The Power of the American President to Persuade

The power to persuade is arguably the most important power of a president and the one to which Neustadt devotes much of their book. This paper discusses the presidential power of persuasion in view of recent presidents.&nbsp.

Several factors in the American political arena necessitate a president’s possession of the power of persuasion. First, the powers of the government of the United States are diffused in the three branches of the federal government and a multitude of other institutions and agencies at the federal, state and local government levels (Dye, et al., 2011). Thus, governmental powers are not only separated but also, and more importantly, shared. Power sharing is good for any democracy such as America: it avoids the situation where too much power is vested in a person, office or institution, making the power highly susceptible to abuse. Power sharing introduces the necessary checks and balances among the various power holders. However, the separation and sharing of governmental power create practical challenges to the president when it comes to getting things done. The various branches, institutions, and agencies of government pursue differently and sometimes competing, interests. Under these circumstances, a president cannot rely solely on the powers the Constitution vest in them. they must be able to influence the various government actors to support their causes that are assumed to promote the interest of the public.

The president is responsible for initiating federal policy on various matters of national significance such as healthcare, education and foreign relations(Dye, et al., 2011). A policy provides a framework within which the federal government approaches the particular matter that is the concern of the policy.&nbsp. However, the legislative authority of the federal government, including the enactment of federal policies initiated by the Executive, rests with the Congress. The policy priorities and concerns of the two branches of the federal government are not always the same. Therefore, whether or not Congress passes a policy depends, to a large extent, on the ability of the President to persuade both houses of Congress on the need and importance of the policy.