Where did it go wrong for Obama?

To be sure, the decline in Obama’s political fortunes cannot be blamed on the kind of major scandal that has marred other modern second terms, such as Watergate, Iran-Contra or the Monica Lewinsky affair.

That leaves observers who are sympathetic to Obama putting forth all kinds of explanations, even as Republicans suggest the dwindling support for the president was both inevitable and overdue.

Tony Fratto, who served as deputy press secretary to former President George W. Bush, believes Obama’s second term was over before it even started. He pinpoints the start of the problem as the “fiscal cliff” negotiations in December 2012, the month before Obama would take the oath of office for the second time.