Why President Trump is probably right about the ‘ridiculous standard’ of the first 100 days

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tags: FDR, Trump, 100 days



Related Link Don't Grade a President on His First 100 Days Interviews with Julian Zelizer & Morton Keller

Since [FDR] the idea of the “first 100 days” has taken on a life of its own: Some try to gauge the success (or failure) of an administration by the actions conducted in the first few months, while others view it as a time for leaders to set the tone of the rest of their presidency.

But what has become apparent over time is that the first three months say little about a new president’s achievements, let alone his legacy or his agenda, experts say. It’s simply too short a time to achieve something lasting and meaningful.

“I think what history tells us is that it’s an arbitrary benchmark,” said Fredrik Logevall, a presidential historian and an international affairs professor at Harvard University. “It hasn’t correlated very much with subsequent success or failure. Whether an administration has success or not really depends on the four years, or eight years if you have two terms.”

In reality, Logevall said, it’s a trap that many presidents after Roosevelt have knowingly walked into, pressuring themselves to turn their administration into a “beehive of activity” to meet what they know to be a shortsighted deadline.




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