The essays in this special issue present and develop several important themes in the examination of ethical presidential leadership. These include the distinction(s) between public and private virtues; the ways in which America's history and democratic ethos shape the “constitutional character” required of its chief executive; the complications in the assessment of presidential leadership posed by the multidimensional character of the presidential office and by the variety of challenges that the president confronts; and the different and often divergent sources of democratic legitimacy, including responsiveness to the electorate, guidance by one's own judgment of its interests, and fidelity to one's core convictions.