National Security Powers
Commander in chief of the armed forces
Make treaties with other nations
Treaties are subject to the agreement of 2/3 of the Senate. Executive agreements are agreements with the heads of foreign governments, and they don't require Senate ratification.
Presidents can nominate ambassadors with the agreement of the majority of the Senate.
Receive ambassadors from other countries
This is a bigger deal than it might seem. By accepting ambassadors from other nations, they recognize other governments as countries. For example, if the US were to receive ambassadors from Taiwan, it would mean that it recognizes it as a country.
Inform Congress about the state of the union
The president always has to inform Congress about the state of this country, but it doesn't have to be in the form of a speech. In the beginning, George Washington gave speeches, but Thomas Jefferson discontinued it, as it was too similar to a monarchial speech from the throne. In fact, the first president to give a State of the Union address since then was Woodrow Wilson in 1913.
Recommend legislature to Congress
Presidents can recommend legislation, such as Obama recommending the signing of the Affordable Care Act.
Convene both houses of Congress
This is only done on extraordinary occasions. The last time this was done was in 1948, when Truman convened Congress. In total, this power has been used 27 times.
Adjourn Congress if the House and Senate cannot agree on adjournment
This is also very rare.
The president can veto a bill in two ways.
1. He can formally veto it.
This means that he doesn't allow the passage of a bill. This can be overridden by 2/3 of both houses.
2. He can use a pocket veto
This means that if Congress adjourns within 10 days after the signing of a bill, and the president doesn't sign it, the bill doesn't pass. If Congress still is in session after 10 days, then the bill passes.
"Take care that laws be faithfully executed"
Request written opinions of administrative officials
Fill administrative vacancies during congressional recesses
Grant reprieves and pardons for federal offenses
A reprieve pushes back your sentence, and a pardon decriminalizes you. A famous pardon was when Ford pardoned Nixon in 1974.
Nominate federal judges
Federal judges must be confirmed by a majority of the Senate. They usually come from the president's party.
Leader of their party
The president is the leader of his/her political party. For example, Barack Obama represents the Democratic Party, while Ronald Reagan represented the ideals of the Republican Party.
Make Executive Agreements
Mentioned before, they are like treaties with the leader of another country that don't require support of the Senate.
Issue Executive Orders
Executive orders are orders that act as laws, but they can be undone by the next president.
Mobilize the Public
The president can use the public to gain support for a specific issue. For example, Reagan gained the public's support for his 1981 tax cut bill.