ATLANTA — Reading the words on the page, it is remarkable to think George Washington’s eyes perused this very page more than two centuries ago as he sought to define the office of President.
He had no predecessor to look to as a guide, just the words. So, as Washington studied the Constitution to determine what exactly his duties as the nation’s first president would be, he wrote three words in the margin next to Article Two of the Constitution: “President,” “Powers” and “Required.”
“You really start to get a sense of his thought process,’’ said Sylvia Naguib, curator of the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum. “He’s coming to grips with: ‘what does this role require of me?’
“This was uncharted territory. We don’t think of him in those terms. We think of him as … a great leader of our county, a great military leader. We don’t think about (how) this has never been done. He did not want to be the king. So, how then do you lead?”