The president of the United States is frequently referred to as “the leader of the free world” and thought of as the world’s most powerful person, writes Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government Andrew Rudalevige.
But to really understand the role of the country’s chief executive, he continued, they key thing to remember is the “structural weakness” inherent in the office of president. Rudalevige was writing in the Washington Post political science blog, The Monkey Cage, which every Tuesday over the summer is publishing an episode of “Founding Principles,” a series of short videos presented by Rudalevige explaining how American government works.
The latest episode—the fourth of fifteen—examines Article II of the Constitution, which established the presidency. “The history of the American presidency is the history of how presidents have tried to overcome that structural weakness,” said Rudalevige.