For his first four years in office, President Obama seemed to deserve the title once bestowed on President Reagan: the Teflon president. No matter how bad things got in the country, nobody wanted to blame either the president or his policies for the country's ills. Nothing seemed to stick to him.
But then three scandals seemed about to peak all at the same time, and suddenly some were saying this was Obama's worst week in office. The big three:
•The attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya. Why was security so poor, why weren't there rescue efforts and was the massive effort to blame an Internet video a cover-up of the terrorist nature of the attack to help smooth the president's re-election effort?
•The revelation that the Internal Revenue Service had improperly targeted the tea party and other conservatives groups, delaying or denying their tax-exempt status and bullying out of them information the IRS had no right to have.
•The discovery that the Justice Department had subpoenaed and seized weeks of phone records from The Associated Press without asking the agency first and casting so wide a net that journalists believed that freedom of the press itself was under attack.
Attorney General Eric Holder got caught up in two of the scandals. His answers in both the AP incident and the IRS fiasco did not sound reassuring: I knew nothing then, I know nothing now, ask someone else. And even people on the left began to whisper about the president's effectiveness. Is he really engaged? Is he bored by the job? One formerly friendly member of the press called him President Bystander, and even MSNBC's Chris Matthews wondered what was going on. Yes, truly a bad week.