Donald Trump's Most Presidential Moments: Election 2016 One Year Later

President Donald Trump has had his fair share of rough times in the year since he was elected to office, but he's had some shining moments as well. Below are 10 great things the president has done since election night 2016.

1. He won

Even Trump had given up on a Trump win. "So I sort of thought I lost, and I was OK with that," he revealed to a crowd of supporters shortly after the election. But he didn't; he pulled off the seemingly impossible and won an election exit polls had predicted he lost.


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2016

The odds were stacked against Trump from the beginning. He was running against the most qualified presidential candidate ever, he had no political experience and he was caught on tape saying that because he was a star he could grab women "by the pussy." But none of that stopped him. Winning the Republican primary and the 2016 general election proved that Trump has made a habit of defying the odds.

2. He's made Americans excited about politics

Civic engagement has skyrocketed under Trump. A Pew survey found that 52 percent of Americans say they are paying more attention to politics since the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. There are protests and counterprotests in city streets, libraries full of political Twitter and Facebook posts and a greater awareness of what's going on in Washington D.C.

Women have been particularly affected since that fateful night in November. The number of women reaching out about running for office in the U.S. has increased fourfold since the election, according to Emily's List. Sixty-three percent of Democratic women and 54 percent of Republican women have increased their political activities since the election.

3. The economy is booming

Economists said it couldn't be done and that the Trump administration was dreaming. But the U.S. economy has grown by three percent for two quarters in a row.

Unemployment has shrunk to its lowest levels since 2001, and employee wages are finally starting to increase.

Stocks are up—way, way up. This is the highest markets have gone in the first year of a presidency since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1932. The S&P 500 has increased by 21 percent since the general election, The Dow by 29 percent and the Nasdaq by 30 percent.

Stock market hit yet another all-time record high yesterday. There is great confidence in the moves that my Administration....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2017

That being said, Republicans haven't passed any major legislation since Trump became president. It's hard to link the economy to the commander-in-chief, especially when we're in the midst of a global boom with no major economy in recession. But he hasn't screwed it up and markets clearly like the guy, so at least some credit is due to Trump.

4. He isn't afraid to cross the aisle

Trump doesn't mind working with Democrats when it comes to getting a deal done quickly. When he couldn't compromise with Republicans over the debt ceiling and funding hurricane relief, he turned to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Americans, tired of bipartisan gridlock, approved of the president's move. According to polls, 71 percent of Americans agreed with his move to work with Democrats on the debt limit.

Thank you for this commitment, Mr. President. Real protections will only come from your signing the DREAM Act ASAP.

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 7, 2017

5. He did right by the Federal Reserve

In what was generally heralded as a good move, Trump nominated Jerome H. Powell to replace Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve. Powell, a Republican, is a safe pick who likely won't make any drastic changes to the Fed's handling of the economy. Powell has the reputation of a thoughtful consensus builder, and will likely please both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

6. General Mattis was a good pick for defense secretary

Trump's pick for secretary of defense was another relatively good choice. General James Mattis is well regarded in Washington as strategic, well read and sympathetic to soldiers in the field.

Mattis is rational and diplomatic. He is against waterboarding and told the president that he could get more information out of a detainee with cigarettes and beer. He testified to Congress that "If you don't fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately. So I think it's a cost-benefit ratio." Mattis also opposed Trump's ban on transgender soldiers in the military.

7. He has a special relationship with Japan

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe share a love of golf, statement hats and overfeeding Koi fish. His close relationship with the head of the world's third-largest economy is a good thing for national security and trade.

Abe is working alongside Trump to free the assets of 35 North Korean entities, and though Trump recently left Japan with no trade deal, he is pressuring Abe to purchase more American military equipment.

Playing golf with Prime Minister Abe and Hideki Matsuyama, two wonderful people!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017

8. His Syria airstrike speech hit the right notes

In April, Trump delivered an eloquent, presidential speech about recent airstrikes in Syria. "It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons," Trump told Americans from his golf club in Mar-a-Lago, justifying the strike.

"I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night," CNN host Fareed Zakaria remarked of the speech. "I think this was actually a big moment."

There was disagreement over whether launching 59 tomahawk missiles at Syrian targets was the correct course of action, as there were reported civilian casualties and Trump had campaigned on not getting involved in the Middle East. Nevertheless, Trump's address to the United States was well received.

9. His speech on North Korea did too

On Tuesday night, Trump delivered a speech addressing his North Korean nemesis, Kim Jong Un, before the South Korean National Assembly. "North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned," he said. "North Korea is a country ruled as a cult. At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader's destiny to rule as parent-protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula and an enslaved Korean people."

Trump did not once refer to Kim Jong Un as "rocket man", he stayed on script and delivered his speech with passion.

"I wanted to stand up from my seat and shout 'yahoo!'" said Lee Hyeon-seo, a North Korean defector.

"President Trump spoke about human rights in North Korea more than any other previous U.S. president," said Jeong Kwang-il, a former North Korean prisoner.

10. Chinese citizens love him

The people of China love Trump. His supporters there admire his business background and tell-it-like-it-is rhetorical style His granddaughter is adored because she can sing in Mandarin.

"Chinese Trump fans are seriously and truly invested, and you had better not make light of offending them," wrote Chen Jibing, a Shanghai-based political commentator.

On his Wednesday arrival in China, Trump was greeted with a more elaborate reception than other heads of state typically receive. There were soldiers standing at attention, children waving Chinese and American flags, Chinese and American officials and a military band. Trump then dined in the Forbidden City, Beijing's palace for Chinese emperors. No president has been granted such honor since the founding of modern China.

Looking forward to a full day of meetings with President Xi and our delegations tomorrow. THANK YOU for the beautiful welcome China! @FLOTUS Melania and I will never forget it!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2017