We all know that the president of USA is one powerful person. But what does it take to become president? And how do you run a country as complex and diverse as America? What are they like in their day-to-day life, and how much power do they have over our everyday lives? Let’s find out!
Chosen through the presidential election
Here’s how it works:
1. The states of America choose which candidates they want for president and vice-president and elect their electors to represent them. These electors receive a list of all the candidates running in their state, and they vote for the candidate that most closely represents the way they see things.
2. In the presidential election, as with any election, each state gets several votes equal to the number of members in its congressional delegation: one for their representative and another for their senator. For example, California has two senators and 53 representatives, so it gets 55 electoral votes. The District of Columbia also has three votes because of the 23 representatives and one senator it has in Congress. This gives a total of 538 electoral votes, meaning that a candidate needs 270+ electoral votes to get elected president.
3. After all the states have voted, whichever candidate received more than half of the electoral votes becomes president, while whoever gets more than half of what’s left becomes vice president. If there is a tie, the House of Representatives elects the president and the Senate chooses the vice-president.
4. On inauguration day, January 20, the president-elect affirms that they will uphold and defend the constitution of the United States. They take an oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Then they give a speech. If someone wants to be president, they have to have good public speaking skills.
A different process
The system used to be very different: before 1872, presidential electors were chosen based on which candidate received a majority in their state, but today they are chosen without reference to how their state voted. This happened after the election of 1876 when candidate Samuel J. Tilden won 184 electoral votes but lost to Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote because he only managed to get three states to flip their votes at the last minute.
The president of USA duties and responsibilities
They are described in the constitution, which says that the president of USA must serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, sits at the head of foreign policy, and is also charged with appointing judges, ambassadors, and public officials.
The president also has to sign or veto bills passed by Congress within 10 days. It’s not just that they have to do it themselves: they have to date the bill when they sign it, too. If they don’t manage to get back in time, Congress will usually send someone else to sign the bill on their behalf.
The president is not just one person: many people work for them and help them make decisions such as members of the cabinet and their staff. These people can help them to run the country, but it’s still up to the president to decide what will happen.
The president of USA is in a powerful position. They are only one step away from being the most powerful person in the world, with their decisions impacting international relations, military actions, and many other facets of life. It’s no wonder that people have so many questions for this person.