KENOSHA, Wisconsin – On Day 89 of his presidency, Donald Trump set down his felt-tipped pen and did what he’s done most and best so far in his new job: held up a piece of paper he had just signed for news cameras to record for posterity.
More than four dozen times since taking office, Trump has invited the media he regularly attacks to show off his distinctive cursive on a presidential document ― a document that, the vast majority of the time, has been completely unnecessary to accomplish the stated goal.
Previous presidents have signed executive orders and memoranda. None appeared to be compelled to hold them up and show off their penmanship.
“It’s show and tell,” Duke University historian William Chafe said. “It’s basically trying to create the impression of decisiveness.”
In Chafe’s view, it’s actually a misimpression, given the lack of a single significant piece of legislation to pass under Trump’s watch, including the 10 he specifically promised he would shepherd through Congress in his first 100 days.
“The executive orders are the only substantive things that he’s accomplished,” Chafe said, adding that even those have not been particularly substantial. All but a handful of the objectives described in the directives did not even need a formal presidential authorization for the agency heads to pursue them. Read full story here