First Hundred Days:   Significance

   "Recent history suggests that the true significance of the First Hundred Days is this:  they are the most precious time in the life of a president to define who he is and what he is seeking to achieve through his leadership.   In those fourteen weeks, more than any other time in his presidency, he sets the stage for his entire stewardship.  Before he reaches the White House, both the public and the press have been able to judge him only as an aspiring politician.  They judge him on his past.  Once he takes the oath, they must take his measure afresh -- what is he actually like as a president?  That assessment can begin only after he raises his right hand and formally assumes the mantle of leadership.  The public's judgment forms in a matter of weeks and, once formed, soon calcifies.  It is a matter of public psychology."*

* Eyewitness to Power, David Gergen, p. 128, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2000.