Sunday, November 23, 2008

Moving to the Presidency

The Next Couple of Weeks...

The hottest ticket in Washington is the Presidential inauguration. The city will be packed for the event; pretty exciting stuff. The hottest ticket for AP Government teachers right now is getting into our units on the Presidency. This is my personal favorite area to teach. I really get into looking at the Executive Branch and all of the intricacies that go into the formation of the White House.

In the next couple of weeks I would like to turn our discussions to the White House, President Elect Obama, President Bush, and the myriad of details that surround the Executive Branch. A presidential election year is always special for a government or political science teacher. For one, the creation and formation of a new administration happens right before our eyes. This morning I watched the Sunday pundits agonize over the new cabinet picks and White House insiders. The process is fascinating. The Internet brings such transpency to the process. Those of you who taught AP Government during the transition period for Clinton and even for Bush (II) will remember how difficult it was to get reliable information quickly. We almost have too much information now.

In that vein, I would point you in the direction of the CCN Election Center for a site to send your students. Next week my students will be asked to give me biographical information on 3-4 of Mr. Obama's Cabinet selections. This will be a jumping off point for discussions on the politics of selecting a Cabinet that is acceptable to the Senate confirmation process and capable of handling the issues of the day for the President. We will do our own vetting of the candidates anticipating the final selections and confirmation.

I will also ask the students to read another CNN article hopefully to stimulate a conversation in class about the best type of that falls in line with the President and his philosophy ( for example, our current President) or one that has a Lincoln style of adversarial opinions. If you spend any time discussing the management style of the President (Hub and Spoke, Pyramid or Military, Ad Hoc) this article can lead to some great analysis and spectulation. Will Mr. Obama be more like a John Kennedy in his management style, an Eisenhower, or a George W. Bush? You will find this in Lesson 21 in Hippocampus' AP Government and Politics.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have been very thankful for having the opportunity to share with you this fall in the Hippocampus Government Blog. Until next time...

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