SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

The “Hundred Days” of 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt at the onset of his first term got sixteen major bills through Congress, is a poor guide to what contemporary presidents can plan or hope to do in their first three months. For one thing, under the Twentieth Amendment, Congress is already in regular session when they arrive, and three months takes one only to the Easter recess of the first session. For another thing, presidential “honeymoons” with the public, hence with Congress, rarely last until summer, while the crucial months for controversial bids usually come later. Third, brand-new presidents and their associates in both the cabinet and White House tend to be too ignorant of Congress and of one another to take full advantage of the opportunities their first months bring.