A hundred days into his first term, it is clear that Joe Biden is a much different kind of president than his predecessor. But even as new political eras are born, public opinion shifts, and leaders come and go, one thing remains constant at The Daily Beast: our commitment to uncovering the truth.
Since the early days of his campaign, and now administration, we have worked tirelessly to hold Biden and his people accountable, expose behind-the-scenes hypocrisy, and call out the promises left unfulfilled—giving credit where it was due along the way. For the Presidency’s first big milestone, we took some time to reflect on the highs and lows, and what they might mean for the days ahead. Read on for the 100-word insights from your favorite Daily Beast editors, writers, and columnists—and if you want to support this kind of work through the next 100 days (and beyond), please consider becoming a Beast Inside member.
Molly Jong-Fast, Editor-At-Large:
While Republicans have been mad about sneakers, Doctor Seuss, and now the made-up threat that Democrats might take away their burgers and meat-based beers (which are not a thing that exists), Joe Biden has been working. There are vaccines—92.9 million Americans vaccinated now compared to 13.5 million when Trump left office. And money—$1.9 trillion in stimulus checks, child tax credits and more and about as much hopefully coming soon in infrastructure and other investments. Sure, Biden is benefiting from low expectations but he’s doing what people desperately need and I think many of us are extremely grateful for it.
Kali Holloway, Columnist:
I kind of hate first-100-days assessments because it feels like an arbitrary time marker, but here we are and I’m mostly concerned about what hasn’t been done. There are still kids in cages (a holdover from the last time Joe Biden had White House influence), the administration is waffling on refugee caps, the $15 minimum wage fight was over too soon, and, despite Biden’s promise to do so, the federal death penalty that the Trump administration restarted for the sheer cruel pleasure of it still hasn’t been shut down. More broadly speaking, Democrats’ professed legislative commitments to everything else worth doing—from voting rights to SCOTUS—will amount to nothing more than useless sloganeering without an end to the filibuster.
Scott Bixby, White House Reporter:
The most important takeaway from the first 100 days, for me, has been that the support structure surrounding President Biden still mirrors the support structure that surrounded Candidate Biden. During the campaign, newer or younger members of the team sometimes quietly resented longtime Bidenworld figures—Mike Donilon, Ted Kaufman, Steve Ricchetti—who they felt stymied innovation on policy or campaign strategy. While a few newer additions like Annie Tomasini have joined the ranks of the so-called ‘Council of Elders’ since then, that dynamic largely hasn’t changed. If you’re looking to trace some of the president’s missteps so far—whether the lack of preparation for backlash to his refusal to lift the refugee cap or surprise that his team is firing people for having smoked cannabis in states where it’s perfectly legal—that’s the direction to look.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Columnist:
Joe Biden got elected in part because of the assumption that he was moderate enough to win back white Democrats who supported Donald Trump. As president, he’s darted to the left on climate change and some justice issues while he’s reverted to his moderate roots on immigration and legalizing marijuana. Introducing the Biden Two Step, where—in trying to hold together a fractured Democratic coalition—his instinct to dance with those that brung him has the president dancing in circles.
Matt Fuller, Senior Politics Editor:
Score Biden’s first 100 days as a success because he addressed the No. 1 issue facing the country: COVID. Biden muscled through a $1.9 trillion stimulus package and oversaw a drastic turnaround in vaccine deployment. When he took office, 16.5 million Americans had been partially vaccinated. By his 100th day, that number was 220 million. On those accomplishments alone, call it a success. The next 100 days may be much harder. Biden’s next big priority—infrastructure—is no sure thing. He’s facing a real challenge with the migrant surge at the border. And he has no meaningful solution for the ongoing string of mass shootings. Even with his experience and a Democratic House and Senate, he has significant outstanding issues that he’ll need to resolve.
Erin Gloria Ryan, Columnist:
Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office have felt like emerging onto a sidewalk after being evacuated from a skyscraper that is on fire. I can’t say if the street sounds pleasant—my ears are still ringing—but it’s less offensive out here than having a loud fire alarm blaring in my ear for four years. I don’t know if the air smells nice, but it’s better than breathing smoke. I would rather be somewhere besides this sidewalk, watching people insist the building is not on fire, but I’d rather be here than running back inside. Overall, am I glad that the risk of burning to death in the near future has been dramatically reduced? Yes.