WASHINGTON -- About two weeks before the election, candidate Donald Trump put out what he called a contract with the American voter -- a list of actions he said he would take in his first day and in his first 100 days.
He wrote, “this is my pledge to you,” and he signed it.
Just over a week ago President Trump hinted at his recent reversals of several campaign promises.
“I like to think of myself as a very flexible person,” Mr. Trump said during a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
On the campaign trail, he called NATO “obsolete.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump recalled those comments: “I said it was obsolete; it’s no longer obsolete.”
How about China as a currency manipulator?
In August, he promised to direct his “treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator.”
But on Wednesday, Mr. Trump told the Wall Street Journal China does not manipulate its currency to hurt U.S. workers and his administration will abandon that pledge.
As for China and its leadership overall, this was day one of the Trump campaign: “China’s killing us,” Mr. Trump said in June 2015.
This was day 84 of the Trump presidency: “As you know President XI, he’s a terrific person,” Mr. Trump said.
The president’s stance on Russia has done a 180 also.
“I don’t know Putin, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could get along actually?” he said in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in October 2016.
And on Wednesday, he said, “Right now we’re not getting along with Russia at all.”
On Inauguration Day, Mr. Trump outlined his “America First” philosophy: “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone.”
But on Wednesday, he explained why he launched missile strikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.
“That’s a butcher. That’s a butcher,” he said, “so I felt we had to do something about it.”
There have been promises kept, including the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
“I got it done in the first 100 days, that’s even nice,” he said.
And approval of the Keystone XL pipeline as well as withdrawing the U.S. from a free trade agreement with Asia-Pacific countries.
The president is still trying to keep another big promise -- repealing Obamacare. He’s tried new policies, courting Democrats and threatening Republicans. But no combination of presidential flexibility has produced the desired result.