By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – The first 100 days is an artificial benchmark of the modern-era presidency, first floated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a 1933 speech. These days it has little real significance as a milestone.

Instead, it’s a good time to assess the first impressions made by a new president, which by definition have a lot to do with who they succeeded.

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Jimmy Carter’s outsider honesty was a welcome contrast with the Nixon era. Ronald Reagan’s optimism was in turn seen as relief from the dour Carter years.

And so far, Joe Biden’s low-key, non-tweeting turn as the anti-Trump has generated stellar personal approval numbers.

A Pew Research poll last month found 89% see him as a good role model, a category where Trump struggled to break 30%. Eighty-seven percent think he’s honest. And while support for his policies doesn’t reach these heights, 92% say he cares about the needs of ordinary people.

Driving it all – strong public support for his overall management of pandemic issues, especially his handling of vaccine distribution, which even draws praise from nearly half of Republicans.

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“You won’t have to worry about my tweets when I’m president,” candidate Biden vowed last July.

And keeping that promise may be the single best move of his first 100 days.

That said, the first three months of the Biden administration have been consequential. While he’s signed relatively few bills into law, one of them – the $1.9 trillion stimulus – is considered a landmark deluge of government spending. Biden has signed more than 40 executive orders, and reversed a number of high-profile Trump policies.

But a true measurement of Biden’s early impact will be felt in the months to come. Can he pass his major infrastructure plans? How soon will we reach herd immunity to COVID-19, and with what economic impact? Can he calm down the border and even find common ground on immigration reform? Could excessive inflation be in our future?

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When voters issue their first ruling on Biden’s success or failure in the November 2022 congressional elections, it will likely be those issues – not his personal style and Twitter restraint – that will drive the outcome.

Jon Keller