A politician can pull off only so many well-timed maneuvers before even his staunchest supporters must admit the efforts do not pass the smell test.
Recently, President Barack Obama hastily asked Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to reintroduce an old media shield bill. The Free Flow of Information Act would, in theory, protect reporters who seek to maintain the anonymity of confidential sources. It would protect them from the likes of, well, the Obama administration.
Despite efforts to cover their tracks - Attorney General Eric Holder claims he recused himself last year, and that responsibility rests with his deputy - Obama's Justice Department is responsible for seizing a massive amount of phone records from Associated Press reporters and editors. "I'm simply not a part of the case," Holder told the House Oversight Committee.
If he was aware enough of the investigation to feel the need to distance himself, he - and his boss - should have stopped it.
It has been a bad few weeks for Obama and company, though. The assault on The Associated Press was revealed as the administration was doing damage control on its Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.
And, of course, there is the little matter of making sure the "talking points" on last year's Benghazi attacks were delivered in a manner that provided the most political cover.
No, even a perfectly timed distraction bill should not be enough this time. The IRS, Benghazi and AP situations are merely the most recent in a host of problems.
Obama's political legacy could turn out to be just as tainted as that of any of the Washington insiders who came before him.