My answer to What are some of the most awesome powers of the President of the United States?
Answer by Ken Larson:
The President of the Unites States has very real power.
STRATFOR GEOPOLITICAL WEEKLY
“The American presidency is designed to disappoint.
What the winner actually can deliver depends upon what other institutions, nations and reality will allow him or her.
Each candidate must promise things that are beyond their power to deliver. No candidate could expect to be elected by emphasizing how little power the office actually has and how voters should therefore expect little from him.
So candidates promise great, transformative programs. Though the gap between promises and realities destroys immodest candidates, from the founding fathers’ point of view, it protects the republic. They distrusted government in general and the office of the president in particular.
Congress, the Supreme Court and the Federal Reserve Board all circumscribe the president’s power over domestic life. This and the authority of the states greatly limit the president’s power, just as the country’s founders intended.
To achieve anything substantial, the president must create a coalition of political interests to shape decision-making in other branches of the government. Yet at the same time — and this is the main paradox of American political culture — the presidency is seen as a decisive institution and the person holding that office is seen as being of overriding importance.”