The Power of the President

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“The power of the president is limited to the power to persuade.” Discuss. (45 marks)

Many people view the president as the all-powerful authoritative man who governs the country as he pleases from his oval office. However the president derives his power from constitutional authority. The president is required to influence those around him with political persuasion to achieve his political agenda. The president can't simply wave his hand and demand changes in public policy and expect the governmental infrastructure to automatically adhere to it. The separation of powers places the power to influence legislation. With the separation of powers it is impossible for a president's agenda to blindly weave its way through and get passed. The president must use his knowledge of persuasiveness and prestige to adhere to the ideologies of congress, to get his way. Congressmen have their own mandate especially when it is divided government; they have the choice of supporting the president or not. In this case the president needs to be good at persuading to bargain from congress. Their willingness to support the president may come at a price, example they may support him for their own election prospects. It’s very difficult for presidents to persuade a congress filled with the opposition. But in some cases even a congress controlled by their own party may ignore or defeat the president. President Bush saw this in his second term when he tried to pass the social security reform, but from lack of support from congress and citizens the bill did not proceed to legislation point. Also defeat was shown to President Clinton as his health care plans did not become law. Also situated in the constitution, is the power of congress on all legislation and money issues. This makes the president dependent on congress, in these situations a consensus needs to be made between the president and congress. The power of persuasion is necessary as congress need to be informed about money and...
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