The Presidency – Quiz 3

Free course on the presidency. One paragraph per day.

Which statements about American political parties are true?

  • They have to be pre-approved by the government.
  • They help candidates mobilize and organize people. 
  • They help voters by showing how their candidates and policies are different and superior. 
  • They can help sitting presidents build support for their preferred policies. 

Martin Van Buren hoped that creating national parties would:

  • Help him financially.
  • Replace politicians’ personal preferences with a well-defined party agenda.
  • Bridge regional tensions. 
  • Ensure that the winning party of the day would face future competition.

What are some ways national parties can amplify presidential power?

  • Through military leadership.
  • Modern presidents are treated as the leader of their party.
  • Ambitious presidents who have enough supporters can use their party machinery to put pressure on federal legislators as well as state governors and legislators.
  • Presidential candidates with sufficient excess campaign committee funds can influence federal and state elections by directing some of their campaign committee funds to favored state and local candidate committees, or by directing funds to a local, state, or national political party committee.

A president blessed by a sufficiently large political base and a well-organized party may be in a position to run against congressional mandates.  Was that part of the framer’s original vision?

  • Yes, a large political base is evidence of a mandate for a president’s policies.
  • No, such behavior is a substantive deviation from the framers’ vision of a president limited to execution of the laws adopted by Congress.

Which statement reflects Martin Van Buren’s view of the personal political goals of presidential candidates?

  • Something desirable.
  • Something to be avoided.

Answers: For all questions, only the first choice is incorrect. Click here to go back to the course.

Application:  Based on what you have learned so far, would you argue that presidents should or should not be allowed to be partisan? Would your answer depend upon how much power a president has?

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