Comparing Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s First 100 Days

On the surface Bill Clinton and Barack Obama seem to have a great deal in common. They are/were both young Democratic presidents who also have/had Democratic controlled Congresses, who inherited recessions, but each president’s first 100 days took different paths.

Here are the legislative accomplishments of the first 100 days of the Clinton administration:

1). Family and Medical Leave Act – On February 5, 1993 Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA would be one of the lasting legacies of the Clinton administration. The act allows employees to take unpaid leave for a pregnancy or a serious medical condition. The bill had languished in Congress when George H.W. Bush refused to sign it.

2). Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was compromise that Bill Clinton made with the Congress on the issue of gays serving in the military. The president originally sought to repeal the ban on homosexual service, while Congress opposed allowing gays to serve in the military. This issue would not be settled until August 1993.

3). Health Care Reform – President Clinton created the national task force on health care in 1993. He appointed his wife First Lady Hillary Clinton as chair. The plan was fought about for a year and a half before it died in 1994.

4). Aid to Russia – In response to Russian President Boris Yetsin’s request for help, Clinton got a $1.6 billion aid package passed. The package was designed to help Russia stabilize its economy, and help Russia provide humanitarian aid to it citizens, and to dismantle nuclear weapons.

Clinton’s first one hundred days that were caught up in the gays in the military debate, the first WTC bombing, and the Branch Davidian/ATF standoff in Waco, TX. Clinton also lost his first two attorney general nominees to scandals. To say that Clinton struggled in his first 100 days would be an understatement. His is the rare presidency that got more popular with age. At the hundred day mark, President Clinton’s approval rating was 55%.

Here are the major accomplishments of Obama’s first 100 Days:

1). Economic Stimulus Plan – Obama got Congress to pass a $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

2). Expanded SCHIP – Obama signed a law that expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan to cover an additional 4 million children.

3). Lilly Ledbetter Act -Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act which requires equal pay for women.

4). Ethics Guidelines– Obama implemented new ethics guidelines that are designed to curtail the influence of lobbyists.

5). Iraq and Afghanistan – Obama announced the phased withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq, while sending an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan.

6). Budget and Healthcare– Obama got his budget passed, which paves the way for healthcare reform later this year.

Obama is enjoying an approval rating which is around 10% higher than Clinton’s in 1993. The ex-Clinton people in the Obama administration have learned their lessons well. Obama has avoided controversial issues and scandals. Obama also hasn’t had to deal with anything as severe as the Waco standoff, or the first World Trade Center bombing, so there is a degree of luck also involved.

Bill Clinton was derailed by gridlock within his own party, while Obama has faced little resistance from his fellow Democrats. This has allowed Obama to pass legislation rapidly. Compared to the disorganized chaos that was Clinton’s first one hundred days, things have been smooth sailing for Obama. Clinton and Obama are two presidents from the same party, who faced similar situations, but got different results. It will be interesting to watch if Obama’s popularity will build like Clinton’s did, or does this represent a high point for the new president?

See also: Comparing George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s First 100 Days

7 Replies to “Comparing Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s First 100 Days”

  1. […] Also: Comparing Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s First 100 Days Featured Image: Technorati Tags: Barack Obama George W. Bush Jason Easley news politics first […]

  2. Clinton’s first one hundred days that were caught up in the gays in the military debate, the first WTC bombing, and the Branch Davidian/ATF standoff in Waco, TX. Clinton also lost his first two attorney general nominees to scandals. To say that Clinton struggled in his first 100 days would be an understatement. His is the rare presidency that got more popular with age. At the hundred day mark, President Clinton’s approval rating was 55%.

    “I personally think Obama’s first 100 days and approval rate is expected especially when as a President you take on a term during a recession it makes sense. However, when Clinton was in office and it took him eight years to do so…By the end of his SECOND term we had a SURPLUS that had so much money we didn’t know what to do w/ it…So, who cares what THE polls, statistics or what this crazy country thinks I think anything is worth a try you have to take into consideration what ADMINISTRATION got us in this mess in the first place…If you can give The Republican Administration a chance to mess it up let another Democrat clean it up (as usual) Clinton & Obama were and are playing the bad hand that was dealt to them and not only does that shows courage we as US citizens should respect that.”

  3. I think that Obama is not living up to most of his promisies and if he is he isnt doing it in such a way that the people would like him to. He does something good and then he turns around and hurts us again .

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  5. How can people think Obama was going to fix an economy in less than years when it took republicans eight years to mess up. The truth is that before he took office, we were lossing about 700.000 jobs per month, that has reversed.This is because of the policies he put in place.If we were lossing same amount of job today, then his policies did not work. The war in Iraq is ending, health care passed, wall street reform passed, America is at peace and with time may 2012 through 2014, the economy will bunch again. This is a President who inherited a mess.Americans have to be patient.

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