There is nothing magical about a president’s first 100 days in office. Several executive chiefs since 1960 have started miserably. Some were successful, some not. The key to success is learning on the fly. Those like Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, who wanted to “change Washington,” were greeted with a system that either mistrusted or supported their agenda. One mistake rookie commanders have repeated, regardless of their previous experience, is their focus on foreign policy. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger did not open negotiations with Red China in his first 100 days.

Barack Obama did not order John Kerry to open a dialogue with Iran until his second term. Carter’s Camp David Accord came midway through his term.

Foreign policy

One area Donald Trump beat John F. Kennedy hands down in in the first 100 days of their administrations is foreign policy. In spite of his slew of flip-flops on China, NATO, Russian trade, the wall, etc., when Trump acted on Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons, he acted decisively. Kennedy, on the other hand, failed miserably.

That president embarrassed the United States when he left close to 1,200 Cubans he sent to invade Cuba to fend for themselves in the face of negative publicity during April 17-19, 1961, and a strong Cuban defense.

The CIA began planning for the invasion in 1960, before diplomatic ties with Cuba had been broken.

Bay of Pigs

During the presidential campaign, Kennedy accused Eisenhower of not doing enough about Fidel Castro. Three of the notables who supported the plan included Kennedy’s opponent, and Eisenhower’s vice president, Richard Nixon, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who promoted the false Gulf of Tonkin incident that resulted in America’s leap into the Vietnam war.

Kennedy did not provide air support for the invasion, the Cuban Air Force destroyed most of the invaders' supply ships and Castro’s military easily overwhelmed the force Kennedy turned his back on.

In spite of this, JFK held a 71 percent approval rating at the end of his first 100 days; Trump’ rating was only 41 percent last week.

It seems like the only institution Americans trust less than the president is the media, at least according to a September 2016 Gallup poll that had U.S. media at 32 percent support in terms of being able “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.”