Executive Power

EXECUTIVE POWER….In CQ Politics this week, David Nather recaps the Bush administration’s enormous expansion of executive power and then asks whether any of the candidates running for election in 2008 are likely to give up that power if they win office. It turns out he had a hard time getting anyone to go on the record about it:

In light of the Bush record, all eight of the major presidential candidates were asked by CQ to answer a set of written questions on specific issues, such as whether the candidate believes that a president can authorize conduct outside the laws to defend the country; under what circumstances the candidate would claim executive privilege; and whether the candidate believes that a president should issue statements after signing legislation into law, as Bush has, that declare some of the provisions optional.

Only one of the candidates — Edwards — answered the questions, although Clinton’s campaign touched on some of the issues in a separate exchange.

Among the Democrats, Nather reports that all three of the leaders live up to their stereotypes: Edwards is fiery and populist; Clinton takes the middle ground; and Obama speaks in vague but agreeable generalities. Here’s the full list of Nather’s pieces on the major candidates and their record on executive power: