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Published on November 2nd, 2012 | by Jasmin Ramsey


Is the President an “elected king”?

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Something light, or heavy, depending on your views of the US constitution, just days before official voting starts for the presidential election.

In this clip from “With Honors” (1994), a homeless person living in the basement of a Harvard library (played by Joe Pesci) outwits and outsmarts a condescing Professor (played by the late and great, Gore Vidal), in a heated exchange over the powers granted to the President by the constitution.

I can’t speak to the veracity of the claims made here and a legal friend tells me there’s no clear answer, but Pesci’s performance is representative of one of the US’s greatest contributions to modern cinema — the oscar-worthy speech.

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About the Author


A multilingual Iranian-born journalist, Jasmin Ramsey is the editor and manager of the well-known U.S. Mideast policy site, LobeLog, and the Washington correspondent for the international news wire service, IPS News. Under her leadership LobeLog was recognized by the Economist as an essential stop for Iran coverage. Ramsey was also named one of the Guardian’s top ten Twitter accounts to follow on Iran in 2014. Her current work focuses on U.S.-Iran relations, U.S. foreign policy, and mideast affairs. You can email her at jasmin[dot]ramsey[at]gmail[dot]com.

One Response to Is the President an “elected king”?

  1. avatar Mehrooz Zamanzadeh says:

    I think this piece is one of the most interesting presentations that I have seen during years. It exhibits interpretations, Harvard graduates and powers granted to the president by constitution in just short 6 minutes.

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