Increasing the Power and Reach of Presidents Through Technology

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

Article II of the Constitution grants the president the power to set policy goals and signal which bills they will veto. Increasingly, presidents have leveraged technological changes to communicate their agenda directly to the national constituency. For example, Franklin D. Roosevelt's fireside chats on the radio heightened the presidential bully pulpit. In the twenty-first century, social media has expanded the president's reach and allowed them to respond to political issues almost instantaneously.

Similarly, the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) is the lead federal agency charged with harnessing science, technology, and innovation to achieve America's greatest aspirations. The OSTP director, a Senate-confirmed position, serves as Chair of PCAST, an independent advisory body made up of distinguished members of industry and academia from a variety of perspectives and fields.

While the president has the ultimate authority to decide which legislation to veto, they still rely on the national constituency for support and to influence Congress. For this reason, since the beginning of the twentieth century, presidents have used technological advances to promote their agenda and communicate with the American people. The State of the Union is one way in which this has been done, with the president delivering an annual address to Congress and the nation.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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