Does the Public Have Unrealistic Expectations for the Presidency?

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The president has a significant amount of power; however, this power is not unlimited, as it is kept in check by both the judicial and legislative branches. The president is held responsible for passing legislation that will improve the lives of everyday Americans, even though he shares his legislative powers with Congress. The sharing of power acts as an impediment to the president’s ability to pass legislation quickly and in the form it was originally conceived. However, Americans do not take this into account when judging a president, as they fully expect him to fulfill all of the promises he makes during his campaign. By making promises to pass monumental legislation once elected without mentioning that Congress stands as an obstacle that must be hurdled first, the president creates unrealistic expectations of what he can fulfill during his time in office (Jenkins-Smith, Silva, and Waterman, 2005). A president is expected to have the characteristics that will allow him to efficiently and effectively lead the nation and to accomplish the goals he set during his campaign (Jenkins-Smith et al., 2005). There have been a handful of presidents that have been immortalized as the ideal person to lead the United States and if a president does not live up to these lofty expectations the American public will inevitably be disappointed. Since every president is expected to accomplish great things during his presidency, he is forced to created and project a favorable image through unrealistic promises. The combination of preconceived ideas of the perfect president and the various promises made by presidential candidates during their campaign create unrealistic expectations of the president by the American public. The constitutional... ... middle of paper ... ...aign. Works Cited Jacobs, Lawrence R., and Theda Skocpol. Health Care Reform and American Politics: Everyone Needs to Know. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. Print. Jenkins-Smith, Hank C., Carol L. Silva, and Richard W. Waterman. "Micro- and Macrolevel Models of the Presidential Expectations Gap." The Journal of Politics 67.03 (2005): 690- 715. Print. Rivers, Douglas, and Nancy L. Rose. "Passing the President's Program: Public Opinion and Presidential Influence in Congress." American Journal of Political Science 29.2 (1985): 183-96. JSTOR. Web. 19 May 2014. Stephenson, Matthew C. "Does Separation of Powers Promote Stability and Moderation?" The Journal of Legal Studies 42.2 (2013): 331-68. JSTOR. Web. 19 May 2014. Wayne, Stephen J. Personality and Politics: Obama for and against Himself. Washington, D.C.: CQ, 2012. Print.

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