This comprehensive guide is the definitive source for researchers seeking an understanding of those who have occupied the White House and on the institution of the U.S. presidency. Readers turn to Guide to the Presidency for its wealth of facts and analytical chapters that explain the structure, powers, and operations of the office and the president’s relationship with Congress and the Supreme Court. The work is divided into eight distinct subject areas covering every aspect of the U.S. presidency.

Chapter 13 Chief Diplomat

Chapter 13 Chief diplomat

In the nineteenth century, when U.S. foreign interests were limited primarily to trade and western expansion, presidents were able to concentrate largely on domestic policy. Today, the wide array of U.S. economic, political, and military commitments abroad ensures that presidents will spend at least half of their time on foreign affairs. But, in fact, as economic life becomes more globalized, the distinction between domestic and foreign policy is blurring.

The Constitution makes the president the formal head of state. As the “sole representative with foreign nations,” the president speaks for the nation as a whole and is often the focus of national hopes and fears, pride, and shame.1 In the role of chief negotiator and national spokesperson, the president has ...

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