Roles of the President

Chief Diplomat

The president directs the foreign policy or strategy of the U.S. making key decisions about how the U.S. acts towards other countries.

Ex: Obama meeting with political figures of other countries

Chief Executive

Carry's out the nation's laws. The president is in charge of fifteen cabinet departments and about 3 million civilians who work for the federal government.

Executive order- a rule or command that has the force of law

Ex: President Harry S. Truman used an executive order in 1948 to racially integrate the armed forces.

Commander in Chief

Gives the president the ability to back up their foreign policy decisions with force. The president is in charge of the army, navy, air force, marines, and coast guard.

Ex: Although Congress never declared war in Korea or in Vietnam, American troops were involved in conflicts in those countries because they were sen there by the U.S. president.

Legislative Leader

Every president has a legislative program. These are new laws that the president wants Congress to pass. The president makes speeches to build support for this program and meets with key senators and representa- tives to try to persuade them to support the proposed laws.

The news media hailed President Obama’s victory on the Wall Street reform bill signed into law earlier this week as another example of his legislative powers.

Head of State

The president aids diplomacy by greeting visiting kings and queens, prime ministers, and other foreign leaders. The president also carries out ceremonial functions for Americans, such as lighting the national Christmas tree and giving medals to the country’s heroes.

Economy Leader

Every president tries to help the country’s economy prosper. Voters expect the presi- dent to deal with such problems as unem- ployment, rising prices, and high taxes. One key task the president must accomplish each year as economic leader is to plan the federal government’s budget.

Party Leader

The president is generally regarded as the leader of his or her political party. Members of the president’s party work hard to elect the president. In turn, the president gives speeches to help fellow party members who are running for office as members of Congress, governors, and mayors. The president also helps the party raise money.