The President of the United States is the head of state of the U.S., the chief executive of the federal government, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The United States was the first nation to create the office of President as the head of state in a modern republic.
The 44th and current President of the United States is Barack Hussein Obama. He was sworn in for his second four-year term on January 21, 2013.
The President must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.
State of the Union Address
The Constitution requires the President to give Congress a State of the Union, which is a report that addresses a President's legislative proposals and other plans for the country. There is no requirement stating what form or how often the report occurs; however, it normally occurs annually in the last week of January. You can view President Obama's final State of the Union address from January 12, 2016.
The 47th and current Vice President of the United States is Joe Biden. He was sworn in for his second, four-year term on January 21, 2013.
The Vice President of the United States of America is the President of the Senate and takes over the role of President if the President is unable to perform his/her duties. This can be because of the President's death, resignation, or temporary incapacitation, or if the Vice President, and a majority of the Cabinet, judge that the President is no longer able to discharge the duties of the presidency.
The First Lady of the United States has traditionally been the wife or close female relative of the President of the United States. First Ladies are the hostesses of the White House, serve as advisors to the President, and are often involved in social activism. Over the course of American history, the role of the First Lady has changed and evolved. Read the biographies of the First Ladies to learn about their contributions to the presidential administrations and to the nation.
Inauguration Day occurs every four years on January 20 (or January 21 if January 20 falls on a Sunday) at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC. On this federal holiday, the President-elect and Vice-President-elect are sworn in and take office.
The Vice-President-elect is sworn in first, and repeats the same oath of office, in use since 1884, as Senators, Representatives, and other federal employees:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
An election for president occurs every four years on Election Day, held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The 2016 presidential election will be held on November 8, 2016.
The election process begins with the primary elections, during which political parties each select a nominee to unite behind (the nominee also selects a vice presidential running mate at this time). The candidates then face off in the general elections (typically debates and campaigns) across the country to explain their views and plans to voters.
Presidential elections use the Electoral College. To win the election, a candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes but in the event no candidate receives the majority, the House of Representatives and Senate choose the President and Vice President.
The typical periods of the presidential election process are the following:
Spring of the previous calendar year -- candidates announce their intentions to run
Summer to December of the previous calendar year -- primary and caucus debates
January to June -- primaries and caucuses
July to early September -- nominating conventions (including those of the minor third parties)
Late September and October -- presidential election debates
Early November -- Election Day
December -- electors cast their electoral votes
Early January of the following calendar year -- Congress counts the electoral votes
January 20 of the following year -- Inauguration Day
Presidential Greetings, Photographs, and Invitations
White House Greetings Request
To request a greeting from the White House, fill out the Greetings Request webform. The form details the policies and procedures, how and when to request a greeting, and a full list of eligible events. Eligible events include but are not limited to:
Births (available within a year of birth date)
Birthdays (80 years and older or 70 years and older for veterans)
Anniversaries (50 or more years)
Weddings and civil unions
Retirements (20 or more years of service)
The Greetings department recommends sending in your request six to eight weeks in advance of the occasion. However, for events including births and adoptions, send your request after the event date.
If you already submitted a request and need to make sure your information is correct, contact the White House Comments Line at 1-202-456-1111.
Invitations for the White House and All Other Requests
If you would like to extend an invitation to, have questions for, or would like information about the President, the White House, or the status of a request, contact the White Houseonline, by phone, fax or by mail.
Phone: 1-202-456-1414 Comments Line: 1-202-456-1111 TTY: 1-202-456-6213 Fax: 1-202-456-2461 The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington DC 20500