Washington (AP) – The fact that after 100 days in office, politicians face their first major balance sheet is thanks to former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
He took office in the midst of the Great Depression in 1933, passed a slew of laws through Congress in the first three months to save the country’s misery, and so came up with the idea of the 100-day program. Since then, politicians in the US and other parts of the world have been faced with this – basically arbitrary – deadline.
The time has come for Joe Biden this Thursday: the American Democrat will be in office for 100 days. Biden began in the midst of a crisis of Roosevelt proportions: the devastating corona pandemic and the worst recession since the Great Depression. In addition, his predecessor Donald Trump left him domestically a torn country and an unprecedented foreign policy mess.
Can someone who succeed Trump really only score? Well, Biden’s approval ratings are relatively stable at 52 to 54 percent. That’s solid, but not flowing. In any case, it’s better than Trump, who was the only US president in recent history to be no more than 50 percent in his entire tenure.
Exuberance and enthusiasm are not the common leitmotif of an America under Biden. The 78-year-old took to the White House as the oldest president of all time. It doesn’t necessarily represent new beginnings and innovations, but rather a return to convention, reason, stability, predictability – and a little order after the chaotic Trump years. This is exactly what he has delivered so far.
In view of the crisis, Biden planned a lot for the first 100 days. On the very first day of his tenure, he signed nearly a dozen rulings, also dismantling several of Trump’s decisions: he led the US back to the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, and he overturned the entry bans of several Muslim countries. .
In the more than three months since then, Biden has worked relatively quietly through the rest of his 100-day endeavors. Despite some opposition from the Republicans, he pushed through with a massive stimulus package worth about $ 1.9 trillion to bolster the troubled economy. He turned every possible screw to speed up the corona vaccinations. He kept the promise to give 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days after just 60 days. He then doubled the target to 200 million vaccinations, which he achieved after more than 90 days.
He now has plans for a massive investment program, also worth nearly two trillion dollars. He wants to renew the country’s infrastructure and create millions of jobs. Some compare it to Roosevelt’s program back then. It could be Biden’s legacy. But there is still a long way to go.
Migration policy was mixed. On the first day, Biden initiated a radical change of course: more humanity instead of isolation, integration instead of exclusion. But the government has sent conflicting reports. The number of people trying to cross the border illegally is growing rapidly. And conditions in border shelters, especially for children, are provoking outrage. This topic could become a real problem for Biden in the coming months. Biden entrusted his deputy Kamala Harris to take care of the control of migration from Central America – which could distinguish itself or develop a nosebleed.
In foreign policy terms, Biden began by assuring allies that they could count on the US again (“America is back”). The Biden government hastily negotiated an extension of the “New Start” nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia shortly before it expired. At the same time, Biden took a much tougher course than Trump against Moscow. In the case of Afghanistan, Biden was forced to act quickly and decided to delay Trump’s announced withdrawal until at least September. At least there are now indirect talks with Tehran about whether the US will return to the Iran nuclear deal that Trump had canceled.
Biden paid particular attention to the Asia-Pacific region. He launched a diplomatic charm offensive in the region to forge alliances against Beijing. The new US administration sees China as by far the greatest competition at all levels and is trying to curb Beijing’s influence. The first high-level meeting between Washington and Beijing was extremely confronting.
Shortly before the end of the first 100 days, Biden held an international online climate summit and announced a new climate target for the US. After four years of stagnation in the fight against global warming, America is back on the world stage.
With Biden, order is back in the White House. Biden has been in the political sector for decades – first in Congress, later in government. And he has deployed a team that has just as much political experience. This technical security is noticeable. Biden’s day-to-day politics follows a recurring pattern: the White House carefully prepares subjects. First there are long data sheets and explanatory switches for journalists, then Biden steps in front of the cameras to read a statement on the subject from a desk in the White House. Finished.
Biden usually sticks to the manuscript and rarely answers questions on these occasions. Everything is strictly choreographed. There are rarely surprises. No politics on Twitter, no late night announcements, no graduated tweet, hardly any excitement. A stark contrast to the chaos under Trump, who had no political experience at all and who constantly surprised not only the public with his volts at any time of the day or night, but often members of his own government.
On the other hand, there is hardly anything to be heard from Biden in the early mornings, evenings and weekends. The Washington Post initially dubbed its routine the “nine-to-five presidency.” Others even call his administration “boring”. But predictability after Trump shouldn’t be confused with one thing: calm down.