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Presidentail Power Essay

1471 words - 6 pages

Overseeing the action of the armed forces, appointing treaties to be drafted, managing national affairs and being a figurehead for a great nation all imply that the individual holding the title of President has a great amount of power at their disposal. There are those indviduals who automatically come to mind talking about the President, people like JFK, FDR and Abraham Lincoln, people who left a profound impact on the nation. Then there are the back burner Presidents who do not come to mind at all, individuals like Franklin Pierce and Benjamin Harrison, who did not seem to have anything significant happen during their time as president. Some Presidents seem to have been incredibly powerful while others appear t be there just a placeholders. Article II gives all Presidents virtually the same power, so it is unusual thinking that one would seem more powerful during their term then another. There are, however, circumstances that can give a President the appearance of being very powerful. The context of the nation at the times, the power of the President to persuade others to do what they want, and their reputation among the public all play a role in whether or not they are remembered for their great deeds, or forgotten in the constantly changing world.
Article II expresses the powers that are held by the President. One of those powers is to give Congress information via a State of the Union address and ask them to consider allowing the measures they wish to take on a certain event (Linder). Just because the President has the authority to bring up these issues, does not mean that Congress has to agree with the action they want to take on it. This is where a president’s power to persuade, plays a big part in getting what they want from the government. They have to make a good case for themselves and convince the others that their way is the way to do it. If the President does not have to the ability to persuade others, then it is unlikely that they will be able to. Being able to shift action into the direction that they want it to go makes it appear as though they are more in control and more powerful to the public. In order to this, the President has to be able to balance the different interests of each group and be able to persuade them, not command them, to do what he wants or else it looks like weakness (Ellington). When FDR created the Works Progress Administration that gave jobs back to Americans, it was agreed upon and funded by Congress (Leuchtenburg). His ability to persuade them into taking that route to help the American public made him look more powerful in the eyes of the people because he was able to get his way and help them. This was in complete contrast to the time when Woodrow Wilson was unable to convince the Majority of Congress to ratify the treaty of Versailles because he was unwilling to compromise (Versailles). This in turn led to the Democrats losing the next election, a clear example of the loss of power. The ability of...

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