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SteveLaura

What exactly does a president do anyway?

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: England
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During a presidential campaign candidates make promises, take stands on issues and make pledges to get elected. They talk about changes they will create, ideas they will implement and decisions they will make. During election year the public is bombarded with advertisements, debates, forums and rallies to persuade one to vote a certain way. Is all of this attention warranted? How important is the President of the United States? How much power does he or she really have?

"The President of the United States is considered an important position," said senior Joel Carter, who is an avid follower of this year's presidential campaign. "While Congress puts most powers in check, this is what a democracy is: a system of checks and balances. We would not want a person in total control."

According to the Constitution, the president has several responsibilities. However, most of these are subject to review by Congress. For example, the president "shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls...and all other offices of the United States." This power allows presidents to appoint thousands of public officials during their administration. While this may be a wonderful opportunity for a president, these appointments must be approved by a majority of the Senate.

The president also has the power to veto a law. The constitution says that before any law takes effect, the president must approve it. If a president does not agree with a law, he can simply veto it and the law does not go into effect. Congress can override the president's veto only with two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives. According to The New American Democracy, this only happens about one out of every ten times a veto is cast.

The president may also make recommendations to Congress. However these are simply recommendations, not demands. Congress can ignore or change a president's proposal. For example, Bill Clinton proposed health care and welfare reform. Congress rejected his health-care proposals and modified his welfare reform ideas. The president's suggestions do not have to be followed by Congress.

The president does have duties that are not checked by Congress. He "shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers...and shall commission all the officers of the United States." This simply means that he welcomes visitors and can administer oaths of office.

However, as Chief of State the president also has the opportunity to represent the United States in a dignified fashion. This can be a positive political asset.

A president also has to power to inform and persuade. He is required to "from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union." Though the president speaks publicly many times during office, the best place to use this power is the State of the Union address. Not only does he inform the nation of America's general state, he can take this opportunity to persuade the public. The president can tell of his plans and goals. He may use this time to convince voters of his ideas and opinions. The president can downplay his faults and focus on his achievements. This can be a powerful tool used by the president.

One of the most important duties as a president is to speak for the country as a whole. The U.S. president fills the only position in America elected by a national constituency. According to The New American Democracy, this is a great political asset. However, because of this, presidents are often held responsible for things they have no control over.

They are expected to conduct foreign policy, manage the economy, promote desired legislation, respond to disasters and address an endless number of social problems. The president has little or no control over every one of these situations.

"The national attention of a presidential election is warranted,"Carter said. "Though the president may not be able to do everything expected of him, at the very least he represents our country. That is important."

Taking these duties purely at face value, which attribute is more necessary, would you say? Experience or vision?

Discuss.


"It's not the years; it's the mileage." Indiana Jones

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Filed: Other Country: Canada
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Experience or vision?

Hmmm... well, experience at what, exactly? Experience at being the president only happens if you're elected to that position and some of our finest presidents had never held a Federal post (although most had, at least, been a governor at some point). So I don't think experience is really all that necessary; after all, the age requirement for being president is set at only 35 years of age. That sounds old when you're first learning about it in high school, but in reality, 35 is quite young -- especially to be the leader of an entire country.

I'd hedge my bet on vision, mostly. It's really all someone who wishes to be president has to go on and what they promise (read: lie) about when running for the position during their campaign.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: China
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The president is a figurehead and the wiping out of so many high level positions in a regime change possibly every 4 years is the biggest power of the presidency.

Almost all the promises are empty because as was mentioned, the president is part of a system and although the cabinet, immediate office, and other areas are filled the judiciary and legislative branches are not really touched, except in special situations like appointing supreme court justices, but that goes under review too.

These candidates are not stupid. They know how the system works and how limited they would be even if elected. Your staff pretty much maps out your entire life and you are in constant meetings, some press events, etc., but still - this is the highest political office in the land and your place in history is set.

Realistically though the US has been running itself into the ground for decades and constantly shifting off the bill to the next and next generation. We have so many generations worth of debt, obligations, back room deals, and ####### and many of the folks who put us in this positive lived fat on the hog and died off.

Sooner or later the tab becomes due. Perhaps it is now in the next 4 years or so. I guarantee once that happens and we can't borrow more money, when printing more money also becomes useless, and we are stuck in a recession and facing a depression then it will be a bad, bad time to be president.

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Oh, I say vision.

Any great leader is a visionary - whether it's business or politics.

The President is at The Top. Folks at The Top don't do the work, they lead the team. Because our President only gets eight years at best to leave his legacy and achieve his vision, it better be crystal clear - straightforward, defined, and incorruptable.

The most important 'experience' a President needs is enough life experience to pick good people who share his vision. If the Presidents staff are qualified and experienced, he will be successful - as long as everybody sticks to the vision.

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Oh, I say vision.

Any great leader is a visionary - whether it's business or politics.

The President is at The Top. Folks at The Top don't do the work, they lead the team. Because our President only gets eight years at best to leave his legacy and achieve his vision, it better be crystal clear - straightforward, defined, and incorruptable.

The most important 'experience' a President needs is enough life experience to pick good people who share his vision. If the Presidents staff are qualified and experienced, he will be successful - as long as everybody sticks to the vision.

Well said!


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: England
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I agree too. I think that's why Obama is leading in "the vision thing" - which some may view as messiahaniacal. (Did I just make up a word? I hope so.) People want change, obviously. All candidates on both sides are promising that. Obama's message seems to be along the lines of "Take back your government and your country. Get us working for you. Get involved. Evoke change, etc" which is why it's so appealing, especiallly to young people.

(As an aside, I think it's interesting that McCain is leading on the Republican side. I see it as a sign that the country is more moderate and less rabidly right wing than O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Coulter et al would have us believe.)

As DeadPool stated, exactly what experience would equate to becoming the leader of the world's only superpower? Taking the bloke at the helm at the moment, what life experience would we point to specifically to say that he had what it takes?


"It's not the years; it's the mileage." Indiana Jones

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Brazil
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IMO- executive experience running a company, business, non-profit or government.

This year that isn't really an option (Huckabee doesn't count).

Well, GWB certainly had that in spades...

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What kind of life experience?

I'm not sure a specific occupation 'qualifies' someone. I think it's more how a person handled whatever the responsibilites of their specific job or career entailed.

Were they able to make decisions in a timely manner? Were they able to digest detailed, unfamiliar but necessary information and process it? Were they willing to learn and remain flexible, or too rigid and stuck in 'the way it's always been done'? Were they open to ideas from 'experts' in a field they weren't personally expert in? Were they good listeners? Were they respectful of all members of the organization and not just those people they wanted or needed something from? Were they committed to the vision of the organization? Were they ethically committed to the vision?

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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I think a leader needs to be likeable...at least by a good portion of the population. Otherwise there is to much division and discontent.

stalin, hitler, and saddam say it ain't so.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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