THE PRESIDENCY: Splendid Misery

In his first year as first President, George Washington approved 27 laws, made about no appointments, and his budgetmaking amounted to no more than signing a 13-line document prepared in Congress. Thomas Jefferson, whose chores were not much heavier, called the presidency "splendid misery." Yet today, in a typical year, Dwight Eisenhower may sign 750 bills, send 40,000 promotions and appointments to Congress, and take the responsibility for a budget that fills 1,100 small-print pages. Not only is he expected to lead Western diplomacy, guide the nation's domestic affairs and entertain ceremoniously, but he must perform such assorted functions...

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