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4.2 The Functions of the President

The President has six major functions. He is the ceremonial head of the nation, chief administrator of a vast governmental structure, commander-in-chief of the U.S. armed forces, leader of a political party, the chief legislator of the nation, and is deeply concerned in the conduct of foreign relations. Further, he is the champion and defender of the American people against special and sectional interests, the guardian of the nationís economic well being, a world leader as well as a diplomat. Indeed Lindsay Rogers rightly comments that the framers of the Constitution could hardly have foreseen that they were "creating the most powerful elective office that 150 years later the world was to know."

4.2a Commander-in-chief

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that the President shall be Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy. Thus, he can use the armed forces in the protection of the American interest, anywhere in the world, in peace and in wartime. Thus he can exercise vast influence on foreign policy. The American forces were recently sent to trouble spots like Grenada, Panama, The Persian Gulf, Haiti and Bosnia.


4.2b Chief of State

As the ceremonial head of the state, the President has to preside at community functions, entertain prominent visitors like heads of other countries, and is the front man at ceremonial occasions. As chief of state, he comes before the world at large as a leader. Since he speaks for the nation, audience with him is sought by every conceivable sort of deputation and at meetings ranging from international conferences to baseball games. He has access to national radio chains at almost any time of the day and his words normally win the attention of the people.

4.2c The President as Diplomat

The scope of the power of the President is broader in foreign than in domestic affairs. The President is supposed to conduct all negotiations with foreign nations. The American foreign policy is shaped and executed out by the President. For instance, an easing of tension and a important breakthroughs in arms control were only achieved through the important meetings between President Bush and the leaders of the Soviet Union.

Further summit diplomacy was exercised when the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt was worked out by President Jimmy Carter. Since the President speaks in the name of the American people, the world in general regards the nation and the president as one.

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Index

4.0 Introduction
4.1 The Powers of the President
4.2 The Functions of the President
4.3 The Organization of the Executive Branch
4.4 The Vice President and Presidential Succession

Chapter 5





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