Making America great again? Gauging 100 days of Trump

Determining a presidency's success by inspecting its "first hundred days" is a bit of an artificial construct

Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States Photo: AFP
If humans were born with 12 fingers, then perhaps we'd be evaluating presidents based on their first 144 days instead.
If the Earth rotated a bit more slowly, then presidents would have more time to notch accomplishments.
Then again, 100 days is plenty of time to get a rough handle on the shape and thrust of a presidency - and to evaluate what kind of progress a leader has made toward fulfilling campaign promises.
The first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency have been anything but boring or slow, but how much of it was sound and fury and how much entailed real action?
Here's a quick review of some of the peaks and valleys

The wall

Let's start with the wall - not the president's only promise, but certainly one of his oldest, most high-profile ones. Candidate Trump constantly spoke at his campaign rallies of the great wall that he planned to build along the US-Mexico border.
The crowds roared in agreement when he said Mexico would pay for the project.
Contrast that certainty with this tweet, which Mr Trump himself wrote over the weekend

It's a case of Trump promises meeting political realities, in 140 characters or less. Campaign rhetoric is easy, turning talk into action in Washington is much more complicated.
The administration has pledged to reshuffle some money to begin wall construction, but it is increasingly clear that Congress will need to find billions of dollars to make the wall a reality.
That sets up a showdown between the president and legislators, with many Republicans - particularly those representing areas along the US-Mexico border - not keen on opening up the federal purse for Mr Trump's pet project.
Promise kept? Nope


"Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated"

US President Donald Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, speaks from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC after his healthcare bill 
was pulled. Photo: AFP

It's way too early for political epitaphs, but if the Trump presidency collapses under the weight of disorganisation and broken promises, this February quote from the president - made as it became increasingly clear his own party couldn't even agree on healthcare reform - will make a fitting inscription for a tombstone.
At one point during the presidential campaign, Mr Trump promised that the Democratic healthcare reform legislation - Obamacare, as it has become known - would be repealed on his first day in office.
Then, after the first Republican legislative effort crashed and burned in late March - 64 days into his presidency - Mr Trump backtracked on his timeline.
"I never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days," he said. "I have a long time. But I want to have a great healthcare bill and plan, and we will. It will happen. And it won't be in the very distant future."
Since then there's been speculation that a new deal could be in the works - but such rumours have evaporated upon closer scrutiny.
There's no telling what the future may bring, but the reality at this point is that healthcare reform was Mr Trump's first major legislative push - the de facto focus of his first 100 days in office - and it has done nothing but expose the Republican Party as fractured body incapable of advancing a coherent agenda.
Promise kept? Uh, no. Definitely not.

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