“I am free to acknowledge that His Powers are full great, and greater than I was disposed to make them. Nor, Entre Nous, do I believe they would have been so great had not many of the members cast their eyes towards General Washington as President; and shaped their Ideas of the Powers to be given to a President, by their opinions of his Virtue.”
— Pierce Butler (letter to Weedon Butler, 5 May 1778)
Reference: The Records of the Federal Convention 0f 1781, Farrand, ed., vol. 3 (302)
I’ve heard before that the main reason we have such a powerful Chief Executive, and the reason the Presidency’s powers are so vaguely defined is because everyone writing the Constitution knew the first President would be George Washington and that he’d figure it out. It would be interesting to see what they would done differently if Washington had made it known that he wouldn’t take the office.