American Issues. The American Presidency

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1 American Issues The American Presidency 1

2 Multiple choice test 1. The two major political parties in the USA are? a) The Republican Party and the American Party b) The Democratic Party and the Republican Party c) The Democratic Party and the Liberty Party d) The Republican Party and the Libertarians 2. The president of the USA is elected every a) 3rd year b) 4th year c) 5th year d) 6th year 3. The president must be at least a) 30 years old b) 32 years old c) 35 years old d) 40 years old 4. According to the 1951, 22nd Amendment to the American Constitution no president can serve for more than two terms, which is to say for eight years. One American president was elected to four terms. Who? a) George Washington b) Ulysses S. Grant c) Franklin D. Roosevelt d) John Adams 5. A newly elected president gives his inaugural address on a) the 20th of January b) the 1st of January c) the 20th of November d) the 1st of February 6. How many presidents have held the American presidency so far? (Including the one elected on November the 20th 2008) a) 43 b) 44 c) 42 d) 41 2

3 7. In the USA you can vote from the age of a) 21 b) 18 c) 19 d) The US legislative branch consists of two assemblies called a) The House of Democrats and the Senate b) The Capitol and the Senate c) The House of Representatives and the Senate d) The delegates and the senators 9. Each State of the USA has a) 2 senators b) 2 or three senators depending on population rate c) 4 senators d) 1 senator 10. Senators serve for a period of a) 2 years b) 4 years c) 5 years d) 6 years 11. Congressmen serve for a) 2 years b) 4 years c) 6 years d) 8 years 12. How are the Supreme Court justices appointed? a) They are elected by the voters. b) They are nominated by the President and the nomination is confirmed by the Senate c) They are nominated by Congress, but the President can veto the nomination d) They are elected by an electoral college 13. A Supreme Court Justice serves for a) life b) 20 years 3

4 c) 4 years d) 7 years 14. The Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe versus Wade (1973) a) was about equal pay for women. b) was about abortion rights. c) was about equality for all races. d) Was about prisoners rights. 15. In Miranda versus Arizona (1966) the Supreme Court decided that a) A suspect of a criminal offence has the right to keep silent during questioning by the police. b) A suspect of a criminal offence has the right to an attorney. c) A suspect of a criminal offence has the right to one phone-call. d) A suspect of a criminal offence has the right to decide in what state he or she should have his case tried. 16. In Brown versus Board of Education (1954) a) All children were granted the right to free education. b) It was decided that segregation in school was unequal and unconstitutional. c) It said that freedom of speech also included school-teachers about educational matters. d) That all girls schools were unconstitutional. 17) The Supreme Court has a) 7 justices b) 5 justices c) 12 justices d) 9 justices 4

5 Assignment How is the President of the United States elected? Enumerate the events of the election chronologically from 1-6 On the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November every four years all 50 states are scheduled to hold elections and select members of the Electoral College, which have a total of 538 votes. The candidate has to achieve at least 270 votes in order to win the presidency. At the primaries or caucuses candidates for the presidency are chosen. Members of the Electoral College meet to cast their votes for President and Vice President, which is to some extent only a formality since they have their mandate from the voters. However so-called faithless electors, i.e. electors who disregard the popular vote, have emerged throughout history but have never affected the outcome. The President is inaugurated and gives his inaugural address. At the Democratic respectively the Republican National Conventions candidates for the presidency and the vice presidency are nominated. The votes of the electors of the Electoral College are sent to Congress, which counts the votes and formally approves its choice of president. 5

6 Assignment a) List the following American presidents in chronological order, starting with the one who was first elected president. 1. James E. Carter, junior 2. George W. Bush 3. John F. Kennedy 4. George H. W. Bush 5. Richard Nixon 6. Harry S. Truman 7. William J. Clinton 8. Lyndon B. Johnson 9. Dwight D. Eisenhower 10. Franklin D. Roosevelt 11. Gerald Ford 12. Ronald Reagan b) Divide the presidents above according to the political parties they represented. 6

7 Assignment: Which campaign slogan for which presidential candidate? Herbert Hoover Bill Clinton George Bush Jimmy Carter George W. Bush Dwight Eisenhower Ross Perot Al Gore Putting People First Not Just Peanuts Ross for Boss I Like Ike A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage Kinder, Gentler Nation Prosperity and progress Leave no child behind (Source: 7

8 Assignment a) Compare the presidential campaign slogans below. b) How are they similar? How are they different? c) Discuss whether it is easy or not to decide if the slogans are launched by a Republican or a Democratic candidate Ronald Reagan: Are you better off than you were four years ago? 1984 Ronald Reagan: It s morning again in America 1984 Walter Mondale: America Needs a Change 1992 Bill Clinton: Don t stop thinking about tomorrow 1996 Bill Clinton: Building a bridge to the 21st century 1996 Bob Dole: The Better Man for a Better America 2004 John Kerry: Let America be America Again 2004 George W. Bush: Yes, America Can! 2008 John McCain: Reform, Prosperity and Peace 2008 Hillary Clinton: Ready for change. Ready to lead 2008 Barack Obama: Change We Can Believe In (Source: 8

9 Assignment: Complete the following sentences A swing state is a state in which... A blue state is defined by a majority of... A red state holds a majority of... A carpetbagger is a politician, who... If you flip-flop in politics, you tend to... A maverick is a term used about a politician, who... 9

10 Assignment: Who is who? John McCain or Barack Obama? 1. He said, We need to listen to the views of our democratic allies in a speech about foreign policy. (Source: Newsweek vol. 151, No 14, 2008) 2. Presently he is a US Senator from Illinois. 3. Presently he is a US Senator from Arizona. 4. He first ran for the Senate in His now former pastor Jeremiah Wright turned out to be a liability to his campaign. 6. In 2006 he published his thoughts of reclaiming the American dream in his highly publicized book called Audacity of Hope. 7. In 2002 he published a book called Worth the Fighting for. 8. In a Newsweek interview this presidential candidate was asked, Do you agree that we are engaged in a War on Terror, as President Bush has defined it? He answered the question as follows, I think it s a military, intelligence, diplomatic and ideological conflict. Most importantly, in the long run it is an ideological struggle... within the Muslim community, between those who are extremists and those who are moderate. And then another struggle exists between everything we stand for and value and the extremists who have gained significant influence in some parts of the world. 9. This candidate is a graduate of Harvard Law School. 10. This is what this presidential candidate said in his announcement for President on February 10, 2007, Most of all, let s be the generation that never forgets what happened on that September day and confront the terrorists with everything we ve got. Politics doesn t have to divide us on this anymore - we can work together to keep our country safe. I ve worked with Republican Senator Dick Lugar to pass a law that will secure and destroy some of the world s deadliest, unguarded weapons. We can work together to track terrorists down with a stronger military, we can tighten the net around their finances, and we can improve our intelligence capabilities. But let us also understand that ultimate victory against our enemies will come only by rebuilding our alliances and exporting those ideals that bring hope and opportunity to millions around the globe. 10

11 Assignment Insert the missing words in the word patterns below Noun (a concept/abstract) Adjective Noun (a person) 1. Opportunism 2. politician 3. radical 4. Patriotism 5. Zealotism 6. Presidency president 7. liberal 8. populist 9. Idealism 11

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