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     The President. The sole figure in the US government that a second grader can actually identify. The ultimate role model or, at times, the greatest err. Indeed, the Presidency has become an emblem of our society. Although our Founding Fathers had intended the Executive Branch to be weak and secondary to the Legislature, the branch has since grown dramatically as it fulfills the people's desire to have at least one objectifiable leader.


     Thus has the presidency been defined. It is a position that necessitates strong leadership. As one of only two elected Federal officials, the President has a tremendous responsibility to satisfy the citizens' needs and ensure the country's prosperity. To do this, he assumes a vast number of roles and establishes a support group of advisors that will maximize his abilities. Constitutionally, the president must enforce the laws of the country and provide the intangibles to make the entire government function. Yet how he decides to fulfill these duties, or more generally how he leads the nation is a personal choice that he is entrusted with by the people. It is no suprise, then, that the United States has experienced great variation in its most powerful office; we have gone through charismatic leaders with complex agendas like Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and quiet, less aggressive workers like Calvin Coolidge. 


     In this chapter, you will learn the intricacies of the President - who s/he is, how s/he is elected, and what s/he does. Together, we will discover the roles the President has as Commander in Chief, Chief Executive, Chief Legislator, and Chief of State and how s/he can lose all these powers. Finally, we will look into the past and foresee the future, attempting to quantify and explain the growth of the Executive Branch over time.  




Next Section: Presidential Eligibility  

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