Obama's Horrible, Very Bad Week

After the political week he has faced, President Obama can empathize with Alexander, the little boy created by Judith Viorst who experiences a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."If Alexander thought he was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, President Obama must feel like he is having the same kind of week. Scandals, bad judgment and roiling international events have rocked his boat.

Obama is trying to take command and provide damage control by firing the interim Internal Revenue Service administrator, releasing reams of email after the fatal raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and supporting a press shield law. But that may not be enough to stop the political carping.

It also didn't help that just as Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to make a breakthrough by securing Russian agreement to a June summit to discuss the Syrian civil war, Russians claimed they uncovered and expelled a U.S. agent, with whiz-bang spy gadgets and a satchel of cash.

Then came news that jobless filings increased, drought may accelerate wildfire season and across-the-board federal budget cuts may hamper the ability of emergency responders during the hurricane season later this year.

Obama can probably empathize with Alexander's wake-up discovery of gum in his hair, trip to the dentist. distaste for his railroad pajamas and lack of dessert in his lunch.

Whatever the emotion and political fallout, the compounding brouhaha has pushed economic stimulation and job growth back into the shadows again.

The subject that most voters in America list as their number one concern was on track as Obama began his second term, but events and politics have conspired to push it off stage. The Newtown school shooting prompted an all-out push by Obama for gun control measures. The effort attracted national attention, but ultimately hit a roadblock in the U.S. Senate.

Likewise, Obama tried to cow Congress into a spending deal to avert across-the-board budget cuts, called the sequester. That failed, too, and sequestration has gone into effect, leading to airport traffic congestion that forced Congress and Obama to give the Federal Aviation Administration flexibility in how to administer its budget cuts.

Now, outrage over IRS handling of conservation group applications for tax-exempt status, GOP railing about the administration's actions during and after the Benghazi raid and media indignation over U.S. Justice Department actions to collect AP reporter phone logs threaten to keep a discussion of the economy in the background even longer.

There also is growing pressure on Obama to respond to the red line he drew over Syrian use of chemical weapons in its battle to suppress rebels. Britain and France claim the evidence is clear and the Turkish prime minister, who is visiting Obama today, is reportedly bringing fresh evidence. At some point, Obama will be forced into more overt action, deflecting attention and budget resources away from domestic economic recovery.

The star-crossed spring certainly isn't what Obama imagined earlier this year as he contemplated using his re-election mandate and some bipartisan charm to address job growth and federal spending controls.

The situation underscores the United States cannot view its own problems, economic or otherwise, in isolation from the rest of the world. And the rest of the world is continuing to swirl, from bombing attacks in Afghanistan, a new prime minister in Pakistan and continuous rumblings in North Korea.

Being President is a tough job any day. These days, it is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad job indeed.