DONALD TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE: IS ANYONE SURPRISED?
When Mr Donald Trump indicated his intention to run for President of the United States of America, he did not hide his feelings about how the style with which he would proceed in office once elected, stating that he would run a Trump administration. Today, over 100 days after that fact, the jury is out: the maverick leader has not disappointed, leaving Americans, Africans and others with the message: I am real busy here doing things my way, go fix your own issues, yourselves! Oluwole Olusanya reflects:
Donald Trump calls it “a ridiculous standard” to measure a president’s accomplishments in the 100 days. – CNN (Tuesday, 25th April, 2017 – Day 96 of his Presidency)
In the middle of October, 2016. I published an article titled; United States Presidential Election 2016: Donald Trump’s Presidency & U.S. Diplomatic Relations with Africa. (https://shegzsablezs.blogspot.com.ng/2017/05/united-states-presidential-election.html). In that piece, I prophesized that Donald Trump might be elected the 45th President of the United States against our wish and I was right. On the 9th of November, 2016, Donald Trump was named the President-elect having scored the highest number of Electoral College votes in the keenly contested election.
Interestingly, my last article about Donald Trump’s Presidency coincidentally coincided with his speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where he told his supporters what he intends to achieve in the first 100 days in office just 18 days before his surprise victory. Trump gave one of the most important speeches of his presidential campaign — turning a vague campaign promise to “Make America Great Again” into a specific 100-day action plan. The list of 28 campaign promises, he said, was “a contract between Donald J. Trump and the American voter.” At the time, his campaign office called it “a game-changing plan for his first 100 days in office.”
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is the same town where former President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous 1863 United States Civil War-era address at the dedication of a cemetery for fallen Civil War soldiers. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in United States history.
Trump’s first 100 days: Good or Not Good?
The first 100 days of a first-term presidency are used to measure the successes and accomplishments of a president during the time that the president’s power and influence are at their greatest. The term was coined in a July 24th, 1933, radio address by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, although he was referring to the 100-day session of the 73rd United States Congress between March 9th and June 17th, rather than the first 100 days of his administration but no candidate in history has laid out a first 100-day agenda as explicit as the one President Trump announced last October.
Perhaps, it is because the scope of his 100-day plan was enormously broad, covering a constitutional amendment, regulations, trade, tax reform, health care and the military. And the timeframe was ambitious: He promised to take executive action on the first 18 points of his 100-day contract on the very first day. (USA TODAY – Susan Page)
One of Trump’s major accomplishments, made as part of a “100-day pledge”, was the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Structurally, President Trump had the advantage of a Republican Party majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate but was unable to fulfill his major pledges in his first 100 days and had an approval rating of between 40% – 42%, “the lowest for any first-term president at this point in his tenure”. Although he tried to make progress on one of his key economic policies—the dismantling of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act—his failure to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the first 100 days was a major setback. He reversed his position on a number of issues including labeling China as a currency manipulator, NATO, launching the 2017 Shayrat missile strike without congressional approval, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), re-nomination of Janet Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve and the nomination of Export-Import Bank directors. Supporters claim he is the first to have been elected President in present times who has held neither military nor political office and therefore faced a steep learning curve. Trump’s approval among his base is high, with 96% of those who voted for him saying in an April 2017 poll that they would vote for him again.
Near the end of the 100 days, the Trump administration introduced a broad outline of a sweeping tax reform focusing on deep tax cuts. While it is intended to encourage economic growth, there were concerns from some members of the United States Congress about raising the national deficit. In spite of the sharp decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2017—representing the weakest quarterly economic growth in three years—the S&P 500 was near an all-time high, representing a 12% rise from the first quarter of 2016, as investor confidence remained elevated. Although, Trump had to concede to delay funding for the U.S.–Mexico border wall he had promised, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown a few days before the end of the first 100 days, his rhetoric may have contributed to a sharp drop in the number of illegal crossings at the Mexico–United States border.
Trump signed 24 executive orders in his first 100 days, the most executive orders of any President since World War II. He also signed 22 presidential memoranda, 20 presidential proclamations, and 28 bills. About a dozen of those bills roll-back regulations finalized during the last months of his immediate predecessor Barack Obama’s presidency using the Congressional Review Act. Most of the other bills are “small-scale measures that appoint personnel, name federal facilities or modify existing programs.” None of Trump’s bills are considered to be “major bills”—based on a “longstanding political-science standard for ‘major bills’. Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said that “based on a legislative standard”— which is what the first 100 days has been judged on since the tenure of President Franklin Roosevelt, who enacted 76 laws in 100 days including nine that were “major”—”Trump is really pretty low down on the list.” (Source: Wikipedia.com)
Apparently, an article by Washington Post on President Trump’s lies and misinformation in his first 100 days in office is interesting and intriguing. Excerpts; “It’s a cliché at this point: Donald Trump constantly misleads the public but just how often does he do this? A new analysis from the Washington Post tries to put a number on Trump’s false and misleading claims. It concludes:
488: The number of false or misleading claims made by the president. That’s an average of 4.9 claims a day.
10: Number of days without a single false claim. (On six of those days, the president golfed at a Trump property.)
4: Number of days with 20 or more false claims. (Feb. 16th, Feb. 28th, March 20th and April 21st.) He made 19 false claims on April 29th, his 100th day.
According to the Post, the misleading or false statements came from just about every venue possible — speeches, interviews, other unscripted remarks in front of reporters and social media. The comments vary in their subject matter – some were about jobs, such as when he took credit for the January jobs report even though the data for it was taken a week before he became president. Some were about the media, like when he said the New York Times apologized for its supposedly dishonest coverage of him (which it did not do). And others are just petty, such as his bragging that he’s accomplished more than any other president in his first 100 days. (German Lopez, May 1st, 2017)
From the inception of the Trump administration, I have had this foul feeling that the President is in the “White House” to relax and spend some good time with family and friends. I am sure you would all be surprised if I told you that Trump has not visited any country outside the United States since the inception of his administration and He has only visited 12 states inside the United States in his first 100 days. There have been proof that Russia provided significant amount of help during electioneering and He falsely accused the former President Barack Obama of phone tapping but is anyone surprised? It is President Donald J. Trump giving the American electorates what they voted for. God Bless Us All.
Olusanya, Oluwole Sheriff is a Relationship Officer with Sterling Bank Plc,