"Most people expected the all-too-familiar Washington disease to set in, but few predicted the symptoms would appear so quickly.
Six months after his triumphant re-election, "secondterm-itis" has struck President Barack Obama, beset by simultaneous scandals that could scotch his already slender hopes of driving legislation through Congress.
The turnaround is all the more startling in that previously the Obama White House had been almost eerily scandal-free, the only blemish being a failed solar energy company named Solyndra. But Republicans failed to show that US$400 million ($490 million) of taxpayers' money poured into Solyndra was anything worse than a high-tech bet gone sour.
However, the Administration is suddenly on the defensive on three fronts: its handling of the aftermath of the Benghazi attack last September, the targeting by US tax authorities of conservative political groups, and now the secret seizure by the Justice Department of phone records for reporters at the Associated Press, in its pursuit of a leak of information about a failed al-Qaeda plot last year."