Donald Trump is about 90 days into his presidency. He had campaigned on how much he was going to achieve quickly and simply, including in his first 100 days. He is blaming the media in advance for not getting enough credit for his achievements.
President Trump, who this week boasted at a Wisconsin tool factory that “no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days,” said in a Friday morning tweet that he’s not getting enough credit from the national media for all his successes.
Whether the president was looking to pre-empt media criticism or lower expectations as the benchmark nears was not clear, but the White House is clearly bracing for a report card from the press.
Trump seems to also have a habit of trying to shame the media into giving him positive coverage.
But he would get better coverage if he didn’t keep making ridiculous claims, like “no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days” (I guess it depends on what “has accomplished” actually means though).
The fascination with the first 100 days goes back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who came into office in 1933 and signed a staggering 76 pieces of legislation, including 15 major overhauls and new programs during the depths of the Great Depression.
Trump came into office with nothing like the level of urgent problems faced by Roosevelt, but he has achieved nothing anywhere near that.
Trump had promised huge changes during his first 100 days including cracking down on illegal immigration, a complete tax overhaul and the repeal and replace ObamaCare.
“You’re going to have such great healthcare at a tiny fraction of the cost and it’s going to be so easy,” Trump said during an October 2016 rally.
When it came to building his “big beautiful wall” with Mexico, he told Fox News in 2015, “So simple. So simple.”
Expectations were high, given Trump’s promises and the fact he had a Republican-led Congress, but so far, the two branches have not always been on the same page.
And Trump raised expectations with his bragging. Now he seems to be making excuses in advance for his lack of progress. Given that he and his administration was very inexperienced and they were slow to fill positions – a month after taking over the White House nearly 2,000 government positions remained vacant.
It’s a huge job just staffing an administration, especially one with no background in transitioning to power and with many people being reluctant to hitch their futures to the Trump wagon.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended the Trump administration’s accomplishments.
“Look at the record that he’s achieved over these first 90 days,” Spicer told Fox News’ “The First 100 Days.” “It’s very clear that he’s committed to the conservative principles and agenda that he outlined in the campaign.”
This is Fox News picking that as an achievement to highlight.
That level of lameness has become one of Spicer’s trademarks. At least it is not as bad as making some of his outlandish alternative truths and gaffs.
I don’t see the big deal about what a President and his administration achieves in their first 100 days in office, what happens over four years is what’s important, and especially if they start inexperienced taking time to achieve things would be better than rushing into it.
But if they choose to make a big deal about it and don’t measure up then they are hoist by their own petard.
A cardinal rule of successful politics is to under promise and over deliver, because the opposite can be very damaging to credibility and support.
Trump said he would do things differently. Given the belief and devotion of some of his supporters he will get away with big talk and little effective action for a while yet.
A report card on progress after 100 weeks will be far more pertinent to Trump’s success or otherwise as president.