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The Path to the Presidency: What does the Constitution say about the executive office?

What comes to mind immediately when you think about a modern day presidential election?

Perhaps you’re imagining the televised debates before large crowds or the commercials playing on television all day. You might think of citizens waiting in line to use the voting machines at their precinct or the vote counts popping up on the television news later that night.

Elections in 2008 are a hyper-sensory event. Compare what you imagine to how Article II of the United States Constitution describes the election of the president:
And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.
This description of the Electoral College - the group of appointed voters who cast the official ballots on behalf of the much larger constituency of their state - sounds simple when compared to the media buzz we’ve grown accustomed to in the 21st century. But media buzz isn’t the only difference in the presidential elections between George Washington’s era and today.

The role of the chief executive has remained much the same over the centuries. But many important rules about how they become chief executive have come into play through amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

If the same rules were still in place from the 18th century, for example, the Nov. 4 elections could end with John McCain elected president and Barack Obama elected vice president, or vice versa. Until the Twelfth Amendment was passed in 1803, the vice presidency went to the runner-up in the vote count. However, Congress realized that it was difficult for two political rivals with potentially different viewpoints to run government together efficiently.

Changes like this were meant to improve both the election process and the functions of government, to make it run more smoothly and give the president the maximum amount of support in fulfilling his duties effectively and efficiently.

What does it take to be President?

The requirements to become president have not, in contrast to the differences in election system itself, changed much over the years. Article II Section I of the Constitution states that there are three main eligibility requirements to be president:
  • he or she must be a natural born citizen of the United States
  • he or she must have lived in the United States for the previous 14 years
  • he or she must be over the age of 35
These requirements remain the same. But that is not to say that it is easy to get elected. Since the rise of political parties soon after the nation was founded, having the nomination of a political party is an unwritten rule to be president. The custom of party nominations has led to the creation of a primary election process in which the two major political parties – Republicans and Democrats – each select the one candidate that will represent their party for president on the general election ballot.

Once the party has nominated someone to represent them in the general election, the campaign for the presidency begins. The candidates cross the country, trying to gain support of voters in each state, which will translate into official votes from the Electoral College.

The Electoral College, created in Article II Section I of the Constitution, is the group of citizens who elects the president officially. When you cast a vote in the presidential election, you are voting indirectly for the candidate. Specifically, you are voting for the particular electors in your state who have pledged to cast their Electoral College votes for your candidate. Each state has a set number of electoral votes which is equal to its total number of representatives and senators in the U.S. Congress.

Currently, there are 538 members of the Electoral College, which is equal to the 435 members of the House of Representatives and the 100 members of the Senate, plus an additional three electors for Washington, D.C., as granted in the 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. With 538 Electoral College votes possible, in order for a candidate to win the election, they must win at least 270.To learn more about the Electoral College, visit the Electoral College information page by the National Archives.

What powers does the President have?

The president represents the executive branch of the federal government. The executive (the president and his or her administration) is one of the three branches of government established by the Constitution, the other two being the legislative (Congress) and the judicial (the U.S. courts system).

The powers of the executive office are explained throughout the Constitution. Among them:
  • The president can sign into law any legislation passed by Congress. The president can also veto any legislation passed by Congress, but the veto can be overturned by a 2/3rds majority vote in both houses (Article I Section VII).
  • Normally, if the president does not act on a bill within 10 days, it automatically becomes law. However, this is not the case in the final 10 days of the legislative term; if the president takes no action during this period, the bill dies as Congress adjourns. So if he or she wishes to reject a bill without formally vetoing it, he can simply opt for doing nothing, which is known as a “pocket veto.” (Article I Section VII).
  • The president appoints the Supreme Court Justices, but they must be approved by the Senate (Article II Section II).
  • The president is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, meaning that the president is the head of all the branches of the military (Article II Section II).
  • The president appoints people to run the different executive agencies like The State Department and The Department of Health and Human Services (Article II Section II).
  • With a 2/3rds majority of the Senate, the president can enter treaties with foreign nations (Article II Section II).
  • The president can pardon anyone serving in federal prison (Article II Section II).
Additionally, the president must also report regularly to Congress on the affairs of the country. This is customarily done in the form of an annual State of the Union address before Congress.

Changes over time

After the initial roles, responsibilities and processes were laid out in the United States Constitution and the young government’s operations got underway, members of Congress and the Supreme Court began to see room where modifications was necessary, beginning with the Bill of Rights.

In addition to changing the way the vice president is appointed, the Twelfth Amendment, passed in 1803, established something called the “inhabitant clause.” This is a sixteen-word phrase pertaining to the president and vice president:
…one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves…
It suggests that the running mates should not be from the same state, in the interests of keeping one region from having too much power in the executive office. It stops short of prohibiting Vice Presidents from the same state as the president. Nevertheless, it has come up from time to time, most recently in the 2000 election when vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney changed his registration to Wyoming, a previous state where he had lived, from Texas, where presidential candidate George W. Bush lived.

The Twelfth Amendment also specifies what happens in an instance where neither candidate in a presidential election gets a majority of votes. In these circumstances, the House of Representatives chooses from among the top three candidates. Lastly, the amendment extends the eligibility requirements laid out in Article II Section II to the vice president, so that:
no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
The Twentieth Amendment created a speedier transition between presidential administrations by setting the date of the presidential inauguration to Jan. 20 following the election. Prior to its passing in 1933, presidents did not take office until the following March 4. This made for a lengthy “lame duck” period - a nickname referring to the time when a president who is not reelected has little power to promote their policies.

The beginnings of a line of succession were also established with the Twentieth Amendment. This amendment simply states that if the president is unable to serve, the vice president steps in. It also instructs Congress to create a more detailed succession plan, which they later accomplished in the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. It created a process by which the vice president steps in when the president cannot serve, and by which the president can return to power if he is able to serve again. It also gives the president the power to pick a new vice president if the current vice president is unable to serve, though the choice must be approved by a majority vote in both houses of Congress.

Also prior to the mid-20th century, there were no laws establishing term limits. Two terms were customary for presidents ever since George Washington declined to run for a third term in 1796. But an ambitious president during the Great Depression changed that; Franklin Delano Roosevelt won his third term in 1940 and was elected to a fourth in 1944, though his final term was cut short by his death in office.

Nevertheless, this alerted Congress to the concern that some candidates might not be willing to loosen their grip on executive power, so they passed the Twenty-Second Amendment, which limited presidents to two four-year terms. The only exception is in cases of succession: if a president dies in office - or is otherwise unable to serve - and there are fewer than two years remaining in his or her term, the vice president can still be elected to two four-year terms. If there are more than two years remaining, however, the new president can be elected to only one additional term.

Some of the modified powers of the president were not established by amending the Constitution. While the power to declare war rests in Congress (Article I, Section VIII), this became modified by The War Powers Act of 1973. This maintained Congress’ role in approving any declaration of war, except for situations “where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated.” In these circumstances, the president need only give congress 48 hours notice to unilaterally send troops into conflict.

The following year saw the formal establishment of the concept Dwight Eisenhower called “executive privilege.” This gives the president the power to resist search warrants and withhold certain information from Congress and the Judiciary. Executive Privilege was confirmed by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Nixon (1974), when the Court said it is an element of separation of powers that can only be challenged under pressing circumstances. Unfortunately for Nixon, his claim of executive privilege was rejected and he was forced to hand over incriminating audio tapes during the Watergate investigation.

The president is also responsible for composing the annual budget for the federal government. Although not part of the original Constitution, legislation passed in the early 20th century, including the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 and the Executive Reorganization Plan of 1939, established that the president would submit an annual budget to Congress. Congress then deliberates and proposes modifications to the presidents’ budget as necessary before it is finally adopted.

Finally, there are signing statements and executive orders. These are less about the duty of the president and more about an authority in which a president can issue proclamations.  While presidents do not have the power to make law themselves, in the case of signing statements, they can add written commentary to bills as they sign them into law.  This has the effect of clarifying the content of legislation and possibly – as critics argue –interpreting or altering the meaning of legislation.    Executive orders are proclamations made most often to other departments or personnel in the federal government, effectively “ordering” them to take particular actions in accordance with the administration’s objectives.

Looking ahead

The Constitution is often referred to as a “living document.” When the founding fathers drafted the Constitution, they envisioned that its interpretation may change as appropriate over time, and this is often done by decisions made by the judicial system. As the years passed, the government has also passed written changes to the document itself; 27 amendments to the Constitution over the course of  more than two centuries have been passed. Four of those amendments have related specifically to the presidency.

What do you think?

If the founding fathers knew then what we know now, what do you think they would change about the way the executive branch works? How have the amendments made by Congress over the years affected the way our government is run? Do you think there are further modifications that could or should be made? How about the roles and responsibilities? What other qualifications do you look for when choosing who will best represent you as president? Join the discussion!
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Comments
1/13/2013
Garrett, IN
Jordan
Garrett Middle School
We should keep the right to bear fire arms.

9/27/2012
New York :D
Emma C.
Dolle pd 3/ nms
I believe that the amendments are are large part of modern American life. As a president, you should stick to the amendmanets and obey and respect the rights of the people.

2/28/2012
Irving/Tx
Jordan
Nimitz
I think that the Amendments have helped the problems that have been popping up.As the years go by Different problems are going to rise and new amendments will be established to resolve the problem or at least bring some stability.

4/1/2009

Shreya
Holy Child SR.SEC.school, Delhi
I Thinh that constitution is neccesary else there will be more terrorim in India and thre will be more nuisance created

12/3/2008

Mackenzie M.
Trinity, Washington PA
I think that the constituion is important. It brings smart people together.

10/8/2008

Blesson
Nimitz, Irving
The founding fathers did what they could with what they had at the time. They did what they believed was best for the government then. If they could change the government now, I am sure that they would to make it according to the current technology.

10/5/2008

Ulysses
Nimitz, Irving/TX
What the constitution says about the government is that our founding fathers knew what they were doing. To have created a document that has been able to adapt and suit issues that have arose since then is a masterpiece. If the founding fathers would have been able to have look at the government that we have now many things could have been avoided, they probably would have limited the president's power though because the way the country is doing right now is not so fresh. But it was not possible so things were done accordingly and what happened happened.

10/3/2008

Nadia
Nimitz, Irving, TX
I, for one, am glad that the 12th amendment is in place: things would end up disastrously if the two contenders for president had to serve side by side for four years, especially since there are major ideological differences in the two candidates. Because of amendments like the 12th, our presidential process is more precise and effective. Though it may be frustrating to some, the electoral college does a fine job in the election process by setting a designated amount of votes each state gets and having the popular vote accounted for through those votes. This lessens the effects of uninformed voters. There should be less responsibilities for the President, however. Though there is a firm system of checks and balances in place, it seems foolish to give a heavy amount of power to one man when there are hundreds of people in the legislative branch and judicial branches combined to help make decisions. When deciding on which presidential candidate to vote for, I feel that it is important to pick the candidate who note only represents my situation well, but also that of the majority of the nation. As a young middle-class adult, I'm not interested in picking the candidate who most supports big business and the wealthy elite. Also, if a candidate is lacking in a particular area, it is important that said candidate finds a running mate who can successfully balance them out and cover their weaknesses. This way, the president can make the most of his power to do what's best for the country.

10/3/2008

Matt
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
The fact that our forefathers added the Twelfth Amendment just shows there brilliance. With out it our government leaders would be at each others throats fighting over how to fix the problem instead of going out and solving it. I believe our forefathers would be very pleased on how things have turned out in our government and how things are handled. One thing I would like to say is that I believe that before you can become president you should fight for your country first to see the hardships that our soldiers go through.

10/3/2008

Bilal jr1
NorthEast High School, PA Philly
It would be different from today because the things we know, today. It gives more power to the people then to the government. I don’t think that any thing needs to be changed. Someone how is intelligent and knows what they are doing.

10/3/2008

Guoqiang
Northeast High School, Philadelphia
I think that what Congress say about that it was really difficult for two political rivals with potentially different viewpoints to govern together efficiently. Which is really hard how they have two different thoughts.

10/3/2008

Marquese JR1
Northeast High School, Philadelphia ,Pa
I refuse for John McCain to be president over Barack Obama because The United States Of America needs a black president. What can McCain do for the country if he is 72 years old?.

10/3/2008

Steven I.
NEHS, Philadelphia PA.
Of course our founding fathers would have adapted to today's society. However, they also intended for the United States to evolve as a government and to change amendments as the times change. As new technology is created as a society we need to decide on how to include these into our laws and government. Today's President should be aware of today's happenings more than ever. There are so many more expectations of the presidents today than ever before.

10/3/2008

Ashley Jr. 1
northeast high school , phila ,pa ,19121
I think that Obama should be president.

10/3/2008

Vincent J.R. 1
Northeast Highschool, Philadelphia P.A.
The institution of the Twelfth Amendment was a very effective way to keep controversy out of the white house. A President could not focus with an opposing candidate in office as their vice president therefore crippling their ability to run this country efficiently.

10/3/2008

Matthew JR1
Northeast high school, Philadelphia PA
I think the governing system is working but I think the president should have less power the first term and if they were to make it the 2nd term and theres decisions were good the first time the president should get more power.

10/3/2008

Juan jr1
NEHS, phila/pa
I think that if they choose any of them is still gonna make history and our current political status will be changed. By the people of the United States. By this results I personality think that the outcome will be better.

10/3/2008

Matthew JR1
northeast high school, philadelphia/pa
I think the governing system is working but I think the president should have less power the first term and if they were to make it the 2nd term and theres decisions were good the first time the president should get more power.

10/3/2008

Raina jr1
northeast high school, P.A
I think that Obama should become the president for U.S. because he will make a change in U.S.

10/3/2008

Melissa Jr. 1
Northeast High School, Phila. Pa
I think that the system has been corrupted and abused by many people in congress and the government. I don't know if the founding fathers would be very proud of what is happening to the system right now. Although there are many problems going on in the government right now i believe that one of the most important things that need to be fixed is the voting system. That to me is the biggest problem right now.

10/3/2008

Raul
Northeast HighSchool, Philadelphia PA
Changes like this were meant to improve both the election process and the function of government.

10/3/2008

Christopher Jr 1
Northeasths, Phila Pa.
I feel that it is the trials and tribulations that the country go through as a whole that brings us closer to the right way things should be run in this nation Obama.

10/3/2008

Sameer Jr. 1
NEHS, philadelphia, PA
I think all that all the changes that were made have improved our country but I also think our goverment needs to learn how to leave other countries alone, Iraq for example, we have no right to be there, thats what I think we should change, this country needs to learn how to stop being a bully.

10/3/2008

Timothy Jr. 1
Northeast, Philadelphia Pa.
Well they are talking about the presidents running mate. Bill Clinton was running against Al Gore and Clinton won and made Gore his vice-president but I guess this election is a total different thing because they both are against different things. If I could vote for a election I would not but if I had to I would elect I would elect McCain.

10/3/2008

Isaac jr 1
Northeast high school, philadelphia
I agree to what you staying because they both have similar view points about the way they would take care of city. But I saw something on television the other day about John McCain staying that he want to put taxes on health care so I think that a bad choose.

10/3/2008

RobertJR1
Northeast, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The government today works in many ways. It changes throughout each year, people discovering flaws in the system. I think the founding fathers would have done the same in changing how each branches work or making modifications that should or could be made. Also it should depend on the people's view, and as well as the candidate's opinions.

10/3/2008

John W 1
Northeast High School, Philla ,Pa
I think it remained the same over centuries because they went out looking for the same type each year they wanted a leader.

10/3/2008

Mark
Nimitz, Irving/Texas
I don't think that the founding father's would change anything that they originally wrote. Congress has made several ammendments that do limit the powers of the president, not to give them more power, rather, to help him.

10/3/2008

Shawn jr2
nehs, pa
I think that the twelfth amendment is good because the runner up in election does not share the same beliefs as the winner and the president should have the right to choose a running mate that does share their beliefs.

10/3/2008

Witor Jr 2
NHS, PHILLY
I think that its not right for the constitution to choose the president. The poeple who live in the state should be able to pick who they want to be the president of their state. Not who the constitution think who should be in the office.

10/3/2008

Brian jr2
nehs, philadelphia
I don't think that the founding father's would change anything that they originally wrote. Congress has made several ammendments that do limit the powers of the president, not to give them more power, rather, to help him.

10/3/2008

Qaaim jr 2
northeast highschool, philadelphia PA
I think they would keep everything the same beacuse what they did they think is wats best for the country.

10/3/2008

SajjadJr2
Northeast Highschool, Philadelphia,Pa
I think that Congress has made good choices over the years. They help our government run smoother. Our lifes would be much different if the founding father have lived now. It's good that congress passed the 12 amendment because I don't think it's right for the country to be governed by 2 different people. The country just wont function right.

10/3/2008

Yasamin jr2
Northeast High School, Philadelphia/Pa
I believe that the 18th century rule is a better way to solve the election then having the president and there own vice president to win aginst another. The 12th amendemnt made a big impact with the presidency that the political rivals has to work harder to win over each other.

10/3/2008

Anthonyjr2
Northeast High School, Philadephia/Pa
I think the Republicians are running our country into the ground I think we need a democrat in office. Obama 4 President

10/3/2008

Lawrence Jr. 2
Northeast Highschool, Philadelphia Pa.
I want a government that is for the citizens most of the polictical people seem to talk about what they want to do for the other countries the people of this country have serious issues of our own. We can't begin to try to fix other people problem till we fix our own. We are broke an its not our own doings. It is caused by the ludicrous prices of just about every thing. When we get hurt, our government dosn't even help us there. The terrorist prisonors get more, and better heath care then the people of the country. The country wants us to go to college but then they charges us crazy prices. The person that is mostly for the people and getting us out of our big holes, and recognizes what really need to be taken care of is who I will get my vote.

10/3/2008

Craig Jr. 2
Northeast Highschool, Philadelphia PA
Well we are in a depression so whatever is the best four our economy.

10/3/2008

Bernard jr2
Northeast High School, Philadelphia PA
I believe having the two contenders working together in office would be difficult. As it was said in the article, both of them would have different views on just about every topic. But at the end, the President's view and descision will be the only one that matters .

10/3/2008

Kiko B. Period 2 JR
NEHS, Philadlphia Pa
It was definitely a smart decision on the Congress' part to make it so that the losing candidate is not the vice president. They do have point believing that two rivals have different views. They obviously weren't thinking when one of them was a republican and the other was democrat.

10/3/2008

Klaudia jr 2
Northeast High School, Philadelphia,PA
I think the Founding Fathers would change somethings but not much. Becuase I don't think the would limit the powers of the president, not to give them more power or to help him. Also, I think the government system is working well.

10/3/2008

Jasmine JR 2
Northeast High School, Philadelphia,P.A
I think that there are futher modifications that should be made. I also think that the roles and the responsibilites should be more stronger to push people into doing the things that they need to do. The qualifications that I look for when I'm choosing who will best represent me for a president is that they have to be willing to try there best to serve our country right.

10/3/2008

Christopher M. JR2
Northeast HighSchool, Philadelphia/P.A
I think the executive office is where they should be.

10/3/2008

Adrian
N.E.H.S, PHILADELPHIA,PA
I think that the people/Electoral College should be able to decide their president, not the U.S. Constitution. When the Constitution was written, they did not take into affect the technological advances that we have made. As a country, we can accurately take vote on the presidential election. I believe that if the right president is elected, that person can make a huge difference in turning our country around. So if we the people want our country to change, we need to vote for the candidate who could best change and shape our country.

10/3/2008

Ahmad / Rome jr4
Norheast high, Philadelphia,PA
The institution of the Twelfth Amendment was a very effective way to keep controversy out of the white house. A President could not focus with an opposing candidate in office as their vice president therefore crippling their ability to run this country efficiently.

10/3/2008

mikejr4
northeast, philadelphia
I feel that the gov. should look at what will come out of this election because whatever the outcome is, there will be big change in not only America but the whole world.

10/3/2008

Leslie j.r 4
Northeast highschool, philadelphia/PA
I don't think that there are any other modifications need to be made to our government. I think that the Twelfth Amendment was a good one, because. It didn't make any sense that there would be a Democrat president and a republican Vise president. They would have totally different views on many things. The qualifications that me and most people look for in a president is that they need to address the issues that matter most to us. For example like cutting back on taxes.

10/3/2008

David C. JR 4
Northeast, Philadelphia, PA
It was definitely a smart decision for the Congress to make it so that the losing candidate is not the vice president. The two rivals have different views, and it would just make things difficult. They obviously weren't thinking when one of them was a republican and the other was democrat. In a president, I look strongly at their character and how I can relate to them. Also, I pay attention to how they stand on certain issues that I feel stonily about.

10/3/2008

Stephanie and Robin-J.R-4th
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think without the twelfth amendment, the elections would be a disaster. I'm glad for this Amendment because it is an easier way to stop a lot of the conflict that would have occurred if the amendment was not passed.

10/3/2008

Josh C JR4
NorthEast High School, Philadelphia PA.
I agree with what the amendment says because if two parties rule a country, they would be no stability whatsoever. However, I do think that after George Bush's administration a lot that has to do with the role of the president has been discussed, since there was the wiretapping incident when 9/11 happened. A lot of the amendments have changed how our society works now in both good and way, for example civil rights movements and desegregation and gun control which in some way I believe is causing a lot of violence in the country. I think the president's responsibility of the president is to represent laws and ideas that the PEOPLE have not congress, like sen. Obama said represent the people in Washington, not the opposite. I think a good president should have a strong character good commitment and ideals that benefits almost every citizen of this country in a n open way, neither conservative nor liberal but realistic. I also think that it shouldn't really matter whether its a he or she or black or white or christian or muslim because in the end we are all humans and even though the constitution was written in different times, in our times the word equality and freedom means complete equity within people regardless of who they are how they look like or way they worship God, but how they represent us as American Citizens.

10/3/2008

Daniel JR4
Northeast Highschool, Philadelphia, PA
I think the founding fathers would've never made the two clashing parties combine with one as President and the other as the Vice President. They made the President capable of fulfilling his duties of what he promised the citizens in order to get them to vote for him or her since that is now a option. I don't think there are any changes that should be made because it's parties going against each other with their beliefs and whoever the people vote majority for is who deserves to be in office. I think they have to represent the country well, be intelligent, have a strong plan and not crack up when heated moments arrive.

10/3/2008

Demitrius JR 4
northeast high school, Philadelphia, PA
First off I think the twelfth Amendment is a good addition because when two people have different beliefs its hard to come to an agreement.I think they wouldn't change anything else because the executive branch has a positive equal effect as the other 2 branches. The qualifications I look for are their views on religion and education

10/3/2008

Ilya p. JR 4
northeast highschool, philadelphia
I think it good that if a president elected, he has his own vice president. once the two candidates compete for president position,and if one wins the other would envy him even as vice president. the 12TH amendment was the right thing let the president choose the vice president

10/3/2008

Geoffrey Jr 4
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
What should I say. I think it is good that the, twelfth Amendment was passed in 1803.

10/3/2008

MiguelJR4
northeast highschool, Philadelphia PA
I think that Obama would best represent me as president....but knowing how the government wokers and how people are they might be afraid of change and vote McCain in...which would be a really stupid thing because it would be basically just like having Bush as president again and we all know that he messed up the country so much and made the country loose respect in the world...it is about time we have a Democratic president again and someone who cares about the people and isn't being manipulated by big companies.

10/3/2008

Sana Jr 4
Northeast high school, philadelphia, Pa
In my opinion, the amendments made by congress has definitely affected the way our government runs today by allowing us more freedom. As years pass by, the world is becoming more technical and we're discovering more opportunities to at least try to make this world a better place. So if the founder fathers knew then what we know now then the characteristics of the government would have be different.

10/3/2008

Darryl jr6
Northeast Highschool, Philadelphia Pa
Changes like this were meant to improve both the election process and the function of government.

10/3/2008

Britt K, jr
Northeast High, Philly, Pa
I don't think there will be too much of a change because as you can see even in 2008, America hasn't changed that much politically. I think our president needs to be a true peoples person and be able to understand the needs of the people on a person level. Basically someone fresh, open minded but at the same time someone who isn't a push over.

10/3/2008

PorscheJR6
Northeast High School , Philadelphia
I agree with 12 amendment. It would be crazy if the 2 candidates from the political parties would have to work together b/c they clearly have 2 different views on how to run the country. so the 12 amendment really serves a good purpose.

10/3/2008

Porsche JR6
Northeast High School , Philadelphia, PA
I agree with 12 amendment. it would be crazy if the two candidates from the political parties would have to work together b/c they clearly have two different views on how to run the country. So the 12th amendment really serves a good purpose.

10/3/2008

Reece
northeast high school, philadelphia/pa
I feel the same way that you feel about the situation when it comes to the presidential election. But i want obama to win.

10/3/2008

Brittany T JR
NEHS, phila/PA
I agree with the twelth amendment. I think things would be chaotic if presidential candidates worked together, things would never get done.

10/3/2008

Isaiah
northeast high school, philadelphia pa
Changes like this were meant to improve both the election process and the function of government. The system is working but I think the president should have less power the first term and if they were to make it the 2nd term and theres decisions were good the first time the president should get more power.

10/3/2008

Ariel JR6
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
The 12th amendment being in place is needed. The two parties contending have to very different views and opinions on what should be done. So having them serve together would be just constant fighting. Giving the presidency completely to one party is more effective. I know there are alot of homeless they should raise more money for charities then for campaigning. While looking or searching for a president i would like to find a president that is more for the people then for other countries... if our president is focused on outside troubles our economy will crumble.

10/3/2008

Faithjr6
NEHS, Philadelphia,Pa
The qualifications that I look for when choosing will be best to represent as my president is that he has to know the difference between saying that you are going to make a change and actually doing the job and doing it right. I don't just want a president who just focus on certain rights for the rich or wealthy, I want a president who will give justice to every one. The other thing that bothers me is the fact that our soon-to-be former president went to war and had millions of innocent people die becuase of greed and I would not want thoses types of disaters in the future. So the only person who fits my needs for america and who i think will stick to that word is Barack Obama.

10/3/2008

Koraldo JR6
Northeast HS, Philadelphia, PA
I believe that if the founding fathers knew what we know today they would have made many, many changes, not just to the executive position. The amendments made by congress over the years have made our government better in some issues, worse on others. I believe that politicians should not be compensated, or compensated very little for their time in government positions, this is one modification that should be made, because politics should not be a capitalist career, but a care for the country and people represented.

10/3/2008

Ashley S. JR6
Northeast High School, Philadelphia,Pa
I think this change was totally to help out the election for the past runnings and the upcoming runnings that will follow. I think this change is an o.k. change because maybe it will better the elections that are coming in the future, then it did in the past elections. I also think that this amendment will also make our country a lot more stronger and have us a little closer then it was.

10/3/2008

isaiahjr6
northeast high school, philadelphia pa
I think that what Congress says about that it was really difficult for two political rivals with potentially different viewpoints to govern together efficiently. I think the government system is working well.

10/3/2008

Ashley A. jr
NEHS, Philadelphia,PA
I think Barack Obama would represent me best as a president because when I was watching the debate he had some really good points. He wants to lower taxes and start giving people more money who don't get what they should.John McCain wants to take money from people and start taxing medical insurance .Who wants a president like that? Especially after what's happening on Wall Street.

10/3/2008

Rabiah Jr6
NorthEast High School, Philadelphia PA
I think all the change that have made are to improve America. Obama is the best president for America. Also, I think that the government will always be making constant changes and improvements to the executive branch like the other branches.The 12th amendement made a big impact with the presidency that the political rivals has to work harder to win over each other.

10/3/2008

Andres L jr6
northeast high school, philadelphia, pa
In my opinion i dont think the world can't be changed also i think we should stay the system that we have now and about the 12 amendment i agree with it.

10/2/2008

Hyunwoo
Nimitz, Irving
The governing system that has been used is working well. The hard work that the founding fathers put into the Constitution did not go to waste. But now that we know how it works, I would give the president less power. The president many times looks as though he is abusing the powers that is given to him and does whatever he wants to. When choosing the president, I think it is best to see the character of the president and his issue and position.

10/2/2008

Merhawi
Nimitz , Irving, TX
I think the founding fathers would have addressed some of the practical problems like having a lame duck president or the issue of the line of succession if the president is unable to serve or how to choose the vice president. I think the amendments have pushed for limiting the powers of the executive branch. An example is only allowing a president to serve two terms. I don't think changes should be made nor do I think the roles and responsibilities of the executive should be changed. One of my qualifications when choosing a president is swagger.

10/2/2008

Mariana
Nimitz, Irving, TX
The Founding Fathers would change somethings, but not much. Since the American public now has the ability to be more informed on issues and candidates, I believe that presidential elections should trust and rely more heavily upon the opinion and vote of citizens and not the electoral college. American political parties are prominent, which often causes the public to vote along the lines of parties instead of candidates. In my opinion, congress has done well in creating amendments in order to run a smoother government. Looking at your economic status as a nation, the Founding Fathers may feel a small inclination towards allowing the government, in some small way, regulate the economy. In the up coming election, the presidential candidate should be able to handle the economic crisis arising. For now, the responsibilities of the executive branch should not be altered.

10/2/2008

Taylor E
Nimitz, Irving
I think that the way that we vote for the president is fine. I like that the electoral college gets to vote instead of some of the not-so-bright masses because there are people out there that I would just rather them not voting because they are not paying attention to the issues but just how a person seems to them. I think the founding fathers would like that we have given the vice presidency not to the runner up but someone who can help the president better than a rival. I think that the way the president is elected is fine and that nothing should be changed further about the process.

10/2/2008

Sairah
Nimitz, Irving, TX
I was unpleasantly surprised when the poll results came up. Are elections nothing more than popularity contests? Do the issues go completely unheard? Unless perhaps a person's trustworthiness and strength of character qualifies them to RUN A COUNTRY. Personally, anyone who has a high charisma or a way with words puts me on edge. I don't want to be sweet-talked out of my opinion. My opinion is my right, be it right or wrong. Give me something to think about, argue with me, but do not navel-gaze to the point where I agree to whatever it is you are saying. And conventions are not like pep rallies. I hate pep rallies. Conventions are boring, quiet, and blissfully intelligent, when the delegates present are competent. Admittedly, that is not always the case. But that is another point altogether, so I shall stay silent for now.

10/2/2008

Yessi
Nimitz , Irving, Texas
Our founding fathers tried to create a government that was good but they could not predict the future and know how the technology and society would be different. They try what was best and apparently they did a good job with them because we in the present are still using a lot of the things that they wrote down.

10/2/2008

Glenn
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
Well, the election process has defiantly evolved over the years to what we have today. Although there were many changes to this system, the basics are still there, mainly the electoral college. There are many complaints to this system from both parties, but I think that it helps reflect what the country as a whole wants. Since there can only be one winner of an election, someone will always be unhappy and will vent their hate on the electoral college.

10/2/2008

Jasmine P.
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
The system that we currently have is working fairly well. However, like most things, modifications can be made. For example, the presidential race should not come down to being thrown in the House and the Senate if that situation ever arises; a different way of deciding who will govern our country (if the presidential race comes down to a near tie) should have a different method than the one that exists today. I believe that if the founding fathers knew what we know now, the actual structure of the executive office may have slight modifications as well.

10/2/2008

Vishal
Nimitz, Irving TX
Amendments which have affected the presidency have only helped smooth over the process of election. The founding fathers would most likely not have made many more changes knowing what the future would be like. They designed the Constitution to fix itself by a majority, and is difficult enough to ensure that changes being made are what the people truly want, because they knew that flaws would need to be corrigible. Over the years to come, problems that arise will be taken care of when they need to be by the natural process which was meant to be ridden through.

10/2/2008

Selene S.
Nimitz High, Irving, Texas
The Founders of the U.S. Constitution did not know how the elections were going to change or what kind of conflicts we were approaching. For example, the conflict we had before the 12th amendment was that the president would be a different political party than the vice president, so both of their ideas would conflict. But thanks to the 12th Amendment the president now has a vice president that he chooses and that he can count on whenever he needs his help. This helps our government be more organized and it runs more smoothly. As time goes on the government and its people will change and new problems are going to appear that our generation will have to find a solution for.

10/2/2008

Emmanuel
Nimitz, Irving, TX
If the founding fathers could change things now; in all likelihood they would not. But since they are not I think that the government will always be making constant changes and improvements to the executive branch, as well as the other branches. That being said, there are those among the general public who vote solely based on party alliances, which is a negative; and should use other forms of information available to us now. They should learn all they can about a candidate or there should be a minimum requirement of experience or office time, so that the constituents can learn all they can about them, before being allowed to run for the presidency.

10/2/2008

Jerril
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
The amendments made by Congress over the years has positively affected our government. I think that our government is running well and doesn't really need any modifications or new responsibilities. I look for attitude and confidence when choosing a president because if he has confidence in himself, then he'll be confident in running our country.

10/2/2008

Stephen
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
I believe that for the most part the way the constitution sets up the election process and powers of the executive branch are completely fair and effective. I am glad America has not shifted to the “elect a whole party” system that many European countries have employed. I do have some want though to go to a pure democracy voting system and not one that employs the electoral college and delegates.

10/2/2008

Tatiana pd2
NEHS, Phialdelphia, PA
I think the Founding Father would have not changed much. One thing they would rely more on is on the vote of the citizens instead of the voted of the electorial college. The more amendments, the less complications. It seems as though things are more straight and run better with the different amendment. Things just become clearer. Just take the Twelfth Amendment as the same example. It was passed on for things to work more efficiently. I think the candidates for both vice-president and president should have an understanding of everything that is going on in the the country. They should know the "whole nine yards". When I look at a president, I look at how well they know what is going on in our country. He or She should have a full understating of everything and not just let their voices be heard, but have the power to really get into the people's mind and have an influence on what He or She thinks.

10/2/2008

Semi .T. period 2
Northeast High School, Philadelphia PA
The executive branch makes sure that all the laws are obeyed. Even though he gets help from the vice president, department heads etc, the power is placed on the president. The way the branch works has changed over the years but it is still the same concept. However before the Twelfth Amendment, the one chosen vice president was the runner up. I think this change was good and fair because today the candidates get to choose their vice president from their own parties. It's better than having two people from different parties and goals to run one country. One thing I think the Founding Fathers would change is to balance how the voting works. For example the people’s vote and the electoral vote would count the same. How our government works today is influenced a lot by what our Founding Fathers created. No one has absolute power and we all have our natural rights which are protected. I think it should stay the way it is because there are always going to be people who disagree and want something different. So instead of creating a chaos we should just support and give our best to how the government is now. My perfect president would be someone who has courage to stand up for the rest and who is honest in everything he or she does.

10/2/2008

Ariel
Stroudsburg Junior High School, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
If the founding fathers knew then what nation knows now I believe that they would most likely change some forms of the executive branch. The founding fathers of the nation would have changed how the vice president would have been elected. One way the vice president could have been changed in early America is that the vice president can not be from the same state as the president. This is a great way of keeping one region from having too much power in the executive office. The amendments over the years made by Congress has effected the way our government is run. These amendments have made the Constitution more flexible allowing "Separation of Powers" to come into play quite well. Each amendment balances how the country is run. Nevertheless it also balances each branch of government so that one branch does not gain more power over the other. The amendments also effect how the presidential elections run. All of the new amendments over the years made by Congress are all great additions to Constitution which benefit the nation. There are definitely future modifications to the U.S. Constitution in the near future. Due to the current crisis in the stock market there might be a new amendment in the Constitution that could modify how the stock market condones their business so that if any errors or issues occur, it would not affect the United States tax payers. Furthermore another possible amendment might relate to future wars that the United States might have to overcome. This possible amendment would change how America would challenge any future wars. Roles and responsibilities would possibly be modified. Nevertheless Congress must remember and be very aware of the system of "Separation of Powers." This system must always be considered if there were any additional amendments to the Constitution. The roles and responsibilities of the president might change a little. The president might be assigned more important roles to work on. This would also imply more important responsibilities that the president would have to work through. A little more work would benefit the U.S. citizens and the country. This would be a very important precedent that future presidents in the future would strongly shift the country more into the positive. I believe that in the future there are other qualifications that are needed in electing a future president of America. I believe that the future presidents of America should receive votes from the people of the U.S. and votes from Congress in electing a future president of America. Not only if a president was elected using this method, it would be much more on the pro side of the board. Careful voting in electing a new president of America would definitely be beneficial for a more safer ran country. Nevertheless it would be most important for the future citizens of America.

10/1/2008

Ethan
Nimitz, Irving TX
The system we have works fairly well. Some might say that the extended primary system wears out voters and results in mud-slinging campaigns, but such a system is unavoidable. Perhaps it is even beneficial, as everyone tries to unearth every morsel of information that could indicate a bad candidate. I only wonder if we truly need an electoral college anymore. As I understand it, the electoral college was supposed to be a group of leaders that persuaded their constituents to vote for the the candidate they believe is best. I see nothing of that today. All the college seems to do today is occasionally go against the grain of the majority vote, giving victory to the candidate that technically got a smaller percentage of the national vote. Though not strictly necessary, doing away with the electoral college could perhaps unify us as one voting nation instead of dividing us into fifty piggy banks of votes.

10/1/2008

CiCi
Nimitz, Irving, TX
The Founding Fathers tried to find solutions to issues that were popping up during their time. Now, the United States has become a country that is more advanced and more knowledgeable than it once was. As the people change and find new issues to bring up, the branch tries to adapt. I believe that if the Founding Fathers knew what we know now,they would change certain things.

10/1/2008

Kirsten
Stroudsburg Junior High School, Pennsylvania
I think that if the founding fathers had known then what we know now, they would have changed a bit of the way they formed the government. They most definitely would not have made the presidential elections the same way, because of the snags that were discovered in the process. I think that they would have understood that this is a different world from the one that they lived in, and made the necessary changes. I also believe that the amendments made to our Constitution have allowed the political process to run more smoothly. They have allowed our government to achieve the success that it has today, and, though things do not always go perfectly, I cannot think of another amendment that should be made. When I am looking for the best candidate to represent me, I would look for their views on topic that are similar to mine, and what their priorities are while in office.

10/1/2008

James
SJHS, Stroudsburg, Pa
If the founding fathers knew then what we know now they would have made this nation a better one then it is now. They would have better rights and laws to support. Also the congress would be a lot powerful and stronger. The roles and the responsibilities would be to change the tax payers money so that we get it back and the non tax payers would go to jail or get fined big time for not paying there taxes like normal Americans. What I want in a president is a good guy or girl who makes the right decisions at the right time. One who has good plans and makes sure the nation is in perfect condition. And has a lot of experience in war and politics because there is Americans over seas dieing for us to sleep at night

10/1/2008

Kim
SJHS, Pennsylvania
If the founding fathers knew what we know now, they would probably make it so they could only serve two four-year terms, so one man couldn’t have and keep all the power until he dies. The amendments that have been added by Congress have greatly affected the way our government runs. Now a president can only serve 8 years, the vice president and president cannot be from the same state, and the man with the second highest votes no longer becomes vice-president. I don’t think that there should be more changes made, at least not that I can think of right now. I think our executive branch works pretty well right now and I don’t think we should change anything. I think a president should been extremely good at public speaking, and decision making. The man or woman should also be trustworthy and stick to what they say. I know that those are not qualities like we already have for the president, but I think we should look at a president’s personality too, not just where they were born and their age, when choosing who we like most.

10/1/2008

Dylan S.
SJHS, Stroudsburg
If the founding fathers knew what we knew today they probably would agree with the way the presidency works. They might disagree however with how the vice president is chosen. They would probably say that the nations have the right to choose the president and the vice president because the people know what is best. I believe that the amendments that Congress has added has allowed the government to follow a lot smoother and made the government better. I do not believe that the government needs to make any changes in the way the president is elected.

10/1/2008

Chris K
SJHS, Stroudsburg
I think that it would be different from today because the things we know, today. It gives more power to the people then to the government. I don’t think that any thing needs to be changed. Someone how is intelligent and knows what they are doing.

10/1/2008

Richard B.
Stroudsburg Junor High, PA Stroudsburg
If the people who made the Constitution they probably change it. Like in the global warming issue they would probably put an amendment that says that factories aren’t allowed to make a lot of carbon dioxide. Amendments have changed how the government works by one of the amendments saying that the president and vice-president can’t be from different political views because that would change how effective the government is. A change that should be made to the Constitution is how the people vote for the president. The American people should vote directly of the president of the U.S. Everything else about the government is fine.

10/1/2008

Adam
SJHS, Stroudsburg PA
I think that the founding fathers would just leave it the way it is now. They would probably think it is an okay system and would change it very little. Congress made an amendment that limits on how long a president can be president to two four-year terms. I don’t think anything should be changed and it is fine the way it is. I look for who can find a way to get the country out of debt.

10/1/2008

Ryan l
sjhs, stroudsburg
If the founding fathers knew what we knew I think that they would change the whole way that the USA is and that would impact the whole government. The amendments made it so that the USA is a better place. They also came up with laws and rights that change the ways that US citizens act. There are further modifications that should be made. When I think about what makes a good president I look at there leadership skills.

10/1/2008

Emily
SJHS, Stroudsburg
If the founding fathers knew what we know now, I think they would have made it so that the president and vice president were elected separately, instead of having the vice president be whoever gets the second number highest votes. Also, I think they would have the presidents only serve two terms so they didn’t give one person too much power for a long period of time. I think our government is more effective the way it is run now. The president and vice president are guaranteed to be from the same party, so it’s easier for them to agree on issues which allows them to run the country more effectively. Also, since inauguration is now on January 20th, there is less of a “lame duck” period in which the previous president has less power. I think that our government is effective the way it is and there isn’t much you could change to make it more effective. The president should be trustworthy and decisive. They should be a good public speaker to make the country feel more comfortable having them as a leader.

10/1/2008

Victoria r.
sjhs, stroudsburg, pa
I think the founding fathers would change the way the court system handles the criminals. I believe that the amendments made by congress haven’t really made that big of a difference because now we have more rights as citizens of the United States. I don’t really think that there are any more modifications that should be because I think that it’s fine the way it is but then again I’m just a kid. The roles and responsibilities shouldn’t be changed either, to me they’re just fine too. The qualifications that I look for In president is some who knows what he/she is doing and isn’t completely confused about where he/she stands in the elections.

10/1/2008

Elizabeth
Stroudsburg Junior High School, Stroudsburg/PA
If the founding fathers knew what we know no I believe that they would have changed the runner up becoming vice-president because I think they would have realized that they weren’t compatible, especially with having different opinions on running the country. Mainly, the amendments made by congress over the years have affected our presidencies. Like how we vote on bills that want to become laws, who is eligible to become president, if the president dies the vice-president steps in and takes over the job, and the president is only allowed to serve one term. At the moment I don’t know of any modifications that should be made. Although our country is changing and with the “bailout”, gas prices, and the war in Iraq, there is going to have some modifications made in our constitution. The qualifications I look for in a president is a person male or female of any race who will do what is needed for the country, and who doesn’t just say things to get elected, then don’t do what they said.

10/1/2008

Emily
sjhs, pa
I think the founding fathers would have changed the way the court system is handled, by making the court trial shorter and as soon as possible so that the people can go to jail. The amendments have affected our government by how they change things, such as being able to make decisions, by cutting taxes. No I think the government is run okay. Yes I think they should be more responsible for how high prices go for groceries. I think they should have had to graduated college.

10/1/2008

Isaiah
SJHS, Stroudsburg, PA
I think that if the founding fathers knew what we know today about politics we would be more advanced in that area. Not having to deal with the remedial problems we have today as a society. Such as taxes, income, economy and all the things that are still holding this country together. They would probably change the way it’s run like instead of having all this campaigning we would probably have a new president by now and maybe even let all ages vote to make a better election. Also we would also be better of in foreign affairs such as the war on terrorism and the oil crisis.

10/1/2008

Ivette
Nimitz, Irving, TX
I think Congress has done a good job making the presidential election run much smoother than when the founding fathers created it. If there should be any modifications, the electoral college should not be used in determining who will become president. What I am looking for in a president is someone who is confident in their decisions and is a good leader for this country.

10/1/2008

Ilva L. pd2
Northeast High School, Philadelphia Pa
I think that if the Founding Fathers new what we know now, they would have agreed to the way we rule. They would have thought differently about ruling the country. First of all I believe that you can’t have the two parties work together, because they both might have different ideas about ruling the country. Therefore, the president might need a vice president that he is comfortable working with, a person that he can trust. So they might need a president and a vice president from the same party. I believe that now the country has a good, reasonably parliament and a better way of ruling. So I think that they would find the answer for many problems and make the country a better place by making any new rule that is necessary for the country.

10/1/2008

Vy
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
Our Congress is constantly bettering government for the interest of the people. Progress did stagnate under suspicious shadows from time to time, but the amendments that eventually took root in American life have prevailed and propitiously affected the way our government is run. The War Powers Act, the 12th Amendment, the 22nd Amendment...Legislation like those effectively diversified and checked powers, because they limited the scope of influence that any one, dominate group could tap into. As a result, not only are we are protected from disastrous corruption, but we can also assume our nation to be better represented (“well rounded” perhaps) because of laws like the 12th Amendment. Our government still has a trove of complexities to resolve, but I have faith Congress will continue to make just Amendments to meet those problems.

10/1/2008

Fil
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
If the founding fathers knew what we knew now they would have given the executive branch more power over the other branches. The amendments made by Congress has helped the government run a lot smoother than before. The amendments have helped prevent problems that Congress thought would happen. I think the president should be allowed to run for more than two terms. Some presidents that have done great things for our country have had to stop because of the two-term limit. Even if a president we did not like tried to run again the public would not vote him into office. If you want to run for president you should not have to have a parties nomination.

9/30/2008

Blesson
Nimitz, Irving
I think that changes do need to be made to make it to the way we live life now. LIfe back when they wrote the amendments was different than the life we live now. As times change, so does the governement. Shouldn't we change the way we run our government then?

9/30/2008

Juan A.
Nimitz High School, Irving TX
I think that the government will always be making constant changes and improvements to the executive branch, as well as the other branches. I think that if the founding fathers knew what we know now then I think our government would be more developed and consistent. If they knew that in the beginning that it would have been better for each party to have their own candidates for president and vice president in the same parties, there wouldn’t have been any conflicts during presidency. I don’t know of any modifications or improvements that I would personally make now, but I’m sure that the government will always be thinking of ways to make our laws better. The amendments have had such an impact on the roles and responsibilities of everybody in the United States. A good example of this is the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. This was a huge deal seeing as it took almost 130 years after the very first amendment was made for women to have the right to vote. When I think about who I would vote for as our president, I always think about who wants to do the changes that our country most needs. I personally think that the United States is in a desperate need of a change and somebody else to be in charge.

9/30/2008

An
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
I believe that the Founding Fathers would change their views on how they set up the executive branch. They wouldn't had allow the runner-up candidate to be vice-president when the parties are different. The people are more inform with the president candidates along with information on our government. The electoral college should be changed to allow the each candidate have the percent they won for each of the states. Congress has made the right choices for the amendment made and it has better the country. I believe that the president should know all the economic troubles and a plan to help fix it. He should also be able to deal with the country's problems.

9/29/2008

Maria O
Irving, TX, Nimitz HS
Since increases in technology have allowed the American public to be more informed about presidential candidates, I think that the electoral college should be slowly phased out. The Founding Fathers made the correct decision in instituting it, but times have changed and so has the American public. That being said, there are those among the general public who vote solely based on party alliances, which is a negative. Perhaps less influence should be placed on Democrat/Republican and more influence should be placed on each candidate. Congress has done a great job of realizing where modifications were needed and smoothed things out with Amendments to the Constitution. The way things are now, separation of powers seems to be working, especially after the War Powers act modified the president's role in controlling troops while still maintaining Congress' control. As time progresses, I'm sure more instances will arise that may warrant more amendments, but for now the roles and responsibilities of the executive branch should not be altered.

9/29/2008

Riniah
Irving, Nimitz HS
I really believe that the electoral college should be done away with, because it keeps the people from directly electing the president. I think that the electoral college was made because the founding fathers doubted the capacity of the average American to make decision. If the electoral college deems it necessary the can change a whole election, and personally I think it is unfair to the American people, and a bit hypocritic, because we say we have democracy but in actuality we do not.

9/29/2008

Marcus
Irving, Nimitz
In my mind, Congress is right in making amendments for presidency. They have done a good job of making sure that the process of becoming president is much smoother than in the founding father's day. Perhaps the founding fathers didn't take into account that different political parties aren't a good choice for president and vice-president, as tension usually follows. My only recommendation to the current path is for more of a stress on the electoral college. In many states, like Texas, whoever wins the popular vote gets ALL of the electoral votes. Perhaps it would be more fair to divide the electoral votes on the proportion of popular votes. More emphasis is put on each individual vote which can improve voter turnout as well. Other than that, I think that the path to the executive office is pretty smooth and Congress had done a good job.

9/29/2008

Alan
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
If the founding fathers knew what we know now, I think they would have a different point of view than they did in the past. The electoral college needs to be taken away, so the majority can decide who runs for president. Founding fathers probably thought the American citizens have some idea about the candidate but not enough. But now today, American citizens can watch television, look up in the internet, or hear about the candidates on the radio. They can gain more knowledge now than ever before. Congress has done a good job making amendments for the executive branch. Also with the electoral college, the states should not make a winner take all, instead they should split if one part of the state disagrees with the others parts of the states. Some qualifications I look for a president is their stance on issues and have confidence in themselves to lead the United States. As time goes on, more amendments should ratify to make the executive branch better. Overall the executive branch has worked out well for the most part.

9/29/2008

Ana
Nimitz, Irving
Today we should be very relieved, that in this modern country we can vote for the president we really want to be the ruler of our country. The Founding Fathers, would have never imagined how the future would look like, if not their thoughts would've been others. Thanks to the Amendments, choosing a president is more easier and we can decide which president is best, and although some people do choose theirpresident by the type of party, that is their choice and sometimes they may not like what kind of person and president will be.

9/29/2008

Alejandra D.V.
Nimitz H.S., Irving/Tx.
Certain qualifications that I look for in a president that will be able to represent me is for them to be able to get their point across to the public. For him or her to be able to say something and actually mean it. Also, for him to have had experience in politics and government.

9/29/2008

Stephanie
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
Looking back on how much America has changed since the founding fathers, I've realized how much Congress has helped update our Consitution based on how society works presently. I think its sad how some people are so closed minded when choosing a candidate. Like always sticking to their political party's chosen candidate or even not voting at all because they feel like they dont have a voice. If the founding fathers realized how informed society is now with presidential elections, I think they would have given citizens more voice. But we have to keep in mind, the majority of citizens during their time that were voting were wealthy white males. I believe the reason why our society is so informed and more diverse than ever is because now people are exercising their rights of free speech.

9/28/2008

Lavonne
Irving, Nimitz
First of all, let me start by saying, I despise the presidential campaigns are portrayed: the media buzz, the bashing of the opposing parties and canidates, the focus taken off the real issues. Rather than focusing on the issues, the canidates seem to focus on disproving each other. The canidates try to sell themselves; they will tell anybody anything to try to gain their vote. They give glorious speeches full of empty promises. After all, how can one judge the sincerity of anyone running for a political office? I believe that if the founding fathers knew what we know they would make the requirments different for becoming president. The three main requirments are not enough for someone is suppose to guard and protect the citizens and lead the country. Also, how many great canidates do we never hear about because they don't have the status or the money to run campaigns and advertisements. Running for president should be based on character, experience, and what the action they will take for the betterment of the people, not empty promises and feel good words.

9/28/2008

Andrea C.
Irving, Nimitz High School
If the founding fathers knew then what we know now, I don't think they would change the power of the President all that much. I think that they would keep it the way that they had planned, allowing Congress to change what they felt needed to change in order to better the United States as a whole. The decisions that Congress has made in the past and the ones they might make in the future are the decisions that have influenced our government to run at a pace that is acceptable to the United States citizens, guaranteeing that our rights are understood and that our government does not become a monarchy. I don't think there are more modifications that can be made, I believe that Congress has thought of everything right now, but as the world continues to evolve many things will start to change and ultimately everything comes up to what Congress thinks is better. My qualifications that I look for when deciding who to pick come down to just recognizing that they stand for what I believe and can represent those ideas in a clear manner and hoping that they have a vision for what the United States should be in the future.

9/28/2008

Lexy
Irving, Nimitz
With knowing what we know now, I believe that our forefathers would have taken into account that understanding the actual people of America is much more important than picking a war veteran or someone with a high quality name. This would have changed many elections because learning how things work (and don't work) would have excelled election processes into the most efficient and easy way possible. Including, smart voters, teenage advancement, deleting idiot candidates and others would push the U.S. into high gear towards an almost perfect election process.

9/27/2008

Kaycee
Irving, TX Nimitz H.S
I think that if the founding fathers could have predicted how much the world would have changed, the decisions they would have made would have been very different. I don’t think that the people have enough say in who our president is. In so many things with the government we have representatives making so many choices for us. Unlike in the early days of our nation, we have better capabilities in finding out who our candidates are, and what they stand for. Our founding fathers never planned on so many presidential elections coming so close. They thought that one candidate would rise above the others, making them the clear winner of the presidency. But that just isn’t how things happened. The power that the president has now is more than enough and should remain the way it is, but the real problem is the president and congresses’ communication skills, or the lack of communication between the two. They don’t listen to each other. There needs to be a way that our government actually does what it is supposed to do. Govern.

9/26/2008

Milu
Irving, Nimitz High School
If our founding fathers knew how things are now, I think many things would be different. The citizens of America now know more information about the candidates then back in the day. The voters should be given more power to actually chose their president then let someone else do it for them. The people of the United States are the ones who are going to be affected by the outcome of the election, so they should be the ones to chose which president they think should run their country. The roles and responsibilities of the president should remain at what they are because it prevents the president from having too much or too little power.

9/24/2008

Katherine S.
Nimitz High School, Irving TX
If the founding fathers knew then what we know now they would probably want to include an I.Q. test in the qualifications to run for president that way Bush would never even have been able to run. If they knew that we would have such an incompetent president when they were writing the constitution then they would want to prevent that in some way. I also think that if the founding fathers knew that ordinary citizens would be so well informed like we are today then they would not have made the electoral college and would have let the popular vote elect the president. we do not need the electoral college anymore and it should be abolished. The thing I look for most when choosing a president is what their views are. If I agree with her stance on most issues then I will choose her.

9/24/2008

Drew
EAHS, Elizabethtown, PA
I think we should go back to the old system. Having two different view points in the white house will force the discussion of every topic. For the topic to pass through both parties will have had a say in the matter. Sure, it will take longer but by having both sides talk and come to an agreement we will find common ground.

9/24/2008

Jon
EAHS, Elizabethtown, PA
I think we should stay we this system that we have now the old system. I don't think will work both. Mcain and Obama have different things that they want to change and they do not agree on anything that each other have to say. If we go back to the old system it will cause more trouble in Washington and all across the United States.

9/24/2008

Alex
Elizabethtown High School, Elizabethtown, PA
I think if we eliminated the electoral college and went straight to a majority vote it would make the election a much easier process to go through. The electoral college doesn't make sense to me and i think if it was gone it would make the election a little bit more fair and would allow to public to understand how the candidate won/loss

9/24/2008

Michael
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown High School
I personally believe that the world can not truly be changed. I believe that most politicians are liars and do so just to get into office. Many are incapable of producing actual change. As far as our economy goes, I believe that economies are set to a rotation, to clarify, I believe there is always a point where the economy falls behind and eventually will come back up again.

9/24/2008

Caitlyn Z.
Bainbridge, Elizabethtown Area High School
I think we should not have the losing president as vice president, it would cause more issues because obviously then the vp and the p would not be thinking the same way on everything. Right now we need someone who is ready to get started as soon as they get elected, the last thing we need is to have someone who wants to wait and not change anything.

9/24/2008

Mitchell
EAHS, Elizabethtown, PA
I think that the founding fathers would have kept everything that they had before. They were all about getting all sides and they would want both parties to have a say in everything that goes in the executive branch. I think that the person that loses the presidential election should still get a position in the branch just to keep other views available.

9/24/2008

Michael
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown High School
I personally believe that the world can not truly be changed. I believe that most politicians are liars and do so just to get into office. Many are incapable of producing actual change. As far as our economy goes, I believe that economies are set to a rotation, to clarify, I believe there is always a point where the economy falls behind and eventually will come back up again.

9/24/2008

Koti
Elizabethtown, ElizabethtownArea High School
I like how the system of government currently is, but I wonder if this is what the founding fathers had in mind. If it isn't what would they do/say about it?

9/24/2008

Luke N.
Elizabethtown, eahs
I think that we should eliminate the electoral college and let the majority make the decision of who will be president. I feel this would be better for the country because the majority should have more of a say then the electoral college. Doing away with the electoral college would make the election more fair.

9/24/2008

Anthony
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown Area High School
I think that the people/Electoral College should be able to decide their president, not the U.S. Constitution. When the Constitution was written, they did not take into affect the technological advances that we have made. As a country, we can accuratly take vote on the presidential election. I believe that if the right president is elected, that person can make a huge difference in turning our country around. So if we the people want our country to change, we need to vote for the canidate who could best change and shape our country.

9/24/2008

Megan
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown Area High School
I think our system should be left the way it is. It's worked for all these years, and I don't see any reason to change it. Every plan will have its flaws; no matter what way we set up our system, there will always be problems. So I think we should just keep everything the way it is.

9/24/2008

Kristine
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown High School
After reading the article, I argree and approve of our current system of government. However, I think that once a new president is elected changes need to be made. A president cannot merely talk about change, they need to make changes that have the country's well-being at heart. Therefore when people go to vote this election, they need to truly think before they pull the lever for a particular candidate.

9/24/2008

Brian M.
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown
Well, when you have two opposing senators running for president there is bound to be conflict. It was a great idea to not have the loser become the vice president. Congress is a big part of how our economy is doing in the world today. Laws that get passed through congress and become laws will directly effect our economy. I belive we should keep our system the way it is and no further modifications are needed.

9/24/2008

Chad
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown
Further modifications should be made due to conflicts during the election campaign. We should look to support our future leaders more in the political aspect rather than look for their weaknesses and other things outside of politics.

9/24/2008

Mitch C.
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown Area High School
I believe that the Electoral College is a pointless system because we do not need them to decide the final vote that we, the people, just deciced. Some qualifications in a president that I look for is the ability to react to confrontations. I want a president that can act on his feet. I want a president that can bring this country back together and become the most powerful nation.

9/24/2008

Will L
elizabethtown, eahs
The founding fathers would have never been able to understand the changes of today. If they would have though, they would have realised that making the runner up vice president would be a bad idea. People with totally opposite views would not be a good way to be in the white house. Nothing would get done and there would constantly be fighting.

9/24/2008

Anna
Elizabethtown , Elizabethtown High School
Of course our founding fathers would have adapted to today's society. However, they also intended for the United States to evolve as a government and to change amendments as the times change. As new technology is created as a society we need to decide on how to include these into our laws and government. Today's President should be aware of today's happenings more than ever. There are so many more expectations of the presidents today than ever before.

9/24/2008

Anna
Elizabethtown , Elizabethtown High School
Of course our founding fathers would have adapted to today's society. However, they also intended for the United States to evolve as a government and to change amendments as the times change. As new technology is created as a society we need to decide on how to include these into our laws and government. Today's President should be aware of today's happenings more than ever. There are so many more expectations of the presidents today than ever before.

9/24/2008

Mitch C.
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown Area High School
I believe that the Electoral College is a pointless system because we do not need them to decide the final vote that we, the people, just deciced. Some qualifications in a president that I look for is the ability to react to confrontations. I want a president that can act on his feet. I want a president that can bring this country back together and become the most powerful nation.

9/24/2008

Colt
Elizabethtown, Eahs
We should go back to the old system with the runner up for presidency gets elected as vice president. That would make the diffrent views that they have make them come to a better decision.

9/24/2008

Valerie
Elizabethtown, EAHS
I think that going back to the old system isn't a bad idea, but with some revisions. There could be some conflicts between the two parties but there could be a way they could come up with a compromise.

9/24/2008

Valerie
Elizabethtown, EAHS
I think that going back to the old system isn't a bad idea, but with some revisions. There could be some conflicts between the two parties but there could be a way they could come up with a compromise

9/24/2008

Zach
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown Area High School
I feel that the big media blitz of today's elections is unnecessary for finding the right person for the job. Constant ads going for the opponent's jugular are excessive and usually give or make false accusations. The people need to start doing their own research and learning the true beliefs of the president for themselves.

9/24/2008

Corin
Bainbridge, Elizabethtown
I think the qualifications are okay. Some things need to change because the public is so much more informed than they were back then. We don't really need the electoral college anymore. We are informed enough to make decissions for ourselves.

9/24/2008

Charley D
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown Area High School
After reading the article, I wonder if Congress has too much power? Is it really necessary to create an amendment allowing the president only two terms in office? Congress has the power to impeach, obviously impeachment would like to be avoided at all costs, but abusement of power seems like a valid reason, if it would come to that. Should there be more checks and balences placed on the legislative branch?

9/24/2008

Rowdy
Elizabthetown, Elizabthtown High School
I think that the runner up should be vice president instead of the canidates picking there vice.

9/24/2008

Courtney
Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown
I don't think this would work because they both have different viewpoints and it is very clear that neither of them have much in common with the other. Just leave it the way it is; there might be two different viewpoints in the White House but there will probably be little agreements made.

9/24/2008

Courtney
Elizabethtown, EAHS
I think that having two different viewpoints in White House would be a good change. Obviously, they would not always agree on everything, but it would be be good to have someone to represent both political parties in office. That way both parties would have a say in what is best for the country.

9/24/2008

Samantha S. Pd.4
NEHS, Philadelphia, PA
After reading this article and thinking about how the world is today I realize just how much society in America has changed. If our founding fathers could see how America is now back when they wrote the Constitution one thing that i don't believe that they would have included was that right to bear arms.I also think that they would have the qualifications for the presidency be a little more then what they are because of the mentality of most politicians is corrupted by greed. As for how have the amendments made to the Constitution affected our government. These amendments have made the government run as well as it can for how things are now.

9/24/2008

Samantha S pd 2
NEHS, Philadelphia, PA
I believe that it was a good idea for them to change the rules of vice presidency. If you are elected president, you need your vice president to be someone that you trust and get along with. If they thought to change this a long time ago, our government would be a little different, but having a rival to agree or disagree with your decision might help make the decisions better for the people. The different sides show different views, therefor both sides of society could be happy.

9/24/2008

Jurida R Pd.2
NEHS, Philadelphia, PA
If the Founders Fathers knew then what we know now, the government could have been slighter different. They might have changed the requirements to become president, by making it harder. The amendments made by Congress over the years have made our social a great place at times, because of the laws and rights we have in place. No, I don’t think there should be further modifications that could be made. The roles would be the same. The responsibilities would be the same but hard and more. The qualification I look for when choosing a president representing me are self- control, skillful, educated, courage and fairness. Another thing I look at a president is that s/he is willing to a might that they are wrong when they are.

9/23/2008

Dante J.
Philadelphia, University City
Well, it does make sense to not have rivals that were just "bashing" each other in campaign commercials and debates to be running in the same office under one another, because it would cause too much conflict.

9/23/2008

Michele
Philadelphia, University City High School
To me the best president to represent not just me but my family as well is the one who is readly to make a change. In the U.S. to see that all people are safe, not homeless, there are so many houses that are not in use no one should be on the street and so many jobs no one should be with out money. I think the the president should make the U.S. a better home for all the people.

9/23/2008

Julisa
Philadelphia, University City High School
I feel as though that we need a president that is going to help us have a better country and etc. And personally I think Barack Obama is the right person to elect, John McCain is like another George Bush. We need some one who is really going to do what they have to, to make America a better place and make things right. Not someone who is going to constantly bring people in war to die and not care. When pepole go to vote they need to think about all of these qualifications... that's how I feel!!!!

9/23/2008

Shavonne
Philadelphia, University City High School
I think that it not right for the constitution to choose the president. The poeple who live in the state should be able to pick who they want to be the president of their state. Not who the constitution think who should be in the office.

9/22/2008

Carrie
glendale, BD
I wonder if we could get away with eliminating the electoral college and go by a straight majority vote? Now with internet and instant communication and archived info, everyday people can access the candidates and their message. They no longer need a middle man to make the decision of who to vote for. Also, I wonder if we could also have all states vote in primaries on the same day to avoid only a few states to decide who is "in" and who is "out".

9/22/2008

Hamilton M
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
My opinion about that is that the President is chosen under the Constitution, it was intended to automatically give us a government or people with experience. The public wasn't necessarily expected to have any direct vote, not even for the Electoral College. The EC picks the President, and they themselves are selected in the manner the states choose. That very process of putting layers between the populace and the decision was intended to give us the best possible candidates, and to pick the best of the best, he/she who can govern us directly right. Also, the amendments made by Congress over the years have affected the way our government is run and how it's members are selected.

9/22/2008

Hamilton M.
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
My opinion about that is that the President is chosen under the Constitution, it was intended to automatically give us a government or people with experience. The public wasn't necessarily expected to have any direct vote, not even for the Electoral College. The EC picks the President, and they themselves are selected in the manner the states choose. The very process of putting layers between the populace and the decision was intended to give us the best possible candidates, and to pick the best of the best, he/she who can govern us directly right. Also, the amendments made by Congress over the years have affected the way our government is run and how it's members are selected.

9/22/2008

Jessica Pd.2 9.22.08
Philadelphia, NEHS
The mechanics of how the President is chosen under the Constitution was intended to automatically give us people with experience. The public wasn't necessarily expected to have any direct vote, not even for the Electoral College. The EC picks the President, and they themselves are selected in the manner the states choose. That very process of putting layers between the populace and the decision was intended to give us the best possible candidates, and to pick the best of the best. In addition, the mechanism should no candidate get a simple majority in the Electoral College deserves note. Should we have three candidates receive EC votes, but no one of them gets a majority, they don't caucus, there's no run-off, the decision is placed in the House of Representatives, who can pick any of the three, including the third place finisher. As far as which is a Constitutional authority, I'd say it was Bob Barr. McCain wrote McCain-Feingold, so that eliminates him for sure, and Obama was a former Law Professor, suggesting he's more familiar with case law than the Constitution itself. You don't get to be an expert on food by studying food critics, and you don't find out what the Constitution says by reading cases; all either tells you is what other people have said about their subjects.

9/22/2008

Eric
Seattle, Hrc Seattle
In my opinion, we have a long way to go to turn this country around. And the next president should have the guts to make difficult decisions based on the facts that he has gathered. Not just talk about what he thinks he will be able to do. He needs to show that he CAN do what he's talking about! I've been paying close attention to this presidential race and one of the candidates likes to tip toe around the questions he is being asked. It's like he doesn't want to say something wrong that could effect his popularity! If you're running for president then you should speak your mind and if some people don't like what you're saying then that's too bad for them! If all you say is what the voters want to hear and not what you believe then when you do get into office and finally do speak your mind you won't have many peopple backing you because you totally changed your mind when you got into office and people won't know what you believe!

9/22/2008

Hayat
Ssattle, HRC Seattle
I think that the founding fathers would change the fact that the presidential candidates are chosen by the Electoral College instead of being chosen directly by the people. One of the qualifications that I look for when choosing which candidate will best represnt me is knowledge of current events and foreign relations. The presidential candidate should be aware of the things that are happening around the world because when he meets with other leaders he/she should be able to discuss the current issues facing the world and try to come up with a solution for each issue.

9/22/2008

Kris
Seattle, HRC
The whole idea of our government is to run the things that the common person doesn't understand; the best government is a small one. Sure, the founding fathers never could have envisioned America as we now know it, but the fact still remains that we don't need a big government to prosper. The american people are intelligent enough to lead their own lives. Our constitution is pretty self-explanatory, giving the people the majority of the power. The main qualifications I look for in the president are his/her ability to act decisivly in a crisis and lowering taxes, because the president doesn't have that much power; the power is divided between the three branches, with the executive having the least power.

9/22/2008

Hanin M.pd5
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
If our founding fathers knew what we know today, the role of government would be different. For instance, so many new discoveries, inventions, cures, and technology have been made since then. The way people acknowledge and interpret things are viewed differently today than back than. The amendments made made by Congress over the years had made America great and known for its laws and rights. Based on the Constitution, amendments and/or Bill of Rights, everything has rights and should be respected and protected. I believe that the Constitution has given us freedom and rights its just that people violate and disrespect what one another has. The thing I look at in presidents which is extremely importantis their strength and ability; that they are not just talking the talk' but also walking the walk. therefore, I wish that the next president could actually make a difference for the common good and improve our lives.

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