The Many Hats of the President

By Sterling Hampe and Stephanie Wagner

What does a President do?

After being elected and inaugurated, the President takes on a multitude of roles including:

  • Chief Executive
  • Head of State
  • Commander in Chief
  • National Agenda Setter
  • Political Party Leader
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Chief Executive

At the most simple level, the President's job as Chief Executive is to be the head of the Executive Branch and work to enforce the laws. He appoints Department Heads and cabinet positions that help him do his job as well as creating executive orders to ensure that his goals are being completed. He also tries to push bills through congress by delegating representatives and senators to push legislation.
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Head of State

As Head of State, the President handles relations between the United States and other nations. This includes receiving all diplomats, dignitaries and ambassadors from foreign countries. Furthermore, as Head of State the President is the "face" of the country. He receives all the pomp and circumstance that comes with the position- as well as any blame when things go wrong. He is responsible for the morale of the country and fostering cooperation between nations.
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Commander in Chief

As Commander in Chief, the President is the head of all military branches. He has the power to influence military decisions and is under the responsibility to keep them prepared. In peacetime, this job is more of a crisis manager, as the President can delegate the services to aid people after disasters both domestic and abroad. He has the power to appoint officers and the Secretary of Defense.

National Agenda Setter

The agenda is often the part the President is judged most on. The first one hundred days are a measure of the President's ability. These are aided by his inaugural address where he discusses the problems he intends to focus on. He also gives State of the Union addresses where the President addresses Congress and the current State of the Union and his plans for the future.

Political Party Leader

Having been aided by their political party during their run for presidency, the President is a proponent of their party. They attend party functions, help plan the party's focus and aides others in getting elected to office. the President can also attend caucuses and elections to show support for other party members. By maintaining good relations with the party, they can seek reelection after their term.