On April 29, 2017, Hillary Clinton will complete her first 100 days in office as president of the United States. Or, at least that’s what would be happening right now if her campaign team could scrounge up a goofy mad scientist, a DeLorean and a map to Wisconsin (among other places).
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To some liberals, no doubt, the very notion of a second President Clinton’s first 100 days conjures visions of perpetual sunshine, a cancer cure and the invention of no-calorie chocolate. But how much would Washington, under a Democratic president and Republican-controlled Congress, have changed really? Below a good-faith guess at what those first few weeks in office really might have been like:
In a speech carefully prepared over many months, and drained of lines that might stoke controversy, Hillary Clinton calls for bipartisan unity, avoids laying out a detailed policy agenda and salutes an historic victory for women while former President George W. Bush struggles with his rain poncho. No comparisons are made at any point during the day between President Clinton’s and President Obama’s inauguration crowds. A Gallup poll published that morning shows her approval rating at a respectable 52 percent favorable, 39 percent unfavorable.
Bill Clinton’s office announces that he will officially be known as “The First Gentleman.” The Republican-controlled Senate swiftly confirms the vast majority of President Clinton’s nominees, most of them well-known Washington hands, including Secretary of State Joe Biden and Republican Lindsey Graham as secretary of defense.
In a lengthy piece in the New York Times, “sources close to former President Bill Clinton” credit him for his wife’s razor-thin election victory with an “eleventh hour strategy change” that focused on North Carolina and Florida.
In his first interview since the inauguration, Donald Trump tells the Washington Post that “terrible” campaign advisers told him to focus on Michigan and Wisconsin instead of crucial states of Florida and North Carolina. He blasts “horrible gutless Republicans” like Jeb Bush for abandoning him. In response, Bush tweets: “Grow a pair.”
Echoing the earlier piece in the Times, the Washington Post offers a tick-tock of the final weeks of the Clinton-Trump race, characterizing Bill Clinton as “the mastermind” of a narrow electoral vote victory. “Nobody understood the mood of the country better than he did,” says a source. “Not even Hillary.”
The White House announces that Bill Clinton, as first gentleman, will immediately embark on a months-long global goodwill tour, with stops in Bangladesh, Botswana, Ecuatorial Guinea and Timbuktu.
With the Republican Party in disarray, and plunging in popularity, two moderate Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, announce that they will henceforth be independents. They will caucus with the Democrats, effectively giving them a 50/50 majority (with Vice President Tim Kaine the tie-breaking vote).
Chelsea Clinton is named senior advisor to the president and director of the brand new White House Women’s Empowerment Office. She takes an office in the West Wing. Except for a few columns in conservative-leaning outlets, there is no other criticism of the appointment.
In the first veto of her presidency, Hillary Clinton rejects legislation to repeal Obamacare—a bill that passes both houses of Congress by narrow margins. GOP leaders vow that once they elect a Republican president, Obamacare will be repealed in “the first week.” Adding to the criticism, @realDonaldTrump tweets: “Obamacare total disaster. We would have repealed it on Day One. Dumb!”
Bowing to pressure from liberal activists who prefer a younger and more left-wing choice, White House spokesman Brian Fallon announces that President Clinton will not reappoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. In a quickly called press conference, Senate Republicans say Judge Garland deserved better treatment and that withdrawing his name is a slap in the face to President Obama.
Donald Trump and NBC jointly announce that the GOP presidential nominee will return to “The Celebrity Apprentice.” In a call-in interview on Fox, Trump says, “They literally pleaded with me to come back since Arnold was such a complete disaster, and I negotiated the deal of all deals, which I’m told is the biggest deal in American television history.” NBC declines to comment on the assertions.
President Clinton’s most controversial appointment, Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Warren, receives 62 votes for confirmation. The entire cabinet is now seated. Gallup approval rating: 48 percent favorable, 43 percent unfavorable.
President Clinton appears at the Rose Garden to announce New Jersey Senator Cory Booker as her choice to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Conservative activist groups vow the fight of their lives—and privately blame Senate Republicans for a “reckless” decision not to confirm the far more moderate Garland to the High Court when they had the chance.
In the second veto of her presidency, Clinton rejects Republican-backed tax cut legislation that she says will “weaken our economy” and “reward the rich.” Republicans say that if they controlled the White House, their “common-sense and widely supported” tax reform plan would pass in the first week.
Republicans announce that they have sufficient votes to filibuster the Cory Booker nomination. In response, Democrat Chuck Schumer says the time has come to invoke the “nuclear option” and allow a simple up-or-down vote on Supreme Court nominations. “I have opposed this option in the past,” Schumer says. “And it is regrettable we have come to this. But we cannot have tyranny by the minority over the future of our justice system.” Mainstream media outlets, including the New York Times, applaud Schumer’s statement.
Issuing her third exective order, President Clinton orders tighter environmental regulations on the gas and oil industry. Republicans blast Clinton “for dicatorship by executive order.” @realDonaldTrump tweets: “Executive orders a disaster for democracy. President needs to work with Congress. Get it done!”
A Clinton spokesman refuses to comment on questions raised by the Wall Street Journal regarding President Clinton’s continued use of a private server and email while in the White House. “The American people have spoken on this issue,” says Clinton friend James Carville. “And they don’t care.”
In her first major piece of legislation, President Clinton announces a guest worker program to legalize the millions of undocumented migrants in the United States who are “lost in the shadows.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other leading voices in the Republican establishment express tentative support.
Hillary Clinton stuns the audience at the Academy Awards by appearing on stage in person to present one of the evening’s first awards. Meryl Streep causes commotion when she collides with Matt Damon, as both run on stage to embrace her. Mel Gibson faces controversy when he appears to briefly hesitate before joining in a mandatory standing ovation. @realDonaldTrump tweets: “Embarrassing display by totally overrated Meryl Streep. Yet I would have had an even better relationship with Hollywood than HRC.”
Making his first appearance in Washington since leaving on a global goodwill tour, First Gentleman Bill Clinton lashes out at a Fox News reporter who raises questions about his decision to continue charging for speeches before Wall Street and corporate executives. “These are friends of mine, and it’s none of your business,” Clinton snaps.
Union leaders publicly complain that the Clinton White House is ignoring their concerns. They express opposition to the administration’s guest worker bill and the decision to permanently kill the Keystone Pipeline.
Page Six reports that former FBI Director James Comey, who announced his resignation within days of President Clinton’s election, has inked a “seven figure book deal” to tell the real story of his tenure.
Corey Lewandowski is eliminated in the first round of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Responding to the reported use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, President Clinton appears in the Oval Office to announce a military operation against in Syria, winning bipartisan support.
Senate Republicans manage to delay until after the Easter recess a hearing on President Clinton’s Supreme Court nominee, Cory Booker, with some conservatives offering the possibility that an 8-member court may be fine for the long run. Republican leader Mitch McConnell flatly rejects any effort to invoke the nuclear option to install Cory Booker on the Supreme Court, saying “the traditions of the Senate are there for a reason and must be respected.”
Gallup Poll on presidential approval: 45 percent approve, 45 percent disapprove.
The first early poll of Republican contenders for the presidency is released. Leading the field: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
In her first full press conference as president, Hillary Clinton sharply denies rumors that the Democratic National Committee is actively seeking challengers to Senator Bernie Sanders in Vermont. Clinton also denies reports that former Sanders supporters in Congress have been denied invitations to White House events. Telling reporters that they are indulging in “silly conspiracy theories,” the president is nonetheless unable to name a single Sanders supporter she’s invited to the White House since her election. “This is an obvious effort by the Republicans to divide us,” she says. “Just ask Bernie Sanders.” Flooded with press requests, Sanders refuses to comment.
Meeting with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, President Clinton says she is proud of the NAFTA agreement she “helped negotiate” during her husband’s administration. Caught on microphone, she tells the leaders that “open trade and open borders is really inevitable” and that manufacturing workers “aren’t getting their jobs back.” A White House spokesman says the president’s remarks were misinterpreted.
Reports surface that Bill Clinton has been offered a $10 million advance for a series of children’s books on the adventures of “Goldie, the White House fish.” The first gentleman also refuses to comment on reports that he is contemplating delivering paid speeches across the country before organizations that might benefit from government business.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe holds a press conference to rebut allegations that he’s pressured Democratic Party donors to fund a billion-dollar superPAC that he will run once he leaves office. Asked to deny that he would ever take a formal role in such an effort, McAuliffe says, “I’m not going to indulge silly conspiracy theories.”
The immigration reform bill loses a vote in the House of Representatives, with the House Freedom Caucus leading opposition. Wikileaks announces that they will have “a special surprise” planned for the president to commemorate her first 100 days in office.
After a bitter, divisive debate, 41 Republican senators maintain a filibuster of Cory Booker’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Democrats (with the help of Collins and Murkowski) vote to support the “nuclear option” for Supreme Court nominees, leading to the certain confirmation of Booker. A Gallup poll shows President Clinton’s ratings underwater—with 44 percent approval and 46 percent disapproval.
Wikileaks releases transcripts of Bill Clinton’s speeches before private industry groups in which he says, “I’m basically a Republican these days” and mocks a single-payer heath care plan similar to one is wife now champions. Wikileaks also discloses an email from White House Chief of Staff John Podesta which seems to indicate that the former president believed his wife’s campaign was “a slow-motion train wreck.” Former presidential candidate Donald Trump tells reporters he “probably” will seek the White House in 2020 and says he’s not sure whether Hillary Clinton is the “legitimate” president. Widespread outcry ensues in the mainstream media.
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