Postscript: Biden's First 100 Days


Much has long been made of the bold legislative action that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt marshalled forward in his first 100 days in office in the midst of the Great Depression. To take stock of the Biden presidency, Lilly and Susan asked three thoughtful political scientists—Dr. Jonathan Bernstein (Bloomberg Media), Dr. Nadia E. Brown (Purdue University), and Dr. Jane Junn (University of Southern California) to interrogate the early days of the Biden Administration. They not only provided keen observations about the Executive Branch, but also about Congress and state governments. The lively discussion shifted quickly from the arbitrary marker of the first 100 days to what is necessary to move policy forward in the closely divided U.S. House and Senate, and what the legislative agenda may look like going forward. We chat about the apparent pause in the swift swirling of our politics—though we debate whether the new administration is a return to normalcy and if it is possible, post Trump, to return to normalcy. In this context, there was a discussion of competence, expertise, intelligence, rationality,

preparation, and integrity. We pay close attention to the political parties, with specific focus on the internal tensions in both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Our guests also spend time framing the political landscape with an understanding of the role and place of news media and social media.

Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at or tweet to @gorenlj.

Susan Liebell is an associate professor of political science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Why Diehard Originalists Aren’t Really Originalists recently appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage and “Retreat from the Rule of Law: Locke and the Perils of Stand Your Groundwas published in the Journal of Politics (July 2020). Email her comments at or tweet to @SusanLiebell.

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Susan Liebell

Susan Liebell is a Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

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