There is a reason that high stakes poker is child's play when compared with high level politics. Two months ago, President Obama reached a 50 percent approval rating and seemed finally on his way to convincing the American people that hope and change are not just two empty words.
Today, Mitt Romney is feeling pretty good.
Since late January President Obama has experienced a string of events that would make Murphy's Law seem like a winning streak.
First, there was the messy contraception debate—a loser for the president when cast in terms of First Amendment religious freedoms.
Next came a spike in gas prices which has put a question mark on the economic recovery as a whole. Speaking of the recovery, unemployment is still stuck above 8 percent—a level that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner promised it was never going to cross.
On foreign policy, the president has been unable to show enough strength to exert any influence over either foe Iran or ally Israel. Iran continues to make progress on its nuclear program. Israel inches closer and closer to taking unilateral action to solve that threat without consideration for what the Obama administration wants it to do.
While the Iran problem is one all saw coming, it was tough to predict the political firestorm caused by President Obama's battle with the hot mic.
Inexplicably, President Obama forgot that he is a public figure, being leader of the free world and all, and decided to whisper sweet nothings to Russian President Medvedev. These kind assurances of loosening up the missile shield policies were, of course, picked up by a microphone and broadcast all over the world.
To be fair, the Cold War is long gone, but nevertheless, the sound of President Obama assuring a foreign leader that his policies are going to be drastically different when, not if (hubris, anyone?) he gets reelected is not music to anyone's ears. First and foremost, it surely sent shivers down the spine of our allies in Eastern Europe.
So that is where things stood at the beginning of this week for President Obama—not good on the domestic front and even worse on the international front. What else could go wrong?
Well…the signature piece of President Obama's presidency could get torn apart by the Supreme Court during oral arguments.
As an aside, yes, healthcare is still the signature of his presidency, even though the president and Democrats in Congress run for the hills whenever it is mentioned.
Most Supreme Court observers expected a rather even-handed approach during the oral arguments on Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services. The prognosis was for criticism coming from the conservative side of the bench, support from the liberal side, and a swing vote in Justice Kennedy.
That is not what happened. Justices from Sotomayor to Roberts to Kennedy took turns passionately hammering Solicitor General Verrilli Jr.—not a good sign for Obamacare's chances. Oral arguments are never a perfect crystal ball for what the decision by the Supreme Court will be. However, if Vegas had odds on Obamacare being intact after the late June Supreme Court ruling, they would be very very long.
What's the bottom line? The bottom line is that politics is as unpredictable as it is fascinating, and with seven months left until the general election, President Obama has to hope he has a lucky streak coming up or he will definitely be congratulating President Romney in January of 2013.