Now, it seems, Mr. Obama is genuinely a part of the club, with allegations that the White House hid the fact that the attack on a diplomatic outpost in Libya was terrorism, and that the IRS, on his watch, discriminated against conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
The White House has said it did nothing wrong on Benghazi but simply released information as it was known. It also said Sunday that it had no knowledge of the IRS activities against tea party groups and others, and bristled at the idea of investigations swallowing Obama's second-term agenda.
"What we're not going to participate in is partisan fishing expeditions designed to distract from the real issues at hand," said White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
What is it about second terms that get presidents into so much trouble? The fact that a first term preceded it. Presidential politics is rarely fluffy clouds and rainbows, and the massive American bureaucracy has never been likened to Swiss clockwork. Things go wrong, and (this being politics) that rarely leads to primetime presidential confessionals before Congress.