100 Days, Put Simply

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By Campaign Agent Luke Walpole

Americans politicos, and fans of Netflix’s ‘Designated Survivor’, will know that the First 100 Days are something of a big deal in the US political carnival. But what does it actually mean?

The Overview

The First 100 Days is essentially a yardstick to assess the honeymoon period of a presidency. For some, it is a chance to make clear their policy agenda for the next four years. For others, it is a chance to prove they can deliver big results quickly and decisively.

The History

Coined by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR to us), he deployed it to describe the first 100 Days of Congress. For FDR, these opening months were imperative. The US was still slumped in an economic depression, and the President wanted to implement a stimulus package to make America great again reinvigorate the jobs market, and the economy en masse. That was billed ‘The New Deal’, and the rest is history. Nowadays, however, it is used to describe the first hundred days from each respective President’s inauguration.

Obama’s first 100 days were equally mired by economic stagnation and fragility. However, he was able to eke out a Stimulus Package, as well as strengthening equal pay protections. Because of this, and the surge of optimism which met his inauguration, his approval rating levelled out at a healthy 65%.

The Donald

Trump’s first hundred days have not been easy. The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court will be paraded as a major success, as will the intervention in Syria. However, there have been legislative speed bumps. The failure of AHCA (Trumpcare), as well as the impending government shut down aren’t good omens.

Unsurprisingly, Trump has already abandoned the ‘Hundred Days’ metric – citing unfair media reception. Equally, he has been keen to lay blame at the door of the Democrats. This, in spite of the fact that the Republicans possess majorities in both houses. Instead, it’s worth monitoring the influence of the ‘Freedom Caucus’; a band of conservatives who are suffocating Trump’s agenda. Even in a political honeymoon period, things aren’t always easy at the top.

Image rights: Gage Skidmore @ Flickr

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