Obama: Separation of Powers ‘Very Frustrating Sometimes for the President’

Wednesday at a town hall in Buenos Aires, President Barack Obama admitted although it is “very frustrating” for the president, the United States system is more stable because the power is distributed due to the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers.

Obama said, “I also think that one of the great advantages of the United States system, even though it is very frustrating sometimes for the president is that power is distributed across a lot of different institutions – it’s what we call separation of powers and decentralization. And so it’s not just that the president and congress are separate centers of power, it’s also true that you have state governments that are powerful, the private sector is powerful. And this makes it hard sometimes for America to change as rapidly as we need to, to respond to changed circumstances or problems because it’s sorts like herding cats, your constantly trying to get everybody to work together and move in the same direction at the same time and that’s difficult.”

“The advantage is that even if we end up with someone that I don’t consider a great president, there is a limit to some of the damage that they can do because — and I am sure Republicans feel that about me,” he continued. “They are glad that there is the distribution of powers because they imagine that I’d have turned the United States into Cuba I suppose. They tend to exaggerate a little bit on how I see the world. But that’s why I think the United States has been stable as a democracy for a very long time.”

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