Presidential Transition, updated February 11, 2008; The United States Presidential Transition from the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs; and FAS, 2008-2009 Presidential Transition: National Security Considerations and Options, April 21, 2008.
2009 Transition (to Barack Obama):
Change.gov: The Obama-Biden Transition Team is active during the November to January transition period. Also see 2008-2009 Presidential Transition Resources. Background dating from 1997 is The White House Transition Project from Presidency Research Group scholars. Brookings Institution has The Presidential Transition. The GSA - Presidential Transition site has numerous links and formal explanation of General Services Administration duties.
2001 Transition (to George W. Bush):
White House 2001 Project Home (by the Presidency Research Group under sponsorship of The Pew Charitable Trusts) studied transitions including the change from Clinton to George W. Bush in 2001. These are often major lost opportunities; see The Hazards, and The Opportunities, for illustration.
Documents Related to the 2001 Presidential Transition (The American Presidency Project) has sequenced document transcripts dating from 12/13/00 to 1/18/01.
Rice Webcast Archive - Time and the Presidency: the Presidential Transition, from Rice University January 31 2001 has video clips from four of leading participants in the White House 2001 Project. The Live Events Archive also covers White House events from 1997 through 1999.
Government Performance Coalition is a consortium of organizations seeking to improve the overall quality of management in key government positions.
The United States Presidential Transition from the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs has The Presidential Transition Act of 2000.
These are related topics within this file: Appointment and Confirmation, Inaugurations, Interregnums, and Successions of Presidents.
Travels by presidents and vice-presidents:
The Department of State's Presidential Visits Abroad catalogs all foreign visits by presidents. Use List by President to see the dramatically increased 20th century travel practices of modern presidents.
Cost of this is occasionally a political issue. A U.S. House review from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is The Cost of Presidential and Vice Presidential Political Travel (in pdf).
See also in this file: Air Force One.
See Congressional Documents Main Page.
Trivia (U.S. Presidential Trivia):
Presidential Trivia and Facts from Classroomhelp.com is for kids and their teachers. Tutorials and Links and Lessons are included.
Presidential Trivia from the National Park Service has 3 or 4 pointers on each of the 43 presidents.
US Presidents Lists and Records has 11 categories; no links out, but a lot of little details. But some are not accurate.
Presidential Trivia use Q and A format in print.
Video Fascinating Facts About U.S. Presidents from National Geographic is a short video with "quirks and curiosities" dating from Confederation days.
The Presidential Facts Page from John Kochanczyk has something on each of the 43 plus Facts Concerning More than One President.
Presidential Trivia from Borgna Brunner with Infoplease.com has plenty (after getting past the annoying ad).
U Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
Unitary Executive (theory of):
Basically this is a proposition (not truly a theory) that presidential power is far broader than most constitutional scholars will grant.
The topic is much in the news and blogs during the January 2006 Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito; see Christopher Kelley's Media Watch for a critical take on Alito's expansive view as a "unitarian."
See also in this file: Constitutional Signing Statement, Presidential Signing Statement.
The 1945 charter is at Charter of the United Nations. Other documents are at United Nations, from H-Net's Diplomatic History site. History Channel has audio and summation of the most dramatic moment of its postwar annals, the confrontation by UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson in 1962 with the Soviets over missiles in Cuba. The official site is United Nations Home Page.
United States Marine Band:
The marine_band pdf site from The White House Historical Association explains that the United States Marine Band's mission is to provide music for presidential events.
Also see in this file: "Hail to the Chief"
Unusual Facts about Presidents:
See US Presidents Lists and Records for a 1998 file showing that four consecutive recent presidents (Ford through Clinton) were all left-handed. This is a comprehensive set of lists on all kinds of subjects. Few are linked anywhere else, but some have explanatory briefs associated with the list. Included are very useful items such as the 1995 historical ranking of 41 presidents conducted from Siena College, the relative share of popular and Electoral College vote each president won, regular and pocket vetoes issued by each, and so on. The list of Presidents itself includes links to the White House file for each President. Fun browsing for all.
V Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
Vacations and Retreats:
Time off the job is a political management problem for the White House staff, but all presidents do it anyway with varying descriptions of whether they really worked part of the time. Escape from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! 8-8-2001 from Time is a photographic sequence and text on this.
The most famous mixed work-and-recreation site for modern presidents since Eisenhower is Camp David in the mountains of Maryland north of the capitol. Camp David from Federation of American Scientists gives the background; also see National Park Service - The Presidents (Camp David). It has served since Franklin Roosevelt's day as a frequent weekend escape from D.C.--but also is the noted site for important business, especially with President Carter.
Vetoes and Line-Item Vetoes:
See Federal Government Resources on the Web - President and subheading "Vetoes" for links to GPO and Thomas sites with veto and line-item veto messages. Line-item vetoes are labeled "Presidential Cancellations" and listed at this site as well. Explanation and brief history of the veto is at Encyclopedia Americana-Veto. Also see Presidential Vetoes 1789–1999 for downloadable data showing the number of vetoes by type, plus overrides, for each President from Washington through Clinton's last full year. Presidents by Number of Vetoes lists number of vetoes, without elaboration.
From the U.S. Senate see Sollenberger 2004, Congressional Overrides of Presidential Vetoes, 98-157; also The Presidential Veto and Congressional Procedure for the House of Representatives record.
See Timeline of the Vietnam War for a start. Primary documents are at the H-Net Diplomatic History site Documents Relating to the Vietnam War dating back to 1941; an outstanding, carefully selected set of papers. Included are numerous 1990s retrospective reviews on the American-Vietnamese war period of 1963-1975. American RadioWorks - Vietnam and the Presidency is a March 2006 Kennedy Library conference document with 7 sessions and valuable interviews plus an hour-long documentary and transcript.
VicePresidents.com. All About The United States Vice Presidency by DCD Publishing is a magazine devoted to this subject, with biographies, quotes, lists, and campaign information. Historical Analysis and Stories and Snapshots has biographical detail. Brief book list on VPs is at Principal Sources. But some of their links are inoperative; for instance, the "Vice Presidential Succession" part has five pertinent link topics, but none of them are working.
An informative historical and explanatory article is at Encyclopedia Americana-Vice-President of the United States.
For basics on the office, see Irving G. Williams' The Rise of the Vice-Presidency in Grolier's New Book of Knowledge Vice Presidency. Despite the office's importance today as an obvious primary avenue to the presidency, the earlier history of the office inspired Steve Tally to title a book Bland Ambition. The publisher offers a 20-question Trivia Quiz, at vice presidents trivia.html. For those who would dismiss Vice Presidents, consult Vice Presidents Who Became President for a different view; so far, 14 of them have become President.
On possibility of a VP becoming President, see above in this site under "Succession of Presidents" and "Transitions." See also Essays Commentaries by Dan Coen.
Vice President Dick Cheney has raised the issue of whether the Vice Presidency is a legislative, executive, or other constitutional office. The Federation of American Scientists Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) site "OLC Views the Office of the Vice President, and Related Matters" is a compilation of OLC views on that (RDR, 16 May 2008; and thanks to Christopher Kelley of the PRG for alerting us to this site).
Voters and Voting in presidential elections:
See topics cited above, in Election Studies; or go straight from here to The NES Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior for comprehensive information on voters from 1952 through 1996.
The Federal Elections Commission has Federal Elections 96 Table of Contents; and Federal Elections 96 General Election Votes Cast for Presidency/Senate/House.
The U.S. Census Bureau-Voting and Registration Data includes a Historical Times Series Tables (look down this site a bit) for data from 1964 through 1996.
For those interested in precinct-level voter data, see Record of American Democracy (ROAD) Project.
W Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
War Powers Resolution (PL 93-148):
Enacted in 1973 over President Nixon's veto, it has ever since been a source of contention between President and Congress despite undergoing no direct Court test of its constitutional status. Text is shown at The War Powers Act of 1973. It can be labeled either an Act or a Resolution--and this affects which sites a search engine will pull up.
The controversy continues during the Clinton Administration. The Federation of American Scientists site has a thorough analysis updated in November 1996 at War Powers Resolution - Presidential Compliance. The most recent challenges to presidential war powers based on desire to invoke this Resolution are from Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Calif); President Clinton Sued Over War Against Yugoslavia and Clinton sued by Congress. The ACLU took Campbell's view, per ACLU Press Release 04-28-99 -- ACLU Says Military Action in Kosovo Violates Constitution and War Powers Act.
See also: references under Nixon, Ford, and Clinton.
Washington As It Was Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959 - (American Memory from the Library of Congress) shows Washington from 1923 to 1959.
See my separate postings at Richard M. Nixon.
Weapons of Mass Destruction:
That's the current codeword of the post-Cold War world in which terrorists and rogue states abound. For Cold War-derived nuclear facing off, see Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Their Overview has the famous doomsday clock, dating from 1947. For current postings on the WMD problem, Federation of American Scientists is a starting point; see Nuclear Resources (file labeled on site as "WMD Resources") in particular. Links are plentiful, with most but not all emphasis upon nuclear weapons.
Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents:
Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Main Page from Thomas (Legislative Information on the Internet) compiles this with backdate to 1993.
West Wing (of the White House):
This is where the power is and the powerful reside while at work. I recommend "West Wing of the White House" as your search term. West Wing - Wikipedia explains that this is the locale of the President and senior members of the Executive Office of the President, while keeping it all separate from the popular television series (The West Wing - Wikipedia).
Life in the White House from The White House has a video tour of the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the Situation Room, the Roosevelt Room, and the Press Briefing Room. Below those are the White House Residence and the Vice President's office and residence.
West Wing - White House Museum has detailed floor plans with links to each room, plus a historical text accompanied by extensive photographs dating back to the 19th century. West Wing Ground Floor - White House Museum has all ground floor locales, including a Men's Room (but no Ladies' Room). The highly cramped West Wing First Floor has a tiny "Lav" alongside all the most important locations. West Wing Second Floor has lesser (but still important) offices. Click on each office for photographs.
Inside the Real West Wing (washingtonpost.com) has a diagrammed Floor Plan of first and second floors with 25 key labeled locales.
"White House" parody and faked sites:
The "White House" domain name is unregulated, so kids should avoid "White House" URLs with suffixes other than "gov." A site calling itself Welcome To The White House at URL www.whitehouse.net is a humorous parody site complete with left-side links to the real White House. Welcome to the White House - WWW.WHITEHOUSE.ORG was a defiantly anti-George W. Bush humor site during 2001 through 2008 Its left-side links continue the parody.
The White House (the building at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue):
Life in the White House is the Bush Administration's profile of current life there with Video Tour by President Bush.
Echoes From the White House PBS has 11 thumbnail links that illustrate interesting historical aspects of this House and the presidential life within it.
The White House Historical Association at www.whitehousehistory.org is a good start for understanding this historic building. Their Timeline is divided by decades, with a schematic profile of the working sections of the building. WHHA - Visiting conducts a Virtual Tour.
Inside the White House @ nationalgeographic.com has worthy maps and background on the building and grounds.
The www.nps.gov site has another high-quality map from the National Park Service.
Want to see the plumbing? Plumbing History in The White House includes amusing sections on the president's bathtub.
Also see in this file: West Wing (of the White House).
White House Office, The:
The WHO is part of the Executive Office of the President (navigation out to WHO).
See also in this file: Executive Office of the President (internal file navigation); Chief of Staff
White House Press Secretary:
See above in this file under "Press Secretary."
White House Situation Room:
Run by the National Security Council as a "24-hour watch and alert center," this basement room in the White House has been the "nerve center" for Cold War and post-Cold War presidential crisis management. See White House Situation Room from the Clinton NARA site.
Here and Now Inside the White House Situation Room - 3-19-2003 calls it "the basement nerve center where presidents gather their most essential staff when the world comes off the rails, when there is a crisis, when there is war." Source: Here And Now Home by wbur.org, Boston's NPR News Source.
The best descriptive site I've found on the web is the CIA-linked WH SitRoom from Inside The White House Situation Room by Michael Donley, Cornelius O'Leary, and John Montgomery. Included is description of its origin in 1961 "after the Bay of Pigs disaster."
Its current sensitivity is attested from Streamingmedia.com White House to Stream Video for National Security Staff on adoption of streaming video for the NSC Staff (2/8/05 - RDR).
White House Staff:
2007 White House Office Staff List - Salary - washingtonpost.com lists several hundred in descending order by salary with accompanying names and titles. Check for back lists to 2003.
White House 2001 Project:
Welcome to the White House 2001 Project is co-sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts as part of The Transition to Governing Project (see The Pew Charitable Trusts Home Page). Included are the White House Interview Program and the Report Series Index. Reports are available in PDF format using Adobe Acrobat at whitehouse2001.org. Staff contacts are at Briefing Packets and Contacts, and Advisory Board Members of the Project are shown at Project Organization. The inspiration and rationale for this work is to establish an improved transition process between Administrations. This is described at The Opportunities followed by The Hazards. See also A White House Not Prepared to Govern.
These are related topics within this file: Appointment and Confirmation, Inaugurations, Interregnums, Successions, Transitions, and White House 2001 Project.
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Y Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
Z Return to Specific Topics (A to Z)
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