It’s been a stormy one hundred days for Mr. Trump. His approval ratings have plummeted as the administration seems to bring us a new surprise every day.
Two years ago, how hard would it have been to believe that Donald Trump would be President of the United States?
In his unconventional, self-funded campaign he did about everything you can think of that normally kills a candidate’s chances. He ruthlessly ridiculed his rivals, mocked the disabled, alienated blacks and Hispanics, objectified women, and denigrated a war hero, a gold star family, and anyone who disagreed with him. He also declared war on the press whom he referred to as horrible and dishonest people.
Mr. Trump seemingly said whatever was on his mind, speaking in glowing generalities while frequently changing his positions. At times, he was entertaining. At times, he sounded like the voice of the common man. At times, he sounded like a self-obsessed narcissist. At times, you found yourself asking, “Did he really say that?” But he was good TV and he could draw a large crowd to a campaign rally.
It seemed like his self-inflicted wounds and Twitter rants would surely derail his candidacy, but he found a way to string together an impressive number of electoral votes to pull off an upset win.
Most Americans were shocked he won, along with most of the pundits, and perhaps, even his own staff. Maybe, he surprised himself.
His transition was bumpy and full of unorthodox cabinets picks along with an unprecedented display of power and influence.
One hundred days into his presidency seems like a year. Mr. Trump weaponized his Twitter account to excoriate his enemies. His very presence in office has stirred up violence and protests. His National Security Advisor was asked to step down. His attorney general had to recuse himself in a major investigation into his own administration. His slew of executive orders have raised the ire of huge segments of the population and his travel bans have been challenged in the courts.
The Republicans’ healthcare bill seemed to have been hastily written and rolled out with no work at developing a consensus, even among their own members. As a result, it was indefinitely tabled because too many members of his own party wouldn’t vote for it. The master dealmaker was stumped on his very first legislative attempt.
Then there is the drip, drip, drip of accusations of inappropriate connections with Russia by his former National Security Adviser, his Attorney General, his son-in-law, and his former campaign manager and two former policy advisors. General Flynn has asked for immunity in exchange for what he knows. There are three investigations probing this mess from the House, the Senate, and the F.B.I.
He boldly jumped into foreign affairs by dropping a gigantic bomb on a ISIS stronghold, wiping out a bunch of Syrian planes with cruise missiles, and talking tough about Korea. He claims he likes being unpredictable and being “flexible” on his positions. Some people would give other names to those traits.
The daily pressers from Sean Spicer have been confrontational and colorful, without exception, each one a media event. I think the press must find it twice as hard to cover the Trump presidency because he has a way of shaking things up and staying in the news on a daily basis. It might be something petty or it might be something scary, but he knows how to stay in the spotlight. Mr. Trump seems to like being surprising. We’ll see how the works out.