The first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency is known better for defeats than for victories.
Actually, things have gone better for the resistance than they have for the administration.
The new president has been busy, but he hasn’t been effective.
Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare on Day 1 of his presidency. But he failed to get congressional approval to repeal ACA and replace it with Trumpcare, even though his party controls both houses of Congress. Donald Trump’s only major legislative victory was the Senate confirmation of his nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Federal judges nullified both executive orders the new president issued to ban travel from Muslim countries. After a federal judge nullified the first order, the president issued a second executive order that was virtually the same as the first. Predictably, it suffered the same fate as its predecessor.
The focus on the first hundred days comes from Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early days of his presidency in 1933. At this point in his first term, FDR had convinced Congress to pass financial relief laws to help farmers and workers devastated by the Great Depression. He also issued an executive order that stopped a run on the banks that would have made the financial crisis even worse.
Barack Obama accomplished a lot in his 100 days. He convinced Congress to pass an economic stimulus law that prevented the country from sinking into a deeper depression than the one left behind by his predecessor, George W. Bush. President Obama was also able to persuade Congress to pass the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and a law to provide health insurance to children.
The Trump Administration has also been caught up in a scandal created by inappropriate and possibly illegal contacts between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government. The scandal has already caused the exit of his first national advisor, Michael Flynn after only 25 days on the job.
So, it’s not surprising Trump’s job rating in the Gallup Poll for the first quarter of his presidency is only 41 percent.
Still, his approval rating in the first quarter is much lower than the comparable rating for any president in recent history.
John F. Kennedy at 74 percent had the highest approval for any new president. Barack Obama clocked in with a 63 percent approval rating in the first quarter of his first term. Before Trump, Bill Clinton had the lowest first quarter job rating at 55 percent.
But most Americans supported Bill Clinton in the dawn of his presidency which is a lot more than you can say for Trump’s start.
Why is Trump’s approval so low compared to his predecessors?
Simply because the ‘populist” president defies the people. The power of the president is the power of persuasion. Public opinion indicates that Trump hasn’t done much of that.
Lance Tarrance and Andrew Duggan of Gallup believe the president’s low approval rating score is a function of Donald Trump being on the wrong side of public opinion on the environment and other issues.
The environment is one of those issues. Data from a recent Gallup Poll underscores the priority that Americans place on environment protection. Nearly six in ten (59 percent) Americans believe environmental protection is more important than economic growth (41 percent).
Trump’s effort to repeal Obamacare is another example of his struggle against public opinion. Support for the Affordable Care Act is at an all-time high while Trump is trying to kill the program. In fact, support for ACA has been increasing since Trump became president.
The optics for Trump also create problems for the president. It’s difficult for the president to convince Americans that it’s urgent to solve problems when people see him leave the White House every Friday afternoon to spend a leisurely weekend having fun golfing in the Florida sun.
Things might get better for the rest of his term.
But if I was a Trump supporter, I wouldn’t hold my breath.