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The Most Powerful Man in the World?

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The Most Powerful Man in the World? The President of the United States is universally regarded as the world's most influential individual. As the leader of the world's mightiest nation, the current President of the United States, George W. Bush has the most prestigious job on the planet. That being said, we would believe that the President governs his country by command and that his every order is followed. The writer Richard Neustadt would disagree, he expresses in his book Presidential Power that overall Presidents cannot govern by command. Neustadt feels that the Presidents seat is weak and the "powers" of the President granted in the Constitution are greatly limited. "In the words of a President, spoken on the job, one finds the essence of the problem now before us: 'powers" are no guarantee of power; clerkship is no guarantee of leadership."(Neustadt) President Harry Truman felt the same way when he commented about his presidential power saying, "Do this! Do that! And nothing will happen." How is it then that a leader can rule and get results without the ability to command? A President must be able to persuade rather that command using his tools of persuasion; reputation and prestige. ...read more.


This separation of powers automatically answers the question of whether a President can govern by command. But it is still possible that with the right support the President would be able to lead by command. Neustadt explains a way that our president can be successful; by his power to persuade, built by his professional reputation and his public prestige. Neustadt says the power to persuade is the power to bargain. Who does the President need to persuade, or bargain with? The answer is the men who share the power with the President. The men who the power is balanced between namely congress and the senate. The executive branches' vantage point affords much more power than the other branches. A Presidents authority and status give him advantages in dealing with the men he would persuade. (Neustadt) These men that the President would persuade either fear him or need him, giving him the advantage over them. By having the prestige of being the President he can persuade others, possibly commanding those around him We have said that the Presidents ability to command is based on his ability to persuade those who balance the country. ...read more.


(Neustadt) If the President of the United States were asked how he feels about the idea of Presidents not being able to govern by command, he would tell you that he agrees with that notion. President George Bush works diligently behind the scenes attempting to make his commands effective from within. He has a gentle un-commanding approach, having faith that all of his orders will be carried out. He would agree with Neustadt that he cannot govern by command and that bargaining is the way to achieve his goals. Many of George Bush's plans and agendas have failed over the years, showing that you cannot always command and expect your orders to be heeded. As have other Presidents, George W. Bush's commands have at times been carried out and supported by the public. As with other Presidents, in times of crisis, President Bush has been able to give commands and have the public behind him. Using Neustadts' approach, President Bush has gotten results-notably a large tax cut and, an education-reform package. Although his commands have often been ignored, with the right persuasion he can still be a successful leader. Presidents cannot govern by command. They must hope that their circumstances and the people around them make it possible for them to be successful. Jesse Hamby 1 ...read more.

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