time-lining the Trump presidency

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A simple function from the uspols package – dubbed uspols_wiki_timeline() – that scrapes Wikipedia’s Timeline of the Donald Trump presidency. Facilitating, among other things, the ability to hover over data points in a time series to see what the President was up to on any given day over the course of the last four years.


A simple call to the function returns a table of the president’s daily happenings via Wikipedia – from 20 January 2017 to the most recent update. This is clearly not an official accounting, and Wikipedia is not gospel. But a super quick/easy way to get one’s bearings (in a maelstrom) and contextualize data points.

longs <- uspols::uspols_wiki_timeline()

Table structure is detailed some below. The folks at Wikipedia have delineated events (chronologically?) via bullet points per each day of Trump’s presidency, which have been enumerated here in the bullets column as independent rows. I have mostly done this to make text easier to read/access/etc. I am not sure how meaningful event distinctions (for a given day) actually are.

longs %>%
  select(-quarter:-daypres, -dow) %>%
  head() %>%
  DT::datatable(rownames = FALSE, 
                options = list(dom = 't',
                               pageLength = 6,
                               scrollX = TRUE))

A simple use-case

summary <- longs %>%
  filter(!is.na(Events)) %>%
  mutate(tokens = tokenizers::count_words(Events)) %>%
  group_by(date) %>%
  mutate(daily_count = sum(tokens)) %>%
  slice(1) %>%

For demonstration, we calculate total word counts of event descriptions per day from the time-line table. The plot below, then, summarizes these daily counts since inauguration. The plot itself is fairly meaningless, but the hover-action should be useful. For clarity purposes, only the first event for each day is included in the pop-up,.

dp <- summary %>%
  mutate(text = stringr::str_wrap(string = Events,
                                  width = 20,
                                  indent = 1,
                                  exdent = 1)) %>%
  plotly::plot_ly(x = ~date, 
                  y = ~daily_count,
                  text = ~text,
                  type = 'scatter',
                  mode = 'lines') %>%
  plotly::layout(#atitle = "Top 10 Drug Types", 
                 tooltip = c('Events'),
                 yaxis = list (title = "Daily event word count per Wikipedia"))

Example plot with Trump daily event on hover

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