the policy is not the President's decision, for the most part. Policy is actually set in the house and congress
Whoa, skwirly...that's very dangerous thinking. Are you suggesting the healthcare plan which is about to turn the American economy into a pinwheel was a congressional initiative? Are you saying that the draw-down in troops currently impacting the plans of foreign interests across the world was dreamed up by congress? Are you thinking the addition of trillions of dollars in national debt would have been made no matter who the President was?
An American President is as involved as he decides to be. This one seems to get involved in all the wrong ways and remain completely detached from too many things that should have his attention. Too much Trayvon when it's none of his business. Too much golf when we need his involvement. Too many czars circumventing congress.
I think FDR would tell you a President can pretty much do whatever the hell he feels like doing, if he goes about it in the right way.
You can't just take the word of text books and talk show hosts on this subject. They're talking about how things are DESIGNED to function. Then, however, there is the real world. To get the skinny on that you have to pay close attention over several decades.