"Under budget, ahead of schedule, saved tremendous money. I'm a year ahead of schedule. And that's what this country should be doing," said then-White House hopeful Donald Trump at the first presidential debate.
He was boasting that the success of his Washington, D.C., hotel made him an ideal candidate for the most powerful position in the United States or, in a language he's familiar with, the CEO of the world's most tremendous business.
With claims that America would "start winning again," so much so that Americans would actually get "tired of winning," Trump set an unbelievable bar for himself. He promised health care, better infrastructure, immigration reform, tax breaks, and jobs. He swore that he would "drain the swamp" of corruption and use his business savvy to put "America first."
Trump rambled in circles about what a dark and desperate place America had become and how he, and he alone, would fix us. The campaign trail was Trump's job interview ,and Americans decided to hire him.
Well, Trump has reached his first 100 days in office, and CNN and other media sites have compiled performance evaluations.
As Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) noted, the first 100 days of a presidency are critical because that is usually when the president is most popular, and are therefore more likely able to deliver on promises made while campaigning. President Ronald Regan had a 68 percent approval rating at his 100 day mark, President George W. Bush stood at 62 percent, and President Barack Obama ended his first three months at 65 percent.
In stark contrast, Trump's ratings reached a record low of 37 percent well before the end of his first 100 days. His latest approval rating is 42 percent, making him the least popular president in modern history.
Judging by the numbers alone, Trump's first 100 days as president have been mediocre in comparison to his predecessors. He hasn't visited a single foreign country, has held only one solo news conference, and has made oddly few political appointments.
Trump has had executive orders blocked by judges on the grounds of being unconstitutional, and he has yet to steer legislation through Congress that would stop companies from sending jobs overseas or help curb violent crime. In fact, News.com.au reported that, of the goals listed in his "Contract with the American Voter," Trump has not accomplished one, despite having a Republican-controlled Congress.
Trump has touted his business prowess and made much of his skills as a negotiator. He's built his public persona on the idea that he can talk anyone into his corner; press secretary Sean Spicer even referred to him as "the closer." When Congress made moves to act on Trump's most anticipated 100 days promise — the Obamacare repeal — opponents thought all might be lost, and supporters saw Trumpcare as a sure thing.
The self-professed master deal-maker could not sway even members of his own party to vote for his abysmal attempt at a health care bill, a huge hit for his administration and for his reputation as a formidable negotiator.
Drawing his wheeling and dealing into further question is Trump's one win: He has signed more executive orders in his first three months than any president since World War II. Interesting, considering how he took such issue with Obama's use of executive orders, accusing the former president of using them to cover up his poor negotiating skills. Pot and kettle.
With the exception of nominating a controversial Supreme Court Justice, Trump has accomplished very little of substance in his first 100 days. Instead, he's acted on authoritarian impulses and governed with his ego and "gimme gimme" attitude.
He's attacked climate change initiatives. He's slashed funding for the arts, after-school programs, and crucial public services. He's done his level best to roll-back policies that kept America's stunning nature at least somewhat intact.
Trump's impetuousness and inability to see past his own delusions has even brought America closer to devastating nuclear war.
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 does have his own take on reality, but he successfully predicted the media and general public's harsh critique upon reaching day 100. Of course he would because, although he acts like a brat, he is a brat with a lighter and he does know how to start a fire.
Even Trump has to know that if you start a fire in the public eye, people are going to hold you accountable. He promised the American people the moon (and we might need it, with all that he's doing to the environment) because promises like that can land you the job, but they can also cost you everything.
Trump, you're fired.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters