Is There Really A Second-Term Curse?

The phrase “second term curse” is so familiar that it’s become a cliche of American politics. Whether it’s President Richard Nixon’s resignation or President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, presidents tend to have a tough time during the back half of an eight-year presidency.

Nothing on President Obama’s plate comes close to those historical examples. But right now the White House is defending itself against three controversies that distract the president from the agenda he would like to be pursuing: Benghazi, the IRS and the Justice Department seizure of AP phone records all have the administration scrambling.

Why do presidential second terms tend to be so fraught? [cont.]

Ari Shapiro, NPR