If some of these things seem like they might be in conflict at times with what the President of the United States can’t do, well, that’s the point. Checks and balances. The Government is made up of three branches – Executive (POTUS), Legislative (Congress), and Judicial (SCOTUS). No one has a magic button to do what they want. While this may seem like it creates a lot of pointless red tape and infighting, it also keeps the Republic running and not turning into an Oligarchy. So before you hate Obama/Bush/Clinton/Reagan, remember, the President takes most of the blame when everything goes wrong, and very little praise when it goes right.
The first time a turkey presented to a US president was “pardoned” was in 1863, by Abraham Lincoln. Starting in 1989 with George H. Bush, every turkey presented to the POTUS has been pardoned – as in, they won’t be slaughtered and eaten for dinner at the White House on Thanksgiving. This is one of the longest running unofficial traditions and duties of the President.
One of the President’s most important duties is to faithfully execute the laws. This is explicitly stated in the Constitution, and the president must do so regardless of his own views on the matter, providing that the laws are constitutionally valid. This is in direct opposition to English Kings, who had the ability to suspend laws they didn’t care for.
The President can be tried for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” and removed from office upon conviction for those offenses. The process of trial is called Impeachment, and should a President be convicted and removed from office, the Vice President would be sworn in as President to serve the rest of the term.
Executive Orders are legally binding orders given by the President to Federal Agencies. These are usually used to direct execution of the agencies duties; however, there are also Proclamations that are usually ceremonial or Orders in relation to national security which are known as National Security Directives. These Orders do not require Congressional Approval but are as enforceable as laws.
The President may be elected to two terms in his or her lifetime, meaning if they take over as president while serving as vice president, they may still run and be elected twice. They are also free to run for other offices after their terms as President is over. Theoretically this includes Vice President as the constitution doesn’t explicitly say they may not, but in such a case the SCOTUS would probably be called upon to interpret the Constitution. Andrew Johnson served in the Senate after his Presidency until his death.
Only a member of Congress can introduce legislation to be voted on, but it is the job of the President to recommend some important pieces of legislation to Congress, such as the annual budget and laws the President may have promised during his campaign. The President lays out his legislative agenda for the year during the State of the Union address and may call upon specific members of Congress to sponsor bills to that end. A recent and well known example of this is the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.