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December 7, 1994

Presidential Disability and the Twenty-fifth Amendment

Author Affiliations

From the History of Medicine Section, Coy C. Carpenter Library (Dr Link), and the Stroke Research Center and Department of Neurology (Dr Toole), Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.

JAMA. 1994;272(21):1694-1697. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520210078036

THE AMERICAN presidency is the most powerful office in the world, yet this has not always been true. The emergence of the United States to global power during the two world wars catapulted the United States into financial and military dominance, which increased exponentially during the Cold War. The US president, because of his position as commander in chief of the military and of the nuclear weapons storehouse, is perhaps the world's dominant person. Furthermore, the president is the leader of his political party and the chief administrator of a vast and sprawling bureaucracy that enjoys great and direct control over the lives and activities of millions of people.

See also pp 1689, 1698, and 1699.

None of these potentialities was considered possible when the Constitutional Convention assembled in Philadelphia, Pa, in May 1787 to construct a framework for government of the new United States of America. Despite their genius

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