The President of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander- in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. Article II of the U. S. Constitution vests the executive power of the United States in the president and charges him with the execution of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign powers, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress UNDER EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES.  SINCE THE FOUNDING OF THE UNITED STATES, THE POWER OF THE PRESIDENT AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAVE GROWN SUBSTANTIALLY  AND EACH MODERN PRESIDENT, despite possessing no formal legislative powers beyond signing or vetoing congressionally passed bills, is largely responsible for dictating the legislative agenda of his party and the foreign and DOMESTIC POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES.  THE PRESIDENT IS FREQUENTLY DESCRIBED AS THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD.
 The president is indirectly elected by the people through the Electoral College to a four-year term, and is one of only two nationally elected federal officers, the other being the Vice President of the UNITED STATES.  THE TWENTY-SECOND AMENDMENT, ADOPTED IN 1951, PROHIBITS ANYONE FROM EVER being elected to the presidency for a third full term. It also prohibits a person from being elected to the presidency more than once if that person previously had served as President, or Acting President, for more than two years of another person’s term as President. In all, 43 individuals.
HAVE SERVED 55 FOUR-YEAR TERMS.  ON JANUARY 20, 2009, BARACK OBAMA BECAME THE FORTY-FOURTH and current president. Origin In 1783, the Treaty of Paris left the United States independent and at peace, but with an unsettled governmental structure.
The Second Continental Congress had drawn up the Articles of Confederation in 1777, describing a permanent confederation, but granting to the Congress of the Confederation—the only federal institution created—little power to finance itself or to ensure that its resolutions were enforced. In part, this reflected the anti-monarchy view of the Revolutionary period; the new American system was explicitly designed to prevent the rise of an American tyrant. By the end of the Revolutionary War, the Continental dollar had depreciated to the point of worthlessness.
The viability of the federal government was threatened by political unrest in several states, efforts by debtors to use popular government to erase their debts, and the inability of Congress to raise revenue to pay off the public debts incurred during the war. The Congress also appeared unable to become a forum for productive cooperation among the States encouraging commerce and economic development.
In response, the Philadelphia Convention was convened, ostensibly to devise amendments to the Articles of Confederation, but which instead began to draft a new system of government that would include greater executive power while retaining the checks and balances thought to be essential restraints on any imperial tendency in the office of the president. Individuals who presided over the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary period and under the Articles of Confederation had the title “President of the United States in Congress Assembled”, often shortened to “President of the United States”.
However, the office had little distinct executive power. With the 1788 ratification of the Constitution, a separate executive branch was created, headed by the “President of the United States”. This new Chief Executive role no longer bore the duties of presiding over Congress in a supervisory role, but the title “President” was carried over nevertheless. This title was a major understatement of the actual role empowered to the office by the Constitution, and this choice of words can be seen as a deliberate effort by the Founding Fathers to prevent the head of state position from evolving toward becoming a monarchical position, with the accompanying potential for abuse of such power.
A president’s executive authority under the Constitution, tempered by the checks and balances of the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government, was designed to solve several political problems faced by the young nation and to anticipate future challenges, while still preventing the rise of an autocrat. Powers and duties Article I legislative role The first power conferred upon the president by the U. S. Constitution is the legislative power of the presidential veto.
The Presentment Clause requires any bill passed by Congress to be presented to the president before it can become law. Once the legislation has been presented, the president has three options: 1. Sign the legislation; the bill then becomes law. 2. Veto the legislation and return it to Congress, expressing any objections; the bill does not become law, unless each house of Congress votes to override the veto by a two-thirds vote. 3. Take no action. In this instance, the president neither signs nor vetoes the legislation. After 10 days, not counting Sundays, two possible outcomes emerge:
oIf Congress is still convened, the bill becomes law. oIf Congress has adjourned, thus preventing the return of the legislation, the bill does not become law. This latter outcome is known as the pocket veto. In 1996, Congress attempted to enhance the president’s veto power with the Line Item Veto Act. The legislation empowered the president to sign any spending bill into law while simultaneously striking certain spending items within the bill, particularly any new spending, any amount of discretionary spending, or any new limited tax benefit. Once a president had stricken the item, Congress could pass that particular item again.
If the president then vetoed the new legislation, Congress could override the veto by its ordinary means, a two-thirds vote in both houses. In Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U. S. 417 (1998), the U. S. Supreme Court ruled such a legislative alteration of the veto power to be unconstitutional. Article II executive powers War and foreign affairs powers Perhaps the most important of all presidential powers is command of the United States armed forces as commander-in-chief. While the power to declare war is constitutionally vested in Congress, the president commands and directs the military and is responsible for planning military strategy.
The framers of the Constitution took care to limit the president’s powers regarding the military; Alexander Hamilton explains this in Federalist No. 69: The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. … It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces … while that [the power] of the British king extends to the DECLARING of war and to the RAISING and REGULATING of fleets and armies, all [of] which … would appertain to the LEGISLATURE.  [EMPHASIS IN THE ORIGINAL. ]
Congress, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, must authorize any troop deployments longer than 60 days, although that process relies on triggering mechanisms that have never been EMPLOYED, RENDERING IT INEFFECTUAL.  ADDITIONALLY, CONGRESS PROVIDES A CHECK TO PRESIDENTIAL military power through its control over military spending and regulation. Along with the armed forces, the president also directs U. S. foreign policy. Through the Department of State and the Department of Defense, the president is responsible for the protection of Americans abroad and of foreign nationals in the United States.
The president decides whether to recognize new nations and new governments, and negotiates treaties with other nations, which become binding on the United States when approved by two-thirds vote of the Senate. Although not constitutionally provided, presidents also sometimes employ “executive agreements” in foreign relations. Frequently, these agreements regard the orientation of executive discretion in the administration of matters germane to executive power; for example, the extent to which either country presents an armed presence in a given area, how each country will enforce copyright treaties, or how each country will process foreign mail.
However, the 20th century witnessed a vast expansion of the use of executive agreements, and critics have challenged the extent of that use as supplanting the treaty process and removing constitutionally prescribed checks and balances over the executive in foreign relations. Supporters counter that the agreements offer a pragmatic solution when the need for swift, secret, and/or concerted action arises. Administrative powers.
The president is the chief executive of the United States, putting him at the head of the executive branch of the government, whose responsibility is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed. ” The executive branch has over four million employees, including members of the MILITARY.  Presidents make numerous executive branch appointments: an incoming president may make up to 6,000 before he takes office and 8,000 more during his term. Ambassadors, members of the Cabinet, and other federal officers, are all appointed by a president with the “advice and consent” of a majority of the Senate. Appointments made while the Senate is in recess are temporary and expire at the end of the next session of the Senate.
The power of a president to fire executive officials has long been a contentious political issue. GENERALLY, A PRESIDENT MAY REMOVE PURELY EXECUTIVE OFFICIALS AT HIS DISCRETION.  HOWEVER, Congress can curtail and constrain a president’s authority to fire commissioners of independent REGULATORY AGENCIES AND CERTAIN INFERIOR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS BY STATUTE.  The president possesses the ability to direct much of the executive branch through executive orders. To the extent the orders are grounded in federal statute or executive power granted in the U. S. Constitution, these orders have the force of law.
Thus, executive orders are reviewable by federal courts or can be rendered null through legislative changes to statute. Juridical powers The president also has the power to nominate federal judges, including members of the United States courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. However, these nominations do require Senate confirmation. Securing Senate approval can provide a major obstacle for presidents who wish to orient the federal judiciary toward a particular ideological stance.
When nominating judges to U. S. district courts, presidents often respect the long-standing tradition of Senatorial courtesy. Presidents may also grant pardons and reprieves, as is often done just before the end of a presidential term. Historically, two doctrines concerning executive power have develop that enable the president to exercise executive power with a degree of autonomy. The first is executive privilege, which allows the president to withhold from disclosure any communications made directly to the president in the performance of executive duties. George Washington first claimed privilege when Congress requested to see Chief Justice John Jay’s notes from an unpopular treaty negotiation with Great Britain.
While not enshrined in the Constitution, or any other law, Washington’s action created the precedent for the privilege. When Richard Nixon tried to use executive privilege as a reason for not turning over subpoenaed evidence to Congress during the Watergate scandal, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Nixon, 418 U. S. 683 (1974), that executive privilege did not apply in cases where a president was attempting to avoid criminal prosecution. When President Bill Clinton attempted to use executive privilege regarding the Lewinsky scandal, the Supreme Court ruled in Clinton v. Jones, 520 U. S.
681 (1997), that the privilege also could not be used in civil suits. These cases established the legal precedent that executive privilege is valid, although the exact extent of the privilege has yet to be clearly defined. Additionally, federal courts have allowed this privilege to radiate outward and protect other executive branch employees, but have weakened that protection for those executive branch communications that do not involve the PRESIDENT. [ The state secrets privilege allows the president and the executive branch to withhold information or documents from discovery in legal proceedings if such release would harm national security.
Precedent for the privilege arose early in the 19th century when Thomas Jefferson refused to release military documents in the treason trial of Aaron Burr and again in 1876 in Totten v. United STATES, WHEN THE SUPREME COURT DISMISSED A CASE BROUGHT BY A FORMER UNION SPY.  HOWEVER, THE privilege was not formally recognized by the U. S. Supreme Court until United States v. Reynolds (1953) WHERE IT WAS HELD TO BE A COMMON LAW EVIDENTIARY PRIVILEGE.  BEFORE THE SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS, USE OF THE PRIVILEGE HAD BEEN RARE, BUT INCREASING IN FREQUENCY.
 SINCE 2001, THE government has asserted the privilege in more cases and at earlier stages of the litigation, thus in some instances causing dismissal of the suits before reaching the merits of the claims, as in the NINTH CIRCUIT’S RULING IN MOHAMED V. JEPPESEN DATAPLAN.  CRITICS OF THE PRIVILEGE CLAIM ITS use has become a tool for the government to cover up illegal or embarrassing government actions. Legislative facilitator Representing the executive branch of government, the president cannot simultaneously hold a seat in Congress. Therefore, the president cannot directly introduce legislative proposals for consideration in Congress.
The president can, however, take an indirect role in shaping legislation, especially if the president’s political party has a majority in one or both houses of Congress. For example, the president or other officials of the executive branch may draft legislation and then ask senators or representatives to introduce these drafts into Congress. The president can further influence the legislative branch through constitutionally mandated, periodic reports to Congress. These reports may be either written or oral, but today are given as the State of the Union address, which often outlines the president’s legislative proposals for the coming year.
According to Article II, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution, the president may convene either or both houses of Congress. If both houses cannot agree on a date of adjournment, the president may appoint a date for Congress to adjourn. Selection process Eligibility Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution sets the principal qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of president. A president must: ?be a natural born citizen of the United States; ?be at least thirty-five years old; ?have been a permanent resident in the United States for at least fourteen years.
A person who meets the above qualifications is still disqualified from holding the office of president under any of the following conditions: ?Under the Twenty-second Amendment, no eligible person can be elected president more than twice. The Twenty-second Amendment also specifies that if any eligible person who serves as president or acting president for more than two years of a term for which some other eligible person was elected president, the former can only be elected president once.
Scholars disagree whether anyone no longer eligible to be elected president could be elected vice president, pursuant to the qualifications set out under the Twelfth AMENDMENT.  ?Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, upon conviction in impeachment cases the Senate has the option of disqualifying convicted individuals from holding other federal offices, INCLUDING THE PRESIDENCY.  ?Under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Constitution prohibits an otherwise eligible person from becoming president if that person swore an oath to support the Constitution, and later rebelled against the United States. However, the Congress, by a two-thirds vote of each house, can remove the disqualification.
Campaigns and nomination Main articles: United States presidential primary, United States presidential nominating convention, United States presidential election debates, and United States presidential election The modern presidential campaign begins before the primary elections, which the two major political parties use to clear the field of candidates in advance of their national nominating conventions, where the most successful candidate is made the party’s nominee for president. Typically, the party’s presidential candidate chooses a vice presidential nominee, and this choice is rubber-stamped by the convention.
Nominees participate in nationally televised debates, and while the debates are usually restricted to the Democratic and Republican nominees, third party candidates may be invited, such as Ross Perot in the 1992 debates. Nominees campaign across the country to explain their views, convince voters and solicit contributions. Much of the modern electoral process is concerned with winning swing states through frequent visits and mass media advertising drives. Election and oath Presidents are elected indirectly in the United States. A number of electors, collectively known as the Electoral College, officially select the president.
On Election Day, voters in each of the states and the District of Columbia cast ballots for these electors. Each state is allocated a number of electors, equal to the size of its delegation in both Houses of Congress combined. Generally, the ticket that wins the most votes in a state wins all of that state’s electoral votes and thus has its slate of electors chosen to vote in the Electoral College. The winning slate of electors meet at its state’s capital on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, about six weeks after the election, to vote. They then send a record of that vote to Congress.
The vote of the electors is opened by the sitting vice president, acting in his capacity as President of the Senate and read aloud to a joint session of the incoming congress, which was elected at the same time as the president. Pursuant to the Twentieth Amendment, the president’s term of office begins at noon on January 20 of the year following the election. This date, known as Inauguration Day, marks the beginning of the four-year terms of both the president and the vice president. Before executing the powers of the office, a president is constitutionally required to take the presidential oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the UNITED STATES.  Although not required, presidents have traditionally used a Bible to take oath of office and suffixed “So help me God! ” to the end of the oath. Further, though no law requires that the oath of office be administered by any specific person, presidents are traditionally sworn in by the Chief Justice of the United States. Tenure and term limits The term of office for president and vice president is four years.
George Washington, the first president, set an unofficial precedent of serving only two terms, which subsequent presidents followed until 1940. Before Franklin D. Roosevelt, attempts at a third term were encouraged by supporters of Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt; neither of these attempts succeeded. In 1940, Franklin Roosevelt declined to seek a third term, but allowed his political party to “draft” him as their presidential candidate and was subsequently elected to a third term. In 1941, the U. S. became involved in World War II, which later led voters to elect Roosevelt to a fourth term in 1944.
After the war, and in response to Roosevelt’s shattering of precedent, the Twenty-second Amendment was adopted. The amendment bars anyone from being elected president more than twice, or once if that person served more than half of another president’s term. Harry S. Truman, who was president when the amendment was adopted, and so by the amendment’s provisions exempt from its limitation, also briefly sought a third (a second full) term before withdrawing from the 1952 election.
Since the amendment’s adoption, four presidents have served two full terms: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W.Bush. Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush sought a second term, but were defeated. Richard Nixon was elected to a second term, but resigned before completing it. Lyndon B. Johnson was the only president under the amendment to be eligible to serve more than two terms in total, having served for only fourteen months following John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
However, Johnson withdrew from the 1968 Democratic Primary, surprising many Americans by stating, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president. ” Gerald Ford sought a full term, after serving out the last two years and five months of Nixon’s second term, but was not elected. Vacancy or disability See also:
Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, United States presidential line of succession, Presidential Succession Act, and Impeachment in the United States Vacancies in the office of president may arise under several possible circumstances: death, resignation and removal from office. Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution allows the House of Representatives to impeach high federal officials, including the president, for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
” Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 gives the Senate the power to remove impeached officials from office, given a two-thirds vote to convict. The House has thus far impeached two presidents: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Neither was subsequently convicted by the Senate; however, Johnson was acquitted by just one vote. Under Section 3 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, the president may transfer the presidential powers and duties to the vice president, who then becomes acting president, by transmitting a statement to the Speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate stating the reasons for the transfer.
The president resumes the discharge of the presidential powers and duties when he transmits, to those two officials, a written declaration stating that resumption. This transfer of power may occur for any reason the president considers appropriate; in 2002 and again in 2007, President George W. Bush briefly transferred presidential authority to Vice President Dick Cheney. In both cases, this was done to accommodate a medical procedure which required BUSH TO BE SEDATED; BOTH TIMES, BUSH RETURNED TO DUTY LATER THE SAME DAY.  Under Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth.
Amendment, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet may transfer the presidential powers and duties from the president to the vice president once they transmit a written declaration to the Speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate that the president is unable to discharge the presidential powers and duties. If this occurs, then the vice president will assume the presidential powers and duties as acting president; however, the president can declare that no such inability exists and resume the discharge of the presidential powers and duties. If the vice president and cabinet contest this claim, it is up to Congress, which must meet within two days if not already in session, to decide the merit of the claim.
The United States Constitution mentions the resignation of the president but does not regulate the form of such a resignation or the conditions for its validity. Pursuant to federal law, the only valid evidence of the president’s resignation is a written instrument to that effect, signed by the president AND DELIVERED TO THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE.  ON AUGUST 9, 1974, FACING LIKELY impeachment in the midst of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon became the only president ever to resign from office.
The Constitution states that the vice president becomes president upon the removal from office, death or resignation of the preceding president. If the offices of president and vice president both are either vacant or have a disabled holder of that office, the next officer in the presidential line of succession, the Speaker of the House, becomes acting president. The line then extends to the president pro tempore of the Senate, followed by every member of the cabinet in a set order.
Compensation The president earns a $400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 NON-TAXABLE TRAVEL ACCOUNT AND $19,000 FOR ENTERTAINMENT.  THE MOST RECENT RAISE IN salary was approved by Congress and President Bill Clinton in 1999 and went into effect in 2001. The White House in Washington, D. C. serves as the official place of residence for the president; he is entitled to use its staff and facilities, including medical care, recreation, housekeeping, and security services. Naval Support Facility Thurmont, popularly known as Camp David, is a mountain-based military camp in Frederick County, Maryland used as a country retreat and for high alert protection of the president and his guests.
Blair House, located adjacent to the Old Executive Office Building at the White House Complex and Lafayette Park, is a complex of four CONNECTED TOWNHOUSES EXCEEDING 70,000 SQUARE FEET (6,500 M2) OF FLOOR SPACE WHICH SERVES AS THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICIAL GUEST HOUSE AND AS A SECONDARY RESIDENCE FOR THE PRESIDENT IF NEEDED.  For ground travel, the president uses the presidential state car, which is an armored limousine built ON A HEAVILY MODIFIED CADILLAC-BASED CHASSIS.  ONE OF TWO IDENTICAL BOEING VC-25 AIRCRAFT, which are extensively modified versions of Boeing 747-200B airliners, serve as long distance.
TRAVEL FOR THE PRESIDENT, AND ARE REFERRED TO AS AIR FORCE ONE WHILE THE PRESIDENT IS ON BOARD.  The president also uses a United States Marine Corps helicopter, designated Marine One when the president is aboard. The United States Secret Service is charged with protecting the sitting president and his family. As part of their protection, presidents, first ladies, their children and other immediate family MEMBERS, AND OTHER PROMINENT PERSONS AND LOCATIONS ARE ASSIGNED SECRET SERVICE CODENAMES. 
The use of such names was originally for security purposes and dates to a time when sensitive electronic communications were not routinely encrypted; today, the names simply serve for PURPOSES OF BREVITY, CLARITY AND TRADITION.  Post-presidency Beginning in 1959, all living former presidents were granted a pension, an office and a staff. The pension has increased numerous times with Congressional approval. Retired presidents now receive a pension based on the salary of the current administration’s cabinet secretaries, which is $191,300 AS OF 2008.  SOME FORMER PRESIDENTS HAVE ALSO COLLECTED CONGRESSIONAL PENSIONS. 
THE Former Presidents Act, as amended, also provides former presidents with travel funds and franking privileges. Until 1997, all former presidents, and their families, were protected by the Secret Service until the president’s death. The last president to have lifetime Secret Service protection is Bill Clinton; George W. Bush and all subsequent presidents will be protected by the Secret Service for a MAXIMUM OF TEN YEARS AFTER LEAVING OFFICE.  Some presidents have had significant careers after leaving office. Prominent examples include William Howard Taft’s tenure as Chief Justice of the United States and Herbert Hoover’s work on government reorganization after World War II.
Grover Cleveland, whose bid for reelection failed in 1888, was elected president again four years later in 1892. Two former presidents served in Congress after leaving the White House: John Quincy Adams was elected to the House of Representatives, serving there for seventeen years, and Andrew Johnson returned to the Senate in 1875. John Tyler served in the provisional Congress of the Confederate States during the Civil War and was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives. PRESIDENTS MAY USE THEIR PREDECESSORS AS EMISSARIES TO DELIVER PRIVATE MESSAGES TO OTHER NATIONS, or as official representatives of the United States to state funerals and other important foreign.
EVENTS.  RICHARD NIXON MADE MULTIPLE FOREIGN TRIPS TO COUNTRIES INCLUDING CHINA AND RUSSIA, AND WAS LAUDED AS AN ELDER STATESMAN.  JIMMY CARTER HAS BECOME A GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER, international arbiter and election monitor, and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Bill Clinton has also worked as an informal ambassador, most recently in the negotiations that led to the release of two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korea.
Clinton has also been active politically since his presidential term ended, working with his wife Hillary on her presidential bid. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/President_of_the_United_States The US Presidential Election Process Submitted by fotios on Sat, 2007-12-29 20:40 The US Presidential election process is an interesting and complex democratic practice that for the most part matches expectations for the oldest surviving democracy in the world. The official process begins almost a year before the actual event of electing the president, with the Iowa Caucuses followed by other state caucuses and primary elections that are part of the process to determine which party candidate will win his or her party’s nomination to run for President.
However one can argue that the process begins more than a year before the main event, when various people begin announcing their candidancies and engaging in lively discusions and debates. Basically in each US State, each political party, through the process of a caucus or primary, elects a number of delegates for the National Convention of each party that is to take place just before the presidential election. Normally only registered members of the parties can take active part in the caucus or primary process; however, some primaries are “open” in the sense that either independents or even members of the other party can participate.
The situation and rules differ from state to state. Each one of these delegates is bound to one of the respective party’s candidates and it is actually th