In assessing Trump’s prospects, let’s keep in mind that Trump’s personal approval rating on election day was nearly as negative. Last year, Americans voted for someone they didn’t much like, reflecting the even greater dislike of Hillary Clinton and the desire for a change of direction in Washington. Change is what we got.
In assessing Trump’s accomplishments, let’s not get too distracted by his unconventional conduct. This hitherto ideologically unmoored man has set in motion an administration arguably more conservative than Ronald Reagan’s. While the Congress controlled by his adopted party remains gridlocked, Trump is rolling back regulations and a number of the Obama administration’s most controversial achievements, including the internal structure of Obamacare and the Clean Power Plan. His foreign policy resets look increasingly sure-footed. His judicial nominees are uniformly conservative. It is inconceivable that any of the other leading Republican candidates from the 2016 cycle would have governed as boldly as Trump has.