Forget ‘100 Days’—Give Trump a Year
Recent presidential history teaches that the first 100 days of a presidency is too short a time span to measure a president’s success
[This article was published in POLITICO Magazine]
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s legislative grand slam over his first 100 days in office—during which he enacted such pillars of the New Deal as the Glass-Steagall financial reforms, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Civilian Conservation Corps—has led his successors to similarly swing for the fences in their first at-bats. Even Donald Trump, a president without precedent, has tried to hit like FDR: His executive orders and legislative ambitions are big league.
During the campaign, Trump promised an action-packed first 100 days, during which he would: repeal and replace Obamacare, overhaul the tax system, renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, set up a school voucher system, eliminate the Defense budget sequester, make childcare and eldercare tax deductible, fully fund the construction of a border wall, declare China to be a currency manipulator, and more.
The media, too, has heightened our expectations for the first 100 days. It has become an unavoidable yardstick, and over the next several weeks, we’re likely to be deluged with analyses of how Trump’s young presidency measures up. Recent presidential history, however, teaches us that the first 100 days of a presidency is too short a time span to measure a president’s success.
The better benchmark? Regardless of what he promised, give him a full year.
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