When it comes to evaluating his first 100 days, Joe Biden has an unbeatable advantage: He is not Donald Trump. Simply by not inciting his supporters to attack the Capitol and not telling them to take hydroxychloroquine, President Biden looks infinitely better than his predecessor. There is, of course, much to be said in Biden’s favor beyond the obvious fact that he is the anti-Trump. But after the traumas of the past four years, I still marvel at the night-and-day differences. Even looking only at Trump’s first 100 days — and not what followed in the next 1,361 days — the comparison is lopsidedly, preposterously tilted in Biden’s favor.
Biden has been scandal-free. From the start, the Russia scandal loomed over the Trump presidency. The Kremlin had interfered in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign had extensive contacts with Russian emissaries. On March 20, 2017 — Day 60 — FBI Director James B. Comey confirmed that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign. On May 9 — Day 110 — Trump fired Comey , leading to the appointment of a special counsel. Hard as the right may try, it hasn’t succeeded in generating any scandal for Biden — unless you’re an aficionado of impenetrable claims regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop. The 46th president doesn’t play fast and loose with the truth: The Post fact-checker counted only 67 false or misleading claims during Biden’s first 100 days compared with 511 for Trump in the same period.
Biden has picked well-qualified appointees who know what they are doing. Trump stocked his administration with relatives (Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump), far-right extremists (Stephen K. Bannon, Peter Navarro, Stephen Miller), lickspittles (CIA Director Mike Pompeo), clueless rich people (Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson) and ethical disasters (Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, EPA chief Scott Pruitt). National security adviser Michael Flynn had to resign after just 24 days for lying to the FBI. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has already served four times longer than Flynn. So far there isn’t a single clunker among Biden’s senior selections.
Biden is making real progress on the biggest issues facing America — the unemployment rate is declining while the number of vaccinations is skyrocketing. Oh, and the stock market has gone up more than twice as fast as it did under Trump, despite GOP predictions of doom. Biden has laid out an ambitious infrastructure plan — something that Trump never did despite years of promises. He has issued executive orders to limit gun violence instead of kowtowing to the gun lobby as Trump did. While Biden confronts real threats, Trump fixated on imaginary dangers such as caravans of Central American refugees and athletes kneeling during the national anthem — or on personal obsessions such as the size of his inauguration crowds and his TV ratings.