Office of the President


The President of the United States


The office of the President of the United States is one of the most powerful positions in the world.

There are only a few hundred words in the U.S. Constitution about the president’s duties and powers but those few words give the President many powers.

The origin of all presidential power is in the U.S. Constitution and to understand the presidential role as it is currently exercised, one must understand this important founding document.  In addition, through time and tradition, other expectations and powers are placed on the President even though they are not spelled out in the Constitution.

Article II of the U.S. Constitution outlines the office, role, responsibilities and powers of the President of the United States.

Constitutional roles and powers of the President include:

  • Address Congress and nation
  • Commander-in-chief
  • Conduct foreign policy
  • Faithfully administer federal law
  • Maintain order
  • Negotiate treaties
  • Nominate top officials
  • Pardon for federal offenses
  • Veto bills

Additional roles and informal powers include:

  • Bargainer and persuader
  • Budget setter
  • Coalition-builder
  • Conflict resolver
  • Crisis manager
  • Legislative leader
  • Morale builder
  • Party leader
  • Personnel recruiter
  • Priority setter
  • World leader

Tags: constitution, courts and law, elections, executive, federal government, president, primary sources, reading information

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