Trump’s first 100 days


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Ever since the groundbreaking social welfare programs that Roosevelt rolled out during his first 100 days, this period has been one of the first points at which the public (mostly the media if we’re being honest) passes judgement on a new president. It is a mostly arbitrary number, but it’s round, and roughly corresponds to when the president’s honeymoon period ends. President Trump recently passed his 100 day mark (on April 28th), so despite the problems with just looking at the first 100 days, now seems as good of a time as any to review his progress so far.

As many have noted, Trump has hardly had the traditional honeymoon period that a president receives; in fact, according to Nate Silver, his popularity hovers around 40%, which is down from around 50% immediately after he was elected. For reference, after 100 days, Obama was at 65%, George W. Bush was at 62%, Bill Clinton was at 55%, and George H.W. Bush was at 54%. So, clearly, the public doesn’t think he’s doing a great job, but 40% is still 120 million people, so he does have some support.

In terms of actual achievements during his first 100 days, Trump again scores relatively low. While he passed 29 laws, more than Obama’s 14 in the same time period, this figure is somewhat misleading. Most of the laws he passed lacked substance, or where minor measures in the first place. As a result, only 133 pages were included in these laws, compared to Obama’s 1,602.

Executive orders have also been ineffective for Trump, with many being struck down by the courts, or amended until their original purpose wasn’t really fulfilled.

Arguably, the most successful, or at least most decisive, aspect of Trump’s presidency was his attack on a Syrian air base. This strike was ostensibly a response to Bashar Al-Assad’s continued use of chemical weapons against his own citizens. However, the PR disaster that surrounded it somewhat diminished the posturing.

Overall, it’s probably fair to say Trump isn’t a very effective president, but it’s also probably not fair to say he isn’t trying. He has pushed stuff forward, and as he catches on to Washington politics, may become more and more effective.

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