The President of the US




The President of the United States- this title has come to earn so much honor, as it is considered “the most powerful elected official in the world” (World Book). Some of America’s most distinguished men were once presidents, and we recall such great names as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. This prestigious position is not something one is just handed, and when one does obtain it, it is very hard work. In this paper, I will help illustrate the role of the President, and his/her affect on our American Government.
The position of President was created during and immediately after the Revolutionary War under laws called the Articles of Confederation. The name itself came from the original name for the chief officer who presided over congress. The first man who had taken this position was George Washington, whose name every American is familiar with. To the position, Washington brought great “courage, prestige, and wisdom” (Schlesinger, 21), and created a sort of legacy for those after him to follow. The legacy was followed, and expanded with men who interpreted the constitution in new ways, and increased the power of the presidency. Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln are examples of this. As America became a world power, the President was given more power. Men like Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and John F. Kennedy then used the position to advance the freedom of our country, and encourage the development of our minds and souls.
As time passed, rules and regulations were made to ensure the President’s job was for the best interest of this country. For instance, to become President, one must pass some certain legal qualifications set by the Constitution. “The President must be 35 years old, have lived in the United States at least 14 years, and be a natural born citizen” (World Book). These qualifications were set as a means of filtering out some candidates. To serve this nation efficiently, our forefathers believed that you must be older, and of American heritage. These rules were made in protection of the welfare of our country. With the twenty-second amendment came the limit on the President’s term of office. Before this, a president could be in office as long as the people elected him, such as Roosevelt, who stayed in the White House from March 1945 to his death in April 1945. The limit in place now is that no president is able to be elected to Presidentcy more than twice, and nobody who has served more than two years of someone else’s term can be elected more than once. Another set standard is the salary of the President. As established by congress, the President receives $200,000 a year, not including the $50,000 the chief executive also gets for expenses, allowances for staff, travel, and maintenance of the White House. After leaving office, the President qualifies for a basic pension. As of 1990, a newly retired president would receive a hefty pension of about $138,900 yearly, and use of office space, staff, and mailing expenses. Widowed spouses of former Presidents receive a pension of $20,000 a year.
The President is employed by the executive branch, of the three branches our government was divided into. This branch consists of the Executive Office, 14 executive departments, and about 75 independent agencies. In total, the executive branch has about 3.75 million employees. The executive office directly serves the president, such as the President’s physician, secretaries, and a number of close influential aides and agencies. The job of the executive departments is to directly administer the federal government, and the independent agencies’ job is to conduct the federal programs in many fields.
The President is the chief of this branch. The only roles the constitution distinguishes are those of chief administrator of the nation and commander of its armed forces. However, “court decisions, customs, laws, and other developments have greatly expanded the President’s responsibilities and powers” (World Book). After these two hundred years of development, the President’s job can be described in seven names: Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, Foreign Policy Director, Legislative Leader, Party Head, and Chief of State. The first on the president’s resume, the Chief Executive has four main duties: to enforce federal