- The Washington Times - Monday, April 3, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The mainstream media is breathlessly reporting President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office is officially the worst ever.

“When you add up the totality of it … I actually think this may be the worst hundred days we’ve ever seen in a president,” CNN’s David Gergen declared.

The LA Times editorial board decided to do a four-part series on our “dishonest president” starting on Sunday, writing, in part, “nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.”

Vanity Fair published an article last month: “The Trump presidency is already a joke,” and Foreign Policy wrote that Mr. Trump’s was “The soul-sucking, attention-eating black hole of a presidency.”

Of course, all of this is absurd — and predictably over the top from a press corps that has never approved of his candidacy, let alone his presidency. Nothing prepared the Times for the magnitude of “this train wreck?” Really?

The Washington Post likened Mr. Trump to Adolf Hitler several times, the Huffington Post had an editor’s note on every article it did on Mr. Trump calling him a “racist” and “xenophobe,” and The New York Times defended its reporters’ bias in covering Mr. Trump, because, Mr. Trump was a “demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies.”

Still, even The Times’ Nicholas Kristof had to admit in a column this weekend that Mr. Trump’s voters are still loyal to him.

His first 100 days haven’t been a disaster — and anyone who hasn’t become unhinged by his presidency can objectively understand the reasons for this.

Mr. Trump has withdrawn from TPP, approved the build-out of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, proposed a streamlined budget which includes a Reagan-era increase to national defense, started to enforce our immigration laws, which decreased illegal border crossing by 40 percent in his first month, and has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court — a process that has gone incredibly smooth.

The stock market has reached its highest since the early 1990s, the Dow Jones broke through the 20,000-point threshold for the first time, and manufacturing and mining jobs have rebounded in Mr. Trump’s first jobs report.

As for the idea that Mr. Trump’s first 100 is the “worst we’ve ever seen in a president”?

Well, William Henry Harrison died before his first 100 days were completed; Thomas Jefferson’s Vice President Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton and hatched a plot against the U.S.; Abraham Lincoln had to deal with the south’s succession in his first 100 and being assassinated in the second 100; and more recently, John F Kennedy had the famous Bay of Pigs disaster.

Mr. Trump’s first 100 looks a lot like former President Bill Clinton’s in 1993 — both had ambitious agendas and teams filled with Washington outsiders.

Mr. Clinton lost his Attorney General pick Zoe Baird over undocumented-nanny issues. On the campaign trail, Mr. Clinton had promised to look for a way to lift the ban on military service by openly gay men and lesbians, but he quickly got bogged down in office in delivering as he faced resistance from leaders in both parties.

In Mr. Clinton’s first 100 days, he alienated lawmakers by putting his wife Hillary in charge of health care and then icing them out of the process. His team also had a contentious relationship with the press, and Mr. Clinton had his first major ethics scandal with Travelgate — the firing of the White House travel office staffers who were replaced by the Clintons’ friends.

Dan Balz of The Washington Post wrote of Mr. Clinton’s first 100 days: “The first hundred days of Bill Clinton’s presidency have diminished public expectations that he — or anyone else in Washington — can do much to turn around a country that seven out of 10 voters think is going in the wrong direction.

“Whatever the voters may have believed last winter about what Clinton and the new Congress would do to fix the economy, reduce the federal deficit and put the country on a different path, they are noticeably more doubtful today.”

Sound familiar?

Mr. Clinton’s approval rating dropped from 58 percent when he took office to just 37 percent by June. Yet, his presidency recovered. He shook up his White House staff in the summer, got back on track administratively and was re-elected for a second term.

The first 100 days don’t mean anything at all. Many administrations stumble out of the gate — especially those who are new to Washington — but that doesn’t mean they can’t recover, or even thrive.


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