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Chris Talgo is senior editor at The Heartland Institute. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.
President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in the Oval Office have been eventful to say the least, but comparing his tenure as president over this period to past presidents like Franklin D. Roosevelt is an insult to FDR.
However, that has not stopped a parade of pundits from comparing Biden to past presidential giants, such as FDR. Here are just a handful of headlines from the mainstream media drawing comparisons between the two Democratic presidents.
CNN: “The three striking similarities between FDR and Biden”
The New York Times: “Joe Biden Is Electrifying America Like FDR”
TIME: “How Joe Biden Is Positioning Himself as a Modern FDR”
I could go on, but the point is made.
According to History.com, “In the United States, no one talked that much about the importance of a president’s first 100 days — until Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933. He took swift action to calm the nation’s crippling financial panic (cue the Emergency Banking Act and the “fireside chats” that became Roosevelt’s signature) and began rolling out the programs that made up his New Deal, including 15 major pieces of legislation in the first 100 days. FDR’s extraordinary productivity translated into enormous popularity, and he set a first 100-day standard against which all future U.S. presidents would (perhaps unfairly) be measured.”
In fact, in his first 100 days, FDR signed 76 bills into law. A record that still stands to this day.
By contrast, in his first 100 days, Biden signed only 11 bills into law, which is one of the lowest numbers in modern history. For comparison’s sake, President Donald Trump signed 28. President Barack Obama: 14. President Bill Clinton: 22.
And Biden has had the advantage of Democrats being in charge of both houses of Congress.
By this benchmark alone, comparing Biden to FDR is a farce.
Yet, whether or not one agrees with FDR’s New Deal policies, it is beyond dispute that FDR’s first 100 days in the Oval Office were monumental in terms of passing big legislation to address the Great Depression.
Like FDR, Biden inherited a nation in crisis. However, within his first 100 days in office, all Biden has done is pass one gargantuan spending bill: The American Recovery Plan.
It is true that Biden has proposed two other enormous spending bills — The American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan — but the odds of those bills making it through Congress and to the Resolute Desk seems remote right now.
Aside from the lack of legislation Biden has been able to advance through a Democrat-controlled Congress, he has also come woefully short in conveying confidence, let alone his message, to the American people.
FDR, on the other hand, took it upon himself to ensure that Americans remained optimistic about America’s future, principally via his fireside chats.
FDR was also an eloquent speaker, who delivered one of the most memorable lines in inauguration history: “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Biden’s inauguration speech contained no such calls to action. It inspired little confidence in the American people that the worst of the pandemic is behind us.
Moreover, even though FDR was wheelchair-bound during the entire duration of his presidency, he was constantly in public, making speeches, attending events and rallying the people to overcome the despair of the Great Depression.
Biden, conversely, has remained hunkered down in the White House. He rarely makes off-the-cuff remarks about the status of the economic recovery, sparsely appears in public, and unlike FDR, constantly instills fear into the American public about a pandemic that is all but over.
In reality, FDR’s first 100 days in office represent the antithesis of Biden’s first 100 days in office.
The real question is why the mainstream media is perpetuating the ludicrous fallacy that Biden’s first 100 days in the Oval Office come anywhere close to FDR’s record-setting first 100 days at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.