With Trump’s highly touted “Contract with the American Voter” now an undisputed disappointment, even President Obama’s White House photographer, Pete Souza, just took a shot at Trump’s failures.
With Trump having little to show for his first 100 days in office, Souza’s post serves as a reminder of Obama’s many accomplishments during his own first 100 days as President. He passed a stimulus bill that would ultimately lift the United States out of the Great Recession; expanded children’s health care; bolstered equal-pay protections; and lifted a federal ban on embryonic stem-cell research.
Souza points to Obama’s first meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was tremendously popular during her tenure as the top American diplomat. Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, faced a myriad of obstacles in his confirmation process. Both Americans and members of Congress were wary of his close ties to Russia amid suspicions that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.
Furthermore, Tillerson has enshrined his post in secrecy, often going on international trips without a press pool, breaking years of precedent.
But it is the rest of Souza’s caption that truly separates Obama and Trump. While Trump immediately redecorated the Oval Office with as much gold as possible, Obama, “because of the economic crisis… thought that it would be improper to redecorate the Oval Office even though Congress had appropriated the funds. Instead he kept the Bush 43 carpeting, drapes and furniture until mid 2010.”
Trump had campaigned on eliminating waste in government. As President, he is on track to spend more on travel in his first year alone than Obama spent in all eight years of his Presidency.
While Trump is quick to tell everyone how great he is as President, Pete Souza’s post is an important reminder that actions speak louder than words. Obama, who had an impressive 69% approval rating at this point in his Presidency, had much to boast about – and yet very rarely boasted at all – while Trump, with an abysmal 42% approval rating, the lowest since Dwight Eisenhower, has failed to do almost everything that he promised, and is already embroiled in an FBI investigation.
Thank you, Pete, for reminding us what success looked like in the White House.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.