President of the United States

The President of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world’s most powerful political figures and as the leader of the only remaining global superpower. The role includes responsibility for the world’s most expensive military that has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president also leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP. The president possesses significant domestic and international hard and soft power.

Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government. It vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate. The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, and takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article One of the United States Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation. Since the office of president was established in 1789, its power has grown substantially, as has the power of the federal government as a whole.

Through the Electoral College, the registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term. This is the only federal election in the United States which is not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president’s intra-term death or resignation.

The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any United States citizen from being elected president for a third term. It also prohibits a person from being elected to the presidency more than once if that person previously had served as president, or acting president, for more than two years of another person’s term as president. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice; as the 22nd and 24th presidents.

Donald Trump of New York is the 45th and current president. He assumed office on January 20, 2017.

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