The Trump presidency got off to a perfectly calm start with a by-the-book, and even somewhat dull, inauguration. And lots of big things that candidate Donald Trump promised to do on Day One didn’t actually happen.
Then, just 24 hours later, millions of people around the world were out in the streets protesting; we went from MAGA caps to pussy hats in just one sleep. Clearly, the tumult of the contentious campaign was going to be the new normal.
And yet, how crazy could it be? Running the government is a sobering and all-consuming business. It’s not a time for pre-dawn tweeting, picking petty fights and self-promotion, all hallmarks of Trump’s campaign. It’s a job — a big job — and what would it be like when a political neophyte took the helm?
Inspired by Paul Slansky’s The Clothes Have No Emperor, a scrapbook-style account of the Reagan years published in 1989, I decided to keep a chronological log of Trump’s first 100 days. Perhaps — I naively thought way back in January — a few amusing narratives would present themselves.
What resulted was a breathtaking roller-coaster ride through 13 weeks of policy dos, don’ts and re-dos; gaffes and word–salad addresses; controversies and lawsuits; fact-checks and lies; an astonishing number of visits to Trump-branded properties; and tweets. So many tweets.
This 14-week timeline is compiled here, available for perusal in handy one-week chunks. Relive the memories — the out-of-the-gate craziness of the first three weeks (from “alternative facts” to airport protests); Russia, Russia, Russia; two travel bans; the tweet that derailed everything (“Just found out Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower”); the repeal-and-replace-and-remain of Obamacare; the wall that wasn’t; and the ongoing pep rallies. Boggle at the Cecil B. DeMille epicness of everything that occurred in Week 9. Or chill for a bit with the relative quiet of Week 13.
Apologies in advance if your favorite outrage/victory/tweet isn’t listed in the chronology: The internet is infinite enough to list everything that happened, but surely our readers’ patience isn’t.
History is busy writing and re-writing itself, so it’s too early to tell how fabulous or disastrous these times will prove to be. The times often feel fraught, anxious and depressing, but take heart. Even in these first 100 days, there have already been winners: investigative journalism, “rogue” government Twitter accounts, Saturday Night Live and sales of posterboard.