How the U.S. President Works
George Washington was aware his actions would be reviewed for centuries to come; he wrote that his foray into the first presidency was like “entering upon an unexplored field, enveloped on every side with clouds and darkness.” Washington had no model on which to base his actions, and every decision he made would set precedent for presidents to come.
To fully understand what a president does and how he or she does it, it’s important to view a president not as an incumbent holding office for four or eight years, but as a part of a larger organism, the presidency itself. The office is a dynamic, ever-evolving thing that’s molded, carved, expanded upon, battered and made different by every person who holds it. The presidency, in other words, is larger than any single president.