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Origins of the Presidency and Official Duties

Duties and Powers

In what ways is the president the chief citizen?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt probably summed up the duties of this role best when he called the presidency “preeminently a place of moral leadership.” As a representative of the nation’s people, the president automatically assumes the role of its chief citizen, or popular leader. The nature of this role mandates a certain trust between the president and the people, since it is the president’s duty to work for the public interest amidst competing private interests, and to place the nation’s best interests above the interests of any one group or citizen. In turn, the president relies on public support to help pass his legislative agenda through Congress—gaining the trust of the public with regard to these issues through exposure, straightforwardness, and strong leadership.



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