The President's Job

What does the president even do?

Formal Qualifications for President

  • Must be at least 35 years old

  • A native born citizen

  • If not a natural born citizen then must have been a citizen for at least 14 years

Roles of the President

  • Chief of State: Role as the Figure that represents the United States.

  • Chief Executive: Leads the executive branch of government. Appoints federal judges and the heads of executive departments and agencies.

  • Chief Diplomat: meets leaders of other countries, appoints ambassadors and makes treaties.

  • Commander in Chief: leads the armed forces of the nation. Cannot declare war, only congress can. Also, congress comes up with the money to supply war. Responsible for national security.

  • Chief Legislator: Makes the State of the Union address to bring awareness to the nation’s problems and propose solutions. Can sign or veto a bill.

  • Party Chief: Leader of his/her political party

  • Chief Citizen: President represents the American Citizen.Represents the people’s interests.

Economic Planner: appoints economic advisors, meets with business leaders, prepares annual budget requests, and submits economic reports on Congress.

Expressed Powers of the President




means the powers stated in the constitution that the president holds.

  • Power to Veto a Bill: If president disagrees or does not like a bill or see how it would work, he/she can veto (say no to) a bill. Congress can override this but it is very uncommon

  • Lead all the Armed forces: means to be in control and responsible for military actions. Can create conflict for 90 days but congress is the only one who can declare war

  • Directs Foreign Policy: President is responsible for Americans that are on duty outside of the country and the security of the nation.

  • Negotiate Treaties: Makes peace and signs document of terms of agreement with foreign nation leaders.

  • Nominate Federal Judges: President must appoint a federal judge but the Senate must confirm said judge.

  • Grant Pardons: President gives formal forgiveness of crimes a person or group of people have committed.

Inherent Powers of the President


means the powers not directly stated in the constitution, Implied to make sure the president does their job right.


  • Executive Agreements: agreement made by the President with other nations without the Senate confirmation. Example: FDR gave 50 overage destroyers to Great Britain during WWII for leases on some British naval bases.

  • Executive Orders: Presidential rule that has the power of a law. Usually used in a time of crisis. Example: FDR had people of Japanese descent put into camps after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor

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How the President Checks Other Branches of Government


  • Judicial: the President is the one who nominates supreme court and federal judges; can also grant pardons to persons that have committed a crime. Example: Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for the Watergate Scandal

Legislative: the President can veto bills proposed by congress, propose bills to congress members, and gives the federal budget to the House.

25th Amendment


  • States that should the President die or resign, the Vice President will replace him/her. Examples: Lyndon Baines Johnson took the Presidency after JFK was assassinated. Gerald Ford became president after Richard Nixon resigned

Expansion and Contraction of Presidential Power

Executive Privilege: The president and higher up members of the executive branch can withhold information from other branches of government and the public. Implied power. This did not work for Richard Nixon because he was trying to keep evidence from a criminal case.


Line-item veto: Executive ability to eliminate certain lines of a bill without eliminating (veto) the bill as a whole. In Clinton v NY the law was found unconstitutional



  • Pocket Vetoes: Ignoring a bill and letting it sit there, unsigned.



  • War Powers Act: 1973 law stating that the president can send troops to places of conflict without Congressional approval. President must inform congress within 48 hours, keep troops in area for no more that 60 days with a 30 day withdrawal period.