Functions of the presidency

Had Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Delano Roosevelt been able to view the presidency of the modern era, it is likely that he would not recognize the office he once held. The modern-day presidency employs a multifaceted and powerful array of tools. The media, agencies, departments, public relations, advisors, and pollsters function to provide the president with a wide variety of data-collection tools and policy promulgation vehicles that help to influence public policy and the public policy process.

Many of the rules, responsibilities, and functions related to the presidency have changed over time in ways that paralleled the growth of modern society. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt could never have envisioned space travel, the Internet, the global economy, or nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. Today, the modern presidency recognizes such realities of modern life. The presidency must continue to develop a policy making apparatus that is both relevant and responsive to the environment in which it governs.

You may wish to consider specific presidencies in framing a response to your assignment. Take into account developments that have occurred under recent presidents in the realms of technology, commerce, health sciences, and other areas.

Pay close attention to public policies that have been blocked or promulgated by the executive branch. Select a recent public policy issue that either has been blocked or promulgated by the president.

Consider what actions were taken to block or promulgate the selected public policy issue and why it was promulgated or blocked.

The Assignment:

Write a 4- to 5-page, double-spaced paper in which you do the following:

  • Describe a recent public policy controversy where the executive branch demonstrated its ability to block or promulgate the policy.
  • Briefly explain the roles, responsibilities, and functions of the presidency that allowed the president to promulgate or block the specific policy you selected.
  • Explain what the executive branch did to either block or promulgate the policy and why.
  • Include three additional scholarly resources published in the last three years, in addition to citing this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Cite all resources in APA format.
  • Anderson, J. E. (2015). Public policymaking: An introduction (8th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
    • Chapter 2, “The Policy-Makers and Their Environment” (pp. 41–60)
    • Chapter 4, “Policy Adoption” (pp. 161–179)
  • Bettelheim, A. (2002). Presidential power. CQ Researcher, 12, 945–968.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Jacobson, G. C. (2011). Legislative success and political failure: The public’s reaction to Barack Obama’s early presidency. Presidential Studies Quarterly41(2), 220–243.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • The American Presidency Project. (2014). Executive orders. Retrieved from


  • Laureate Education (Producer). (2014). Legislative process [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.Note: Please click on the following link for the transcript: Transcript (PDF)