The President of the United States is in all respects a creation of our Constitution. The position of President is created by Article ll. Sections two and three are the only place in the Constitution that define a President and his powers and duties. They consist of just 317 words which can be condensed to just twelve items of 129 words:
l. Be commander in chief of the Army and Navy when called into service.
2. Require the opinion of the principal officer in each executive department.
3. Have power to grand reprieves and pardons.
4. Make treaties.
5. Nominate and appoint ambassadors, judges of the Supreme Court and all other officers of the United States.
6. Fill up all vacancies during the recess of the Senate.
7. Give to Congress information of the state of the union.
8. Recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.
9. On extraordinary occasions convene both Houses, or either of them.
10. Receive ambassadors and other public ministers.
11. Take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
12. Commission all the officers of the United States.
There you have it, the complete list of the constitutional duties of the President. The Constitution doesn't say anything about his power to veto legislation. Article l, Section 7 allows him to return to Congress, within 10 days, any bills he doesn't approve of, with his objections. It would be interesting to know if he has done this with the bills he has supposedly "vetoed." If he didn't, they automatically become law.
Take a look at those twelve items that a president is limited to doing and consider the following list of things that George Bush has been involved in and all the candidates are spouting off about:
Abortion, budget, economy, civil rights, corporations, crime, drugs, education, energy, oil, environment, families, children, foreign policy, free trade, government reform, gun control, health care, homeland security, immigration, jobs, principles, values, social security, tax reform, technology, war, peace, welfare and poverty.
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