4. Trump follows through on tough trade rhetoric. During his campaign, President Trump made clear that he felt that American workers and businesses were getting the shaft when it came to trade agreements, and he's continued to press that case during his time in the White House. Just this week, Mr. Trump railed against Canada, and demanded a re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, while holding out the threat of simply terminating that agreement. "It's been very good for Canada, it's been very good for Mexico, but it's been horrible for the United States," the President said. Tough talk on trade - whether NAFTA, or Chinese steel or other items is popular with many Trump supporters - and with Rust Belt Democrats as well. Don't underestimate how well this issue plays for the President.
5. Shaking up Washington, D.C. If there was one message that I heard maybe more than any other out on the campaign trail in 2016, it was the desire of supporters of President Trump to send a message to the political establishment - of both parties. They wanted to vote for him, because he was going to shake things up in Washington. Well, he certainly has succeeded in doing that. Again - as in other examples - you may not agree with what he's done, or how he has gone about doing it, but he certainly has introduced a different dynamic in the nation's capital. Obviously, there is room for argument about whether shaking things up actually leads to progress.
While progress has been made on some of his goals, there are certainly other issues where the President and Republicans in Congress have not been able to push ahead and fulfill their campaign promises.
Some of those include:
+ Health care - The legislative effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law remains hung up in the House, and even if a bill gets approved there, it's not clear what the Senate would be able to do, as Republicans remain at odds on the best way forward. The GOP was trying to get a vote in the House before the President's 100th day, but had to abandon that plan on Thursday night. They will try again next week.
+ Infrastructure - President Trump talked a lot about how he would spur new job growth by pushing a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, using a public-private partnership to trigger work on new roads, bridges and more. But the White House has not unveiled any official proposal, and there is no momentum on it in the Congress. How do you pay for it? That was the big hangup in the Obama Administration as well.
+ Border wall money - The White House wanted money in a stop gap budget plan to help build a wall along the border with Mexico, but basically hit a wall in Congress. First, Democrats are in no mood to help him, and there are a number of Republicans who don't think much of the issue either. This will be a flashpoint again later this year.
+ Tax reform - While the President unveiled an outline of a tax reform plan this week, many details were still To Be Determined, and that doesn't bode well for fast action in the Congress on a tax bill. Back in 1985, President Reagan delivered a full legislative bill to Congress on reform, and that was used as the basis for action. This time, the GOP has a one page flyer from the President. Lawmakers like to have some political cover, and the President has offered little.
+ Expectations - While President Trump grumbled a bit this week about the 100 day measurement, he set the bar pretty high on his own last year during the campaign, vowing to get ten major initiatives through the Congress. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen, but when you look back from this point, it's important to realize how much energy it takes - even with one party control of the White House and the Congress.