One Hundred Days…such a catchy number 100. Not 99 or 101 but 100. Everything is now broken down to 100 days. Of course the number is somewhat arbitrary and I believe it is meant to have some reference to the number of days in which congress is available to concentrate on governing before the start of the next election cycle. After this time minds start to wonder to the next election and political survival or advancement. How true this is I will leave this to the political scientists and American studies students.
Another way of looking at 100 days is that it ended with Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat at Waterloo after he had raised an army and marched again. Just 100 days. So there seems to be something politically totemic about the number 100 either getting things done or marching to defeat – you decide which applies to Donald Trump. Personally I think that it is far too early to really judge what type of President Donald Trump is going to be but what we can say for certain is that some of his hostages to fortune are coming back to haunt him – not least his apparent inability to understand just what the President of the United States can and cannot really do. Couple this with a really bad live TV performance when the last thing he looks is Presidential there are serious causes for concern if you are a Trump supporter. (Anyone who has taken time to read this blog will know that doesn’t include me plus I’m not an American citizen so rightly Trump can ignore anything I write and why wouldn’t he anyway?)
I wrote yesterday that there is a whiff of Watergate floating around the Trump Presidency at the moment and I am sure we haven’t heard the end of Michael Flynn, especially if he is interviewed by the FBI – will he name names or will he take the bullet for his former boss? There must be grave concerns in the White House as to what he would do in those circumstances. Of course this talk of Watergate puts the wind in the sails of the White House press corp who have a few scores to settle with the Trump administration ? This is starting to play out like the second season of House of Cards is Mike Pence really Frank Underwood? Am I going a little crazy right now?
Back to the 100 days theme – what if if the British government added another 100 days before activating the Article 50 process? This would mean that the process would start after the Dutch and far more important French elections thus allowing the negotiators a much clearer view about how unstable the European Union would be. If the Dutch swing to the right and Le Pen is President then that will really change the dynamic of the European Union – perhaps fatally. An extra 100 days would also allow the slow burning Euro crises to either calm down or ignite in a way that could paralyse the European Union. In other words the first 100 days of the negotiations would effectively be wasted time anyway so why waste them? The answer to that is because it suits the British government’s self imposed timetable whether this is in the best interest of Britain is another matter – much like Brexit itself but that boat has sailed so we now have to make the most of the situation we find ourselves in. Giving ourselves an extra 100 days would also allow us to see how to factor in the Trump effect on our negotiating position.
So the number 100 does seem to have a strange political potency.
One final thought – I believe that Donald Trump will serve out his full four year term. I suspect that much of the current heat and fury may well blow itself out. However, I believe at the end of the four year period Trump will resemble President Carter rather than any of his more successful predecessors. I suspect he may have do a Hollande and not run again – however, this being Trump there is very little chance of that so he could really bring the whole thing down crashing on his and many Congressmen and women’s head – but then again what the hell do I know.