In his 2004 bid to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate Obama initially faced an attractive Republican candidate named Jack Ryan. An Obama-Ryan contest was starting to take shape when scandal sent Ryan off the rails. As CNN reported in June 2004: "The ex-wife of Jack Ryan, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, alleged in court papers filed in 2000 that he took her to sex clubs and asked her to engage in sexual activity in front of other patrons."
Ryan was out and filling his spot on the Republican side of the ballot was Alan Keyes, a perennial Republican candidate with a long track record of electoral defeats. He wasn't even a resident of Illinois when he jumped into the race against Obama.
In the 2008 presidential race, Obama's rival picked a largely unknown and untested politician as a running mate who wasn't afraid to go "rogue" on her own campaign strategists. Tina Fey's work on SNL didn't help matters. A massive economic collapse just weeks before the general election probably would have doomed any Republican team's chances.
By 2012, Obama's Republican opponent was the politician who as governor of Massachusetts signed a version of health-care reform that was the model for what became Obamacare. This time the uncomfortable video didn't come from SNL; it came from a secret recording of Mitt Romney, who during a Florida fundraiser had harsh words for the 47 percent of the country "who are dependent upon government."
So now, after almost five years of non-scandal the Obama administration finds itself in very hot water. Benghazi. IRS and Tea Party groups. AP phone records.
The scandals seem to be coming on an almost daily basis. And, oddly enough, that might be good for Obama. With so much happening at once, it's understandable that Americans might get confused by the fine details and eventually shrug off the whole ugly mess. The president might emerge mostly untouched if these cascading scandals get boiled down into a confusing mess that sounds like, "So, the IRS got the phone records of the AP offices in Benghazi."
On the other hand, with so much happening Obama could see his luck run out as Americans assume his presidency is too scandal-laden to get anything done.