The Presidency 42

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2.16 Political parties can empower presidents to set their own agendas.  President Andrew Jackson was the first to take advantage of the new political situation. He was elected in 1828 with a new, well-organized party, a majority of the popular vote, and a majority in the Electoral College. He used his power base aggressively, becoming the first president to veto bills for inconsistencies with his preferred policies. This behavior was a substantive deviation from the framers’ vision of a president limited to execution of the laws adopted by Congress, and it set an example of what was possible for all the Presidents to follow.

Image: Bill Clinton, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian.

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