by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller reminds us that Donald Trump isn’t the only American president who has struggled with controversy during his opening months in office.
There once was an American president whose approval rating hovered at 36 percent, who lost a pivotal health care vote although his party controlled Congress, who faced a special counsel investigation, who had an inexperienced and highly partisan White House staff, and who encountered public outrage over a $200 haircut that shut down the Los Angeles International Airport for two hours.
Donald Trump? No. Bill Clinton
Clinton’s presidency was such a disaster in only four months that Time Magazine devoted a June 1993 cover story to his long string of failures. The cover featured a tiny Bill under the large print title, “The Incredible Shrinking President.” Inside the magazine, the headline asked: “Is Clinton up to the job? Americans are starting to wonder.”
“Reports of chaos, confusion, and infighting seem to leak out of the West Wing on a daily basis. The president is his own worst enemy, easily distracted, obsessed with minutiae, and uninterested in instilling much order in his administration, the Atlantic wrote a month earlier. “His staffers, many of them young, don’t really know the ropes, and it shows.”
Clinton ran as an outsider with no federal experience and as the governor of a southern state that ranked 48 among 50 states in poverty. His obvious lack of experience became his downfall in his first year in office, as his presidency became engulfed in scandals and legislative failures.