Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first 100 days of unprecedented productivity in 1933 has haunted all 13 ensuing presidents. Why? By FDR’s 100th day of office, 76 bills were passed into law.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is the only president since FDR who hasn’t signed any major bill into law by his 100th day of office.
Research is replete: enacted legislation by the “100-day presidential honeymoon” is the best predictor of a president being able to accomplish his agenda during the remaining 1,361 days of office.
Trump’s presidency is different from his 44 predecessors in 10 ways for which he and he alone is responsible for creating:
First, in October 2016 Trump issued his 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again. Of the 10 major pieces of legislation he promised would be passed “within the first 100 days,” only one was introduced, it failed and the other nine haven’t been sent to Congress.
Second, Trump’s central campaign promises (e.g., Southern border wall, Affordable Care Act repeal and replace, immigration reform, job creation, infrastructure, etc.) have come under fire by fellow Republicans due to cost, legal ramifications and the dearth of detailed information.
Third, Trump’s initiated relationship tiffs with Russia, Syria, China, Iran, North Korea, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Germany, France and United Kingdom, to name a few, are troubling to citizens and Congress who wonder if Trump has caused our unpredictable times to be more uncertain.
Fourth, the ongoing 10-month uncertainty of whether Russians explicitly assisted Trump’s election campaign and Trump not calling for a special prosecutor investigation is troubling to Americans who value a fair election.
Fifth, many of Trump’s 282 campaign promises (e.g., import cheaper medications, increase number of factories, renegotiate NATO, etc.) has faded or been reversed 180 degrees.
Sixth, Trump’s incessant tweeting of false statements has made his credibility questionable throughout the world.
Seventh, despite Trump endorsing No Labels’ bipartisanship legislative intent, he has not engaged in working with Democrats nor the 40-member GOP Freedom Caucus.
Eighth, knowing Trump is significantly behind in hiring 1,900 government workers with 532 needing Senate confirmation, getting down to legislative business will be very slow in coming to fruition.
Ninth, with Trump devoting about 25 percent of his days in office visiting some of his 144 businesses, engaging in weekly golf outings versus the campaign promise to work seven days a week in the White House, spending more money on vacations in three months as compared to what Barack Obama spent in eight years, back-peddling on multiple White House statements, nepotism hiring practices and infighting between Cabinet officials is making nearly 60 percent of Americans wonder if we’ve got a nightmare on our hands.
Finally, 10 key economic markers do not bode well for Trump’s presidency: increasing government budget deficits, negative balance of trade, wage stagnation, slow GDP growth, rising income inequality, elevated pension expenditures, increased medical costs, deteriorating infrastructure, increasing inflation and stymied consumer spending.
In 100 days, Trump has proved he is not an ideologue, has no fixed principles or goals, exemplifies the “after me you come first” personality behavioral trait, is impulsive, an intemperate leader and an incoherent communicator.
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Only time and historians will reveal if our 45th president’s tenure and 282 campaign promises were successful or not. At the 100 day mark, the tea leaves don’t look too promising.
• Steve Corbin, University of Northern Iowa professor emeritus of marketing, is one of 12 district leaders in Iowa for the nonpartisan and not-for-profit No Labels. More information: www.nolabels.org