Presidents face numerous challenges as they endeavor to meet expectations of leadership beyond given powers. “Connecting to and leading the government” shows how the presidency manages the many organizations and expenditures of government, a task that has grown in size, complexity, and intensity over time. To whom or what must presidents connect? The many cabinet departments and major agencies are described along with the roles of the inner circle—key advisers and assistants, the vice president, and the first spouse. The federal government is intricately connected to governance in the fifty states and thousands of localities. The challenge for presidents is to take advantage of bureaucratic experience in formulating and promoting their programs.