The President of the United States has many formal powers provided to the office by the Constitution, including those explicitly granted by Article II. The Constitution explicitly assigns to the president these powers and while some of them require the approval of congress, they greatly expand the power and legitimacy of the office.
One formal power provided to the president is that of Commander and Chief of the armed forces such as the ARMY, NAVY, and the US Air Force. The President is the final authority in military matters and ultimately is responsible for the entire military might of the United States. I’ve always felt that this was one of the more appropriate powers for the president as it provides a single individual for the armed forces to unite under.
Another formal power provided to the president would be the power to Veto laws passed by congress. While the president veto can be overridden by a 2/3 majority in both houses, the threat of a veto by the president persuades the congress to consider the political opposition or support it may receive from the executive branch while passing controversial legislation, effectively injecting the executive branch into the law making process.
Two more formal powers provided to the president include the power to make political appointment and to negotiate treaties with foreign nations. While these powers also require the approval of the senate, they greatly increase the power of the presidential office and legitimize the office among foreign nations who also have a single, powerful, figure head leading the government. The President is responsible for making a great many number of appointments, the most important of which are his cabinet and federal judges.
These are just a few of the more powerful formal powers provided to the president, others include the ability to call congress in session and then also the power to adjourn, the power to grant pardons for federal crimes, and the responsibility to ensure that all passed laws are faithfully executed.
Along with the offices formal powers given by the Constitution, the President also has various informal powers including the ability to enact a legislative agenda, executive orders, sending out troops without a declaration of war, and conducting foreign policy initiatives.
Unlike the formal powers provided to the president, the president’s informal powers are not specifically written out in the Constitution, hence why the called informal title. These powers are similar to the “necessary and proper” powers of Congress because they both are used in certain situations that include unique circumstances. Powers written out in the Constitution were meant to be used regularly and without conflict, while the informal powers are only inferred from the Constitution and are generally not to be used regularly.