Everything Obama Did In His First 100 Days Puts Trump To Shame

by John Haltiwanger
Getty Images

Saturday marks 100 days in office for President Donald Trump.

It's not exactly a secret that Trump was an extremely vocal critic of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.

With that said, it seems fair to ask: How do Trump's first 100 days stack up against Obama's?

A majority of Americans (56 percent) feel Trump has not accomplished much in his first 100 days. It's fair to say he hasn't lived up the vast majority of the first 100-day promises he made during his presidential campaign.

This helps explain why Trump recently referred to the 100-day mark as a "ridiculous measurement."

Obama came into office amid very different circumstances than Trump.

The US was facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and was in the middle of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The young president definitely had his work cut out for him.

A president's first 100 days has been viewed as an important time to lay the foundations for the rest of his or her tenure since FDR.

Of course, what really matters is what happens over the course of a president's four years in office, not the first several months.

But, for context, let's see how Obama's first 100 days compares to Trump's.

By the time he reached the 100-day milestone, Obama's approval rating was at 65 percent.

Comparatively Trump's is currently at around 40 percent, according to Gallup.

As we reach the 100-day mark, Trump is the most unpopular new president of the modern era.

Approval ratings are not always the best gauge for achievement, but historians say Obama had accomplished far more by this point than Trump has.

Obama helped avert a second Great Depression.

Former President Obama's biggest achievement in his first 100 days was getting Congress to approve a $787 billion stimulus package to boost the economy as it faced the global financial crisis.

Economists widely agree this helped save the US economy from even bigger disaster.

When Obama came into office in January 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, and would increase to 10 percent by October.

Upon his departure, the unemployment rate was down to 4.7 percent.

In spite of the downtrodden picture of America he painted during his campaign, Trump inherited a robust economy from Obama.

He's tried to take credit for job growth since coming into office, but presidents have very little control over the economy when it comes down to it -- especially in the short term.

So, it's hard to say what kind of impact Trump's had on the economy yet, if any.

Some experts do believe, however, Trump could cost the US tourism industry up to $18 billion over the next two years due to the draconian policies he's pursuing.

Obama delivered on a big promise about Iraq.

During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to get the US out of Iraq.

In his first 100 days, he laid out a plan to remove most US troops from Iraq by the summer of 2010 and all of the troops by December 2011.

This certainly had major consequences in subsequent years, especially in relation to the rise of ISIS, but it was a campaign promise upheld nonetheless.

While still a private citizen, Trump repeatedly told Obama not to intervene in Syria, and was staunchly against intervention during his presidential campaign. But that obviously changed.

In his first 100 days, Trump approved a military strike against a government-held airbase in Syria following a chemical attack that killed civilians. But that airbase is still operational and not long after bombed the same town where the chemical attack occurred.

He's taken aggressive, random moves that haven't a major, palpable impact.

He dropped the "mother of all bombs" on ISIS in Afghanistan, which is the most powerful non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat, but America's involvement in that country only seems to be deepening.

Obama looked out for America's kids and gender equality with legislative moves.

During his first 100 days, Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and a law expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program, which set the tone for his approach to healthcare and gender equality for the next eight years.

From a legislative standpoint, Obama got a lot more done than Trump by the 100-day milestone.

Trump failed miserably in his attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, as promised, and has no significant legislative achievements yet. Sad!

Obama visited nine countries in his first 100 days. Trump hasn't left the country once.


By his 100th day in office, Obama had visited nine countries, including Iraq, where he met with US troops.

Trump hasn't visited any foreign countries, which means no visits to America's troops stationed overseas, presumably because he can't fit it in between all of his tweeting

And Trump's foreign policy seems to be that he doesn't have one.


Foreign policy experts are struggling to outline Trump's approach to global affairs, because so far he's just been winging it.

His administration has also been mired in scandal in relation to Russia, which led to the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

Trump also found some time to tweet nonsensical things about trade with Canada, a close ally of the US and its next-door neighbor, accusing it of hurting America's dairy farmers.

Obama issued 19 executive orders in his first 100 days.

Trump, meanwhile, has issued more executive orders than any president since World War II in his first 100 days. But that doesn't necessarily mean they've accomplished anything.

His executive orders have included attempting to institute a travel ban on people from a number of predominately Muslim countries. This has been blocked multiple times by federal courts, on top of having his executive order on sanctuary cities temporarily blocked.

Executive orders also don't have as much power as actual legislation, and the fact Trump has relied on them is a reminder of his inability to push things through Congress.

Obama had his cabinet filled by his 100th day.

Trump, conversely, still needs to announce nominees for 470 out of 556 key positions that need Senate confirmation.

But he did fill a vacant Supreme Court seat, bigly.

Trump's biggest accomplishment has been getting Judge Neil Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court.

Gorsuch is young, and will likely be there for decades.

Obama golfed once in his first 100 days as president.

Trump has spent 19 days at a golf course in his first 100 days as president.

During his campaign, Trump said he would "rarely leave the White House" and would not be a president who "takes time off."

President Trump has spent a significant amount of time away from the White House at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, at the taxpayer's expense (each trip reportedly costs roughly $3.3 million).


So far, he's spent 31 days of his presidency visiting at least one of his properties, according to an analysis from the New York Times, including 25 days at Mar-a-Lago.

This means he's spent over a quarter of his first 100 days away from the White House.

When you look at what Obama was able to accomplish during this period, it's not hard to see why his approval rating was over 20 points higher at the time than Trump's is now.

Citations: Trump picks fight with Canada over dairy products and trade (ABC News), President Trump at 100 days: No honeymoon but no regrets (POLL) (ABC News), Tracking the President's Visits to Trump Properties (New York Times), Trump: 'I would rarely leave the White House' (The Hill), Trump Tops Obama, Bush and Clinton in Golfing and Private Getaways So Far (New York Times), Trump, who scorned Obama's golf habits, outpacing him in rounds (CNN), Trump administration appointee tracker (Washington Post), Trump's biggest unfilled jobs (Politico)