First 100 Days: How Does Trump Compare to Other Presidents?

Cristina Silva
First 100 Days: How Does Trump Compare to Other Presidents?

President Donald Trump doesn't want to be judged under the same standards applied to all other modern presidents: With his administration marking its 100th day on April 29, Trump posted a message on Twitter Friday lamenting how unfair it is to grade his accomplishments in such a short timeframe.

The 100-day marker has been used by the public for decades to assess what a new White House administration was able to accomplish in its first months. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the artificial milestone in 1933 after passing a flurry of laws during the early days of his administration aimed at ending the Great Depression. 

Trump himself vowed on the campaign trail to complete at least 60 of his policy plans during his first 100 days in office, but now insists it's unfair to compare him to other presidents. “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,” he said on Twitter.

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His change of opinion might stem from the underwhelming number of accomplishments his administration can point to so far. Trump hasn't started working on keeping the majority of his campaign promises, according to an analysis from The Washington Post published Thursday. He even broke a few of them, including a repeated vow to call out China for being a so-called currency manipulator.


In fact, only 28 bills have been signed into law since Trump took office in late January. In contrast, Roosevelt signed 76 bills into law in his first 100 days. President Harry Truman, in second place on this list, signed 55 bills into law in his first months in the White House. Trump's predecessor and frequent target of derision, President Barack Obama, signed 11 bills into law, but the early days of his administration are considered productive because they include major legislation to ensure children in low-income households have health insurance as well as the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which fights wage discrimination.

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Presidents can't call it a job well done after just 100 days, of course. Their standing in history is judged by their full terms in office. Obama, who served for eight years, has already been ranked the nation's 12th most popular president for his work on the economy and his "moral authority," according to a C-SPAN survey of 91 presidential historians published in February. Abraham Lincoln was ranked the nation's top president because of his vision and pursuit of equal justice, while George Washington came in second.

If Trump hopes to eventually beat Obama on the list, he might have to spend less time working on his Twitter and golf games and more on wrangling members of Congress to support his legislative goals. 

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