All two-term presidents seem to suffer from a fatigue factor, but none like what George W. Bush is going through.
The Bush second term has been battered by the never-ending war in Iraq, a failing policy on the environment, a mess on the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, and the self-destruction of Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank. There are other flaps as well, but you get the picture.
Poll after poll show Bush's popularity and performance in office is in the mid-30s or so. Vice President Cheney has embittered friends as well as enemies with his rhetoric and behavior.
With Bush's well-known stubborn streak in play, it is hard to see how things could improve much in the next 21 months.
As matters stand, a large contingent of U.S. troops will still be in Iraq when Bush goes home to Crawford in January 2009. And with a Democratic majority confronting him, Bush will have the veto pen as his best weapon.
Let's take a look at how other recent two-termers stack up:
In the coming months, appointed officials in the Bush administration are going to be returning to private life. The president is going to have some difficulty filling those posts as a weakened lame duck.
He can blame himself for much of it.