SMLS: Trump's First 100 Days

SMLS: Trump's First 100 Days

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Christian Holm

The first Simpson-Mineta Leaders Series of the semester featured two voices from opposite sides of the aisle as The Washington Center’s students attempted to make sense of Trump’s first 100 days in office.


Fred Barnes, executive editor for The Weekly Standard and Liz Kennedy, director of democracy & government reform at the Center for American Progress joined moderator and White House Correspondent for RealClearPolitics Alexis Simendinger for an hour long discussion on Trump’s first 100 days and how the administration can achieve its ambitious agenda.


Panelists took questions from student following an opening discussion. Students raised questions and concerns regarding Trump’s 100 day agenda and the effect of new policies on America’s political climate.


Here is a snapshot of the conversation:


Abigail Emerson (Institution: Furman University; Internship: Civic Enterprises, LLC) What are the main issues Democrats should focus on in countering Trump’s agenda?


Kennedy: The economy should be the main focus, making the economy work for all Americans. Political and economic inequality will also have to be addressed. People are angry with Washington and trust in government has declined precipitously. Democrats need to have strong solutions and lead on these issues, or we will get rolled on it.


Jon Kelland (Institution: Westfield State University; Internship: Restore America's Estuaries) After a rough start and low approval numbers, is success within the first year of Trump’s Presidency more important for him than it was for previous presidents?


Barnes: Trump has three major things he needs to accomplish: Repealing obamacare, confirming a new supreme court justice and tax reform. He really does need to be three for three on those, so I do think immediate results are as important.


Sabrina Bekios (Institution: Hofstra University; Internship: National Legal Aid & Defender Association) I’m a conservative, but I’m not at CPAC right now because I think the GOP has deviated from conservative principles, such as free trade. Do you think the core principles of the party has changed or do you think a large faction can come together and reset the party?


Barnes: On the trade issue, both parties used to support free trade and now neither do, so that could be larger trend in American politics, outside of Trump. Aside from trade and immigration, Trump has adopted a mainstream conservative agenda and GOP leaders are hoping he can stick to that.

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