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John Dickerson on how the job description for the presidency spiraled out of control




The White House is seen during the US presidential election night on November 8, 2016 in Washington,DC.
The White House is seen during the US presidential election night on November 8, 2016 in Washington,DC.
YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images

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Consoler-in-chief, PR manager, bipartisan dealmaker, savvy campaigner, commander in chief of the armed forces and leader of the free world.

Those are just a few of the tasks in the president’s job description. A job that, as John Dickerson argues in his new Atlantic cover story, was designed by the Framers to be fairly weak but has snowballed through time into an office that’s impossible for one person to successfully occupy. And if that’s the case, can we really blame a president for not shouldering the burden of a position that asks too much?

Dickerson traces the history of the presidential office, exploring its inception, the presidents that moved the needle on presidential power and how television and an extended campaigning process placed new demands on a position that has now ballooned into a job that’s set up for failure.

GUEST:

John Dickerson, journalist and a co-host of CBS This Morning; his cover story for the May issue of The Atlantic is “The Hardest Job in the World