Parliamentary system – A system of government in which the legislature selects the prime minister or president.
Presidential ticket – The joint listing of the presidential and vice presidential candidates on the same ballot as required by the Twelfth Amendment.
Treaty – A formal, public agreement between the United States and one or more nations that must be approved by two thirds of the Senate.
Executive agreement – A formal agreement between the U.S. president and the leaders of other nations that does not require Senate approval.
Congressional-executive agreement – A formal agreement between a U.S. president and the leaders of other nations that acquires approval by both houses of Congress.
Veto – A formal decision to reject the bill passed by Congress.
Pocket veto – A formal decision to reject a bill passed by Congress after it adjourns – if Congress adjourns during the ten days that the president is allowed in order to sign or veto law, the president can reject the law by taking no action at all.
Take care clause – The constitutional requirement (in Article II, Section 3) that presidents take care that the laws are faithfully executed, even if they disagree with the purpose of those laws.
Inherent powers – Powers that grow out of the very existence of government.
State of the Union Address – The president’s annual statement to Congress and the nation.
Impeachment – Formal accusation against a president or other public official, the first step in removal from office.
Executive privilege – The right to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to National Security.
Executive orders – Formal orders issued by the president to direct action by the Federal bureaucracy.
Impoundment - A decision by the president not to spend money appropriated by Congress, now prohibited under Federal law.
Line item veto – Presidential power to strike, or remove, specific items from a spending bill without vetoing the entire package; declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Chief of staff – The head of the White House staff.
Executive Office of the President – The cluster of presidential staff agencies that help the president carry out his responsibilities. Currently the office includes the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisers, and several other units.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – Presidential staff the agency that serves as a clearinghouse for budgetary requests and management improvements for government agencies.
Cabinet – Advisory council for the president consisting of the heads of the executive departments, the vice president, and a few other officials selected by the president.
Rally point – A rising public approval of the president that follows a crisis as Americans “rally ’round the flag” and the chief executive.
Mandate – A president’s claim of broad public support.
Cycle of decreasing influence – The tendency of presidents to lose support over time.
Cycle of increasing effectiveness – The tendency of presidents to learn more about doing their jobs over time.