Abstract: In the last decades, many political theorists have explored the idea of “deliberative democracy.” The basic claim is that well-functioning democracies combine accountability with a commitment to reflection, information acquisition, multiple perspectives, and reason-giving. Does that claim illuminate actual practices? Much of the time, the executive branch in the United States combines both democracy and deliberation, not least because it places a high premium on reason-giving and the acquisition of necessary information. It also contains a high degree of internal diversity, encouraging debate and disagreement, not least through the public comment process. These claims are illustrated with concrete, if somewhat stylized, discussions of how the executive branch often operates.