Evaluating Trump’s First 100 Days
After 100 days in office, President Trump has very little to show for his work except to show that there's no reason to trust his judgment going forward.
As Steven Taylor has already noted, today marks President Trump’s 100th day in office. In general, I’m agreement with my co-blogger, the President, and several other pundits such as The Wall Street Journal’s Charles Kesler, this is in many ways an entirely artificial measurement that really doesn’t tell us much of anything about how a President’s time in office might turn out. In fact, recent experience tells us that there really hasn’t been anything notable about the first 100 days in office of any recent President that has been notable. President Obama’s first 100 days, for example, weren’t marked by very much of any significance with the possible exception being the
President Obama’s first 100 days, for example, weren’t marked by very much of any significance with the possible exception being the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act, the stimulus package that was passed within Obama’s first month in office. That bill, however, is something that Democrats in Congress and members of the incoming Administration had been working on since Election Day and included many provisions that Democrats on Capitol Hill had been attempting to get adopted for years, so in many ways the bill itself was ready-made for the new President when he took office on January 20th, 2009. Furthermore, the fact that the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress at the time meant it wasn’t very hard to get the bill through Congress on onto the President’s desk in less than four weeks. Beyond that bill, though, Obama’s first 100 days were fairly humdrum and consisted of the same things we always see at the start of any Presidency, namely the process of getting the new Executive Branch staffed-up and confirmed by the Senate where necessary. Similarly, the first 100 days of George W. Bush’s Presidency didn’t include very much in the way of anything earth-shattering accomplishment or failure. President Bill Clinton’s first 100 days in office included having to engage in a search for an Attorney General nominee who didn’t have some kind of tax problem before finally settling on Miami-Dade County State’s Attorney Janet Reno, who ended up becoming one of the few members of Clinton’s Cabinet to serve for most of both of his terms in office. Before him, President George H.W. Bush’s first 100 days were a bit unique in that the marked the beginning of what would become, by the end of 1989, the effective end of the Cold War with events such as the protests and massacre in Tiananmen Square, the rising protests in Poland and elsewhere across Eastern Europe, and finally the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Other than that, though, the biggest story of the elder Bush’s first 100 days was the difficulty he had in getting his first choice for Defense Secretary, John Tower, confirmed due to his past alcohol problems and accusations of inappropriate conduct toward women. President Reagan’s first 100 days, meanwhile, were interrupted when he was shot and nearly killed on March 30, 1981, less than a month short of his first 100 days in office. He would not return to the public eye until the evening before his 100th day in office when he delivered an address to Congress where he was incredibly well-received and which set the stage for a successful first year in office.
Even the events which first popularized the idea of a President’s first 100 days are popularly misunderstood, as Charles Kesler notes in his Wall Street Journal piece:
FDR spoke of “the hundred days which had been devoted to the starting of the wheels of the New Deal” in his fireside chat of July 24, 1933—142 days after his March 4 inauguration. He was referring to “the historical special session of the Congress” he had convened, which opened March 9 and adjourned June 16. That is, the Hundred Days were legislative days, not executive days.
Today’s Congress commonly leaves Washington three days a week. If you wanted to apply Roosevelt’s implicit criterion of 100 congressional days, you’d be counting not to April 30, but into July or August—or even September or later, since Congress is in recess the whole month of August.
In other words, there really isn’t anything special about a President’s first 100 days in office and the history on which it is based is largely misunderstood.
Despite all of this, there is still much attention being paid today to the fact that President Trump has hit his 100th day in office has led the media, pundits, bloggers, and a host of others to offer up evaluations of what is essentially an entirely arbitrary number of days. You can easily find any number of these analyses, opinion pieces, and such on your own if you wish. In some of the more interesting pieces, though, New York Times reporters Mark Landler, Ellen Barry, and Jason Horowitz take a look at how the rest of the world is viewing Trump now that he’s been in office for roughly three months, Washington Post Business columnist Allan Sloan take a look at the promises Trump made regarding economic policy within his first 100 days, his colleague Elise Viebeck takes a look at what, exactly, the new President has done so far, and the Post’s fact checker evaluates all of the claims Trump has made during his first 100 days. Finally, and not surprisingly, the Editors at The New York Times take a mostly negative view of how the President has done during his first 100 days.
Notwithstanding the fact that it is entirely arbitrary, the fact of the matter is that President Trump, like most of his predecessors stretching back to the beginning of the Eisenhower Administration, is being evaluated by the professional political class and the pundit is being judged whether that happens to be fair or unfair. So far at least, it’s hard not to agree with those who are by and large giving the President rather poor grades across the board and to conclude that these first 100 days do not bode well for at least the short-term future of the Trump Administration. With the sole exception of the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, which was mostly pre-determined given that the GOP controls the Senate, there really hasn’t been anything of note that Trump has done since January 20th that’s worth recounting. Indeed, some of his most notable actions, such as Executive Orders seeking to bar people from seven majority Muslim nations from coming to the United States and another seeking to withhold Federal funds from states, counties, and cities that adopt so-called “sanctuary” policies regarding undocumented immigrants, have both been declared unconstitutional by multiple Federal Judges. He has signed a few pieces of legislation into law, most of which involve action by Congress pursuant to a little-known law passed in the 1990s that authorize Congress to review and repeal certain actions by regulatory agencies. While some of those actions will have a big impact on specific industries, none of them are particularly earth-shattering, or even all that important.
The most notable thing about Trump’s first 100 days from a legislative point of view, of course, is the failure of the Republican-controlled House to even be able to vote on a bill to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act. The first effort, which was introduced at the end of March in the form of the American Health Care Act, quickly turned into a political hot potato as both conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus and moderates abandoned their support for the bill the more changes were made to appease one group or the other. As a result, the GOP leadership scuttled their efforts to pass the bill before the Easter recess. In the weeks that followed, there were efforts to revise the AHCA to create something that could pass the House, but once it was clear that the changes made to appease the Freedom Caucus would not be acceptable to Republican moderates, the plan to bring that matter to a vote this week was also abandoned. Now, it seems clear that there won’t be a vote on any health care reform bill in the House unless and until they have a majority to do so. Right now, that seems unlikely.
The one thing we can say based on Trump’s first 100 days is that the pattern of behavior that we saw during his time as a candidate has not changed since he officially became President on January 20th. Back then, Trump got into hot water many times on the campaign trail over things that he said in a speech or things that he posted on Twitter and this would become a topic of media obsession for several days at least. The same thing has been true over the past 100 days. More than once, the President has been known to send out a random series of tweets, usually based off of something he sees on cable news, or to otherwise say something controversial. Thus, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to observe that Trump’s behavior really hasn’t changed since he became President. Given that he’s a seventy-year-old man who has basically done whatever he wanted to for most of the past forty years, he’s not going to change now and very few people around him except perhaps his children and his wife are going to be able to talk him out of something he’s convinced he should do. The sole exception here seems to be the foreign policy arena, where he at least seems to be listening to the advice of people such as Defense Secretary James Mattis, NSC Adviser H.R. McMaster, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Even there, though, it’s Trump who makes the final judgment and it’s his judgment we are all going to be dependent upon if and when a real crisis happens.
With 100 days behind us, it’s worth noting that there are 1,361 days yet to come before we reach even the end of Trump’s first term. Even if he ends up losing a re-election bid in 2020, that’s a long time and these first 100 days don’t really tell us much of anything about where we’re headed. That being said, if you’re less than optimistic about things turning out well, I’m right there with you. I’ve said repeatedly since January on social media and elsewhere that I have little confidence in this President when it comes to making the decisions that will need to be made in a crisis, or when it comes to accomplishing anything worthwhile. In fact, I’m quite concerned indeed. That, however, is for the future.
For his first 100 days, I suppose the grade I give President Trump is “Meh.”
Of course the first 100 days is artificial and isn’t as important as so many in the media are making it out to be…but let us not forget that it was Trump himself who talked about the importance of his first 100 days before he then turned around and said it was a meaningless figure…by the way, that is the perfect illustration of Trump…he’s shown himself to be a punk with feet of clay…he lays down absolute demands and consistently back-pedals and accepts whatever he can get…so much for the supposedly great “negotiator”…
Well, Potus Trump said:
(Bold mine, Source:http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-first-100-days-most-successful)
The most successful in our country’s history !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111!q1
The trick to sales is to sell the sizzle, but this, just… it’s… I can’t even.
FDR was referring to the hundred legislative days, as Kesler says. But remember that Inauguration Day used to be later. FDR was inaugurated March 5, So it was only 104 presidential days. Given majorities in congress, they and FDR seem to have hit the ground running. Trump, Ryan, and McConnell not so much.
“Meh” seems awfully generous.
He hasn’t even nominated people to fill out the middle and junior levels of the administration. This is just basic, run ofmthe mill, run the government stuff. If he had great plans, that didn’t self-destruct immediately, he couldn’t implement them.
Look at the fiasco of the Muslim Ban rollout — it was complete chaos (in addition to unconstitutionally imposing a religious test and being morally reprehensible). Utter incompetence on the ground, with no one sure of who is covered, etc.
But here’s a little thought exercise — start with a grade of A, and then try to come up with a set of criteria to justify that grade. I’ve got nothing. Even on a facetious criteria like “pissing off liberals” doesn’t hit it out of the park because of all the incompetence.
Pissing Off Liberals: B- (mockery is not anger…)
Not Blowing Up The World: B (you get a B for not launching nukes, higher grades for making the world safer)
Destroying The Environment: B- (hobbled by the lack of staff)
Tax Cuts For The Wealthy: Incomplete (his “plan” is so bad it may galvanize resistance)
Repeal Obamacare: F
Acting Tough: C- (putting potholes in an airfield, dropping a big bomb on some dirt… not cutting it)
Even here, I feel like I am padding out the grades. Is “nepotism” even a category?
@Gustopher: I’m going to revise my grading slightly.
“Nepotism” should be replaced by “In Your Face IOKIYAR” — it converts something generally regarded as bad, to something that becomes a show of dominance. Weak little Democrats aren’t able to get away with such amazing levels of nepotism and corruption, while the Trump administration does it on a daily basis and people barely bat an eye.
Hillary wouldn’t have gotten away with making Clelsea an advisor, or her putting her husband in charge of Middle East peace, and government reform and everything else. That just shows how much stronger Donald J. Trump is.
““The greatest change of all is the renewal of the American spirit,” he said. “As long as we have faith in each other, and trust in God, then the sun will always shine on our very Glorious Republic.”
In my best Valley voice: “Gag. Me. With. A. Spoon.”
He’s sure rockin’ that evangelical lingo.
Premise: Trump will never do anything right.
Everyone observing politics seems to agree on two things about a president’s first 100 days in office:
1. 100 days is a meaningless, arbitrary marker for a president’s performance that is likely to be more misleading than useful.
2. Let’s treat it like it is important! Reeeeeeee!
The thing that fascinates me the most about this situation is that the so-called “pro-science” people are giving Trump low grades for his first 100 days.
Allow me to connect some dots.
In science, you don’t have much of an experiment unless you have a control case for comparison. For example, you can’t know if a drug helped with a particular disease unless you study the people who didn’t take the drug at the same time as those who did.
But the pro-science people forget this concept when thinking about politics. Where is the control case for Trump’s first 100 days?
Is it George Washington’s first 100 days?
Is it Jimmy Carter’s first 100 days?
And which prior president came to office in 2017 with identical problems and the most polarized political environment in history?
@Jake: Trump is the idiot who has been banging the drum about How Important The First 100 Days are, if you had ever bothered to notice reality.
The man’s a dopey fruitcake, looking on for applause and hosannas from his nitwitted followers, of which you are one.
Hope you have fun Dealing With How Things Are after he does something really stupid and causes the stock market to crash.
You sound like a high school student are you?
Indeed…everyone including Trump himself…perhaps you haven’t connected those dots yet…
@Jake: Seriously, has Trump acted ‘adult” to you. His nonsensical tweeting, his lying about factual matters, taking credit for things he clearly did not accomplish. Add to that his incoherent word salad conferences or statements. We should be so lucky if Trump acted like a high school student.
This 100-days business has stirred up a bit of controversy on it’s own, I see. It has some significance if for no other reason than that the President and House leadership made serious efforts to have a big load of wonderful presents for their constituency. And of course they beclowned themselves bigly.
But the Congressional incompetence also makes it worthwhile to have a mid-season break to evaluate past events with an eye on planning the rest of the legislative session. To that end, I glanced at the Congress-dot-gov site to check the calendar. If you’re interested – by my quick count – we’ve had 46 legislative days so far. There are 91 days left before the end of the year to do laws, bills and such.
Is there any evidence of planning for Mr Trump’s or Mr Ryan’s platform? Are there committee meetings and hearings? I don’t hear about them. Could it be possible that they are going to waste an entire year of business staging pissing contests and signing EOs? As amazing as it sounds they do seem on a path do exactly that?
The significant thing about all this is how much the 100 days thing mattered to Trump, how much he blustered about it, how often he brought up just how much TREMENDOUS stuff he was going to accomplish, and all his supporters went right along. There was this big list of accomplishments they were going to do during that 100 days! It was going to be the most significant first 100 days in American history!
Now that we’re actually at the 100 day mark, and Trump has utterly failed to accomplish anything besides appoint a SCOTUS justice to a stolen seat and drop a really big bomb, suddenly he and his idiot followers are all “it’s meaningless and arbitrary! It shouldn’t matter! Waaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!”
If it weren’t so abysmally and transparently stupid, it might be funny.
You have got to be kidding me…
That is probably the lamest thing Trump’s done yet. Wow.
Jake, did you ever bother to read Trump’s “Contract with the American Voter, ” in which he lists all the fantastic things he’s going to accomplish within his first 100 days?
You sound like a guy ignoring reality and insisting on staying in fantasy land. Not unusual for a Trump supporter. Thus far he has accomplished zero of his own, stated 100 day goals. That’s reality.
No wall, no Muslim ban, no destroying of ISIS, no staying out of Syria, no labeling China a currency manipulator, no canceling of NAFTA, no tax plan, no repeal and replace, no infrastructure plan. Nada. Zip.
Thus far his biggest accomplishment is keeping the government funded for 7 days. Everything else is smoke and mirrors that would only fool a fool willing to fool himself.
He hasn’t staffed most of his administration. From the mid-level down, it’s an empty wasteland. His party has the Senate, so they could confirm people if he nominated them, but no names have been forthcoming. This is a “challenge” that every administration has had, and which Trump alone is failing at. And not even trying and failing, just not even trying.
I’m trying to set the standards so low that Trump succeeds at something, but I can’t.
It’s hard to say whether a more bellicose approach to North Korea is a good thing or not — people can disagree, and we haven’t seen that play out so we don’t have results. A lot of people have ideas there, but still, no results.
But, staffing the administration is a really easy metric — it’s the bare minimum required to make effective change, and something every administration has to do, and do early. I think every change he wants to make is terrible, so I’m not all broken up that he is failing here, but it’s such a stupid spot to fail.
Dilbert-boy is kind of an idiot. He sets up a strawman argument, which you helpfully quote, but even the strawman argument doesn’t go his way.
Also, hundred days or not, having to pull his signature repeal-and-replace health care legislation because he can’t get the votes and the longer it is out there, the more people dislike it… That’s not success. That’s not winning.
Cruise missiles that disable an airfield for about 24 hours… Also, not a success.
A hundred days is an arbitrary, round number. If we had 12 fingers instead of ten, it would be 144 days. It is, however, enough time to see if the administration is running smoothly and whether decisions are being made from any sense of strategy, or whether it’s amateur hour and people are flailing about reversing policies on a daily basis.
He thinks he’s still dealing with the gossip columnist at The New York Post.
If Trump didn’t want to be held to or judged by his 100-day promises, he should not have made them.
As the fictional Donald Draper of the fictional advertising firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was fond of saying, the answer to changing what people are saying about you is to change the conversation.
If you want to make lofty promises, then be a bit more vague and pick a longer time period so that you give yourself more wiggle room. Talk about your first year plan or something similar, not your first 100 days.
Surely Trump should relate to this because as was the case with the Draper character, Trump’s persona is a fraud.
Your in this video.
My evaluation after 100 days: I still can’t believe this hamster is President of the United States.
He’s live in Harrisburg now, bitching about the news media:
Why is it always the people who don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” who love Trump?
You poor dumbass, EO’s calling for ‘study’ are used for wallpaper in Washington. Go take a look at the actual EO’s rather than regurgitating propaganda. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
A lot of this stuff he signs with big fanfare and grandiose titles doesn’t amount to much. Was reading over the “EO” to improve veteran care. It mostly just extends the act passed 3 years ago.
@Jake: Hmm, my comments must have left a mark…
(And no, I’m not stupid enough to click on some punk YouTube video which probably has been infested with Russian viruses to try to take over my computer. Go jump in a lake.)
@Liberal Capitalist: It’s a shirt sandwich. And it doesn’t have leaf lettuce or heirloom tomatoes or grated pecorino cheese or a kaiser roll, either.
@Jake: You already said this. And it was just as boring last time, too.
This is the one that most of America doesn’t get, not being aware of how gummint actually works.
It’s as if he’d had a grand opening of his new 12-story department store, but 3 weeks later there’s no merchandise on some of the floors, and only 17 employees for the whole thing, and the painters are still putting primer (not even paint) on the walls, and the escalators don’t run. It is difficult to overstate how pathetically inept this ‘administration’ has been at… administration.
@DrDaveT: He’s auditing the presidency class. Why do the homework if it’s not for credit?
Look at it this way – every employee that we hire (including new associate lawyers) is subject to a 90 day probationary period. I imagine that most of your firms have similar policies in place.
It allows us time to evaluate them – and vice versa – and to make the decision to cut a person loose if it becomes clear that the relationship just isn’t going to work out.
If 90 days is long enough for us to evaluate the performance and suitability of a lawyer, then 100 days is long enough for us to evaluate the performance and suitability of a president.
Unfortunately, we have to wait four years to fire him.
Did you mean ‘you’re’?
Check with your 7th grade english teacher.
Considering how many things Trump said he’d do on the very first day, he’s lucky he got a 99-day reprieve – and he still couldn’t get anything done.
I suppose that Jake is a link spammer because he has nothing of his own to contribute.
He has far more animosity than he does education.
HERE IT IS=> Complete List of President Trump’s Major Accomplishments in First 100 Days
Jim Hoft Apr 27th, 2017 10:59 pm Leave a Comment
Guest post by Joe Hoft
Presidential candidate Donald Trump held his final campaign rally at 1am on election day November 8th, 2016 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
At the end of his final speech candidate Trump said this –
Just imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God, saluting one American flag. I’m asking you to dream big because with your vote we are just hours away from the change you’ve been waiting for your entire life. So to every parent who dreams for their child and to every child who dreams for their future I say these words to you tonight. I am with you. I will fight for you and I will win for you. I promise.
To all Americans tonight in all of our cities and in all of our towns, I pledge to you one more time. Together we will make American wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America safe again and we will make America great again!
President Trump started off as aggressive as any President ever in working for the American people as he promised. Now as President Trump’s first 100 days in office come to an end, here is a complete list of his accomplishments and his resulting impact on the economy and world affairs in this very short period of time:
The US Stock Markets are at record highs and millions of Americans are benefitting in their retirement savings accounts.
* The DOW daily closing stock market average rose more than 15% since the election on November 8th. (On November 9th the DOW closed at 18,332 – on March 1st the DOW closed at 21,115).
* Since the Inauguration on January 20th the DOW rose 6.5%. (It was at 19,827 at January 20th and reached 21,115 on March 1st.)
* The DOW took just 66 days to climb from 19,000 to above 21,000, the fastest 2,000 point run ever. The DOW closed above 19,000 for the first time on November 22nd and closed above 21,000 on March 1st.
* The DOW closed above 20,000 on January 25th and the March 1st rally matched the fastest-ever 1,000 point increase in the DOW at 24 days.
* The US Stock Market gained $2 trillion in wealth since Trump was elected!
* The S&P 500 broke $20 Trillion for the first time in its history.
* In the history of the DOW, going back to January 1901, the DOW record for most continuous closing high trading days was set in January of 1987 when Ronald Reagan was President. The DOW set closing highs an amazing 12 times in a row that month. On February 28th President Trump matched President Reagan when the DOW reached a new high for its 12th day in a row!
President Trump decreased the US Debt in his first 100 days by $100 Billion. (President Obama increased the US debt in his first 100 days by more than $560 Billion.)
The US Manufacturing Index soared to a 33 year high in this period which were the best numbers since 1983 under President Reagan.
President Trump added 298,000 jobs in his first month alone (after President Obama said jobs were not coming back!).
Housing sales are red-hot. In 2011, houses for sale were on the market an average 84 days. This year, it’s just 45 days.
Illegal immigration is down 67% since President Trump’s Inauguration.
NATO announced Allied spending is up $10 Billion because of President Trump.
After being nominated by President Trump, Constitutionalist Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed and sworn in as Supreme Court Justice in early April.
The President has signed 66 executive orders, memoranda and proclamations as of April 19th, including:
* Notifying Congress of a strike on Syria after it was reported that the country used gas on its citizens.
* Dismantling Obama’s climate change initiatives.
* Travel bans for individuals from a select number of countries embroiled in terrorist atrocities.
* Enforcing regulatory reform.
* Protecting Law enforcement.
* Mandating for every new regulation to eliminate two.
* Defeating ISIS.
* Rebuilding the military.
* Building a border wall.
* Cutting funding for sanctuary cities.
* Approving pipelines.
* Reducing regulations on manufacturers.
* Placing a hiring freeze on federal employees.
* Exiting the US from the TPP.
In addition to all this, the President has met with many foreign leaders from across the globe including Xi from China, Abe from Japan, etc.
Jake, if you want to be taken seriously, don’t quote crackpots like those at The Gateway Pundit. GP is a blog–not a news organization-that runs with every demented Internet rumor going and then has to retract half its stories because they’re so patently false.
A suggestion: Why don’t you sign up at http://www.lucianne.com? They worship Trump, and they get all their “news” from Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, Conservative Treehouse, Takimag, and Infowars.
You’ll feel right at home.
…and sixty days later it’s fallen below 21,000. Why are you so innumerate that you think those numbers matter?
Oooo, according to that moronic list, one of trump’s accomplishments is an executive order “Mandating for every new regulation to eliminate two.”
Anybody want to break it to jake that said executive order is inoperative? Like, for instance, statutory regulations can’t be overturned by the president? And the executive order doesn’t establish any procedure for revoking the two old regs? And that if revoking a reg might cost the government money that possibly violates another section of the order? So it’s just empty nonsense to impress people like Jake?
Evaluating the Democrats