Political Science 3300, The American Presidency, April 16, 2012



For a Watergate Chronology, click here


1. The Heroic President and the Limits of Power



2. The Setting: A Regime in Disarray


        Deep Divisions In The Nation, 1968-1969


        The Politics of Preemption


3. The Main Characters:


    Richard Nixon - An "Active-Negative" - assumes the Heroic Presidency


                - A self-reliant manager

    Nixon increasingly depended on loyalists in the White House staff, especially


    The H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman (The Palace Guard)


4. The Motive: National Security Leaks

        - Spring, 1970: Student demonstrations peak


        - July, 1970:
            Nixon approves the "Huston plan" to expanding domestic spying.

        - June 1971: The New York Times and other papers begin publishing

            The Pentagon Papers (here are excerpts) leaked by Daniel Ellsberg


5. The Plumbers Unit




6. The Crime



7. The Election and the Opening Months of Nixon's second term





8. The Investigations



        A Special Prosecutor: Archibald Cox



        The Senate Watergate Committee



        The tapes



9. The "Saturday Night Massacre"



        A new special prosecutor: Leon Jaworski



10. The Supreme Court and United States v. Nixon (1974)


The Dispute: Nation versus Leader







11. Impeachment Hearings


12. The Consequences



The President and the Courts 

    1. The Political Nature of American Courts


        Limited, Reactive Powers


        A lagging indicator of Political Time




    2. Presidents Against the Courts



                Marbury v. Madison (1803)



                Franklin Roosevelt and the Court Packing Scheme (1937)



    3. Presidential Appointments: Changing the Courts



Presidents and Policy Leadership


1. Prosperity, Presidents, and Politics



2. The Politics of Monetary Policy: Expertise



3. The Politics of Fiscal Policy: Selective Benefits against General Consequences



4. The Deficit, the Debt, and the Budget




5. The Politics of International Economic Policy