The ‘Hundred Days’ Humbug

President Trump is criticized for things he has done and for things he has left undone. What is unreasonable is the additional arbitrary standard to which he, like all modern presidents, is held liable: what he has accomplished, and failed to, in his first hundred days in office.

Why is the figure of 100 days so important? As though Franklin D. Roosevelt doesn’t have enough to answer for, here is another of his legacies.

FDR spoke of “the hundred days which had been devoted to the starting of the wheels of the New Deal” in his fireside chat of July 24, 1933—142 days after his March 4 inauguration. He was referring to “the historical special session of the Congress” he had convened, which opened March 9 and adjourned June 16. That is, the Hundred Days were legislative days, not executive days.

Read the rest at The Wall Street Journal.

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About Charles Kesler

Charles Kesler is a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute, Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, host of The American Mind video series, and the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College. Dr. Kesler also teaches in the Claremont Institute’s Publius Fellows Program and Lincoln Fellows Program. He received his B.A. in Social Studies and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University. From 1989 to 2008, Dr. Kesler was director of CMC’s Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World. From September 2000 to March 2001, he served as vice chairman of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Congress's James Madison Commemoration Commission.

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3 responses to “The ‘Hundred Days’ Humbug

  • I remember reading recently that neither FDR nor his flacks coined the “first 100 days” idea. It was an unconnected newsman. Of course hindsight is always 20/20, but somebody smart near POTUS Trump, to whom he listens (“Jared … Jared … are you hanging out with Bueller?”) should’ve told him, back around day 45 or so to tweet that this “100 days” business is nothing but made up crap.

  • Our dear leader has talked about the 100 day milestone a number of times both before and after the election. It wasn’t until he realized that he won’t have a big “win” to brag about that it suddenly became “ridiculous.” What a guy.

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