Friday morning, President Trump took to Twitter to bemoan that no matter what he accomplishes during the “ridiculous standard” that is his first 100 days in office, it won’t be enough for the media.
No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017
Trump has good reason to try to lower expectations ahead of the 100th day of his presidency, which will be April 29 — he hasn’t accomplished much of anything.
Trump hasn’t shepherded a major piece of legislation through Congress, despite the fact his party controls both chambers. His second attempt at a Muslim ban executive order was blocked by a federal court. The Affordable Care Act repeal/replace package Congress considered last month had a 17 percent approval rating and didn’t go anywhere. The new package that’s in the works will make premiums spike for people with pre-existing conditions and hence will likely be just as unpopular.
But Trump’s claim about the “ridiculous standard” he thinks he’s being held to is odd, because during the campaign and just after, Trump himself repeatedly touted the importance of his first 100 days in office.
During the campaign, Trump promoted a “100-day action plan” he characterized as “a contract between myself and the American voter — and begins with restoring honesty and accountability, and bringing change to Washington.”
The plan contains ambitious items like “a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress,” cancelling “all federal funding to sanctuary cities,” tax reform, and fixing “America’s water and environmental infrastructure.”
Here is Trump's – signed! – "100-day action plan" pic.twitter.com/zHQV0o3WPl
— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) April 21, 2017
None of the piece of legislation Trump touts in his plan have been enacted.
Last year, Trump released a Contract With The American Voter, outlining an agenda for the first 100 days. Here's the status of that agenda: pic.twitter.com/cujdxe30OT
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) April 18, 2017
The action plan wasn’t the only time candidate Trump himself touted the importance of his first 100 days.
'Trump lays out policies for first 100 days in White House'https://t.co/OrwOIFJuSz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2016
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2016
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2016
In November, President-elect Trump even posted a video about “policy plan for the first 100 days.”
.@transition2017 update and policy plans for the first 100 days. pic.twitter.com/HTgPXfPWeJ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2016
These days, Trump seems torn between downplaying expectations and asserting, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, that the early days of his administration have been a success. During a speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday, Trump said, “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.” But that’s one of the Trump administration’s “alternative facts.”
Max Skidmore, a political science professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and author of “Presidential Performance: A Comprehensive Review,” told the Washington Post that “Trump actually is unusual for his first 100 days but for a reason opposite of what he said.”
“Not only has he accomplished almost nothing, but rather his initiatives (executive orders stayed by courts, a major legislative proposal failing even to come to a vote when his party controls both houses, etc.) have notoriously been unsuccessful,” he added.
A major consequence of Trump’s failure to get much done is that promises he made on the campaign trail have already been broken. His first month in office featured 64 broken promises, compared to just seven he was actually able to keep.
On the other hand, one thing President Trump has accomplished is spending more time on golf courses during his first 100 days than the previous three presidents did combined.