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When it comes to the leaks, the president should be sobered by an interesting new book, “Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles.” The author, James Goodale, served as counsel to the New York Times for the Pentagon Papers, the famous 1971 case involving Nixon’s attempts to censor the press. “In many respects” on press issues, Goodale writes, “President Obama is no better than Nixon.”
This story is a conundrum. This is the most scandal-free administration in recent memory. The word scandal is a misnomer for each of these three distinctly different matters.
Yet Washington works as much on perception as reality. Together, these controversies - and especially the IRS uproar - threaten to dominate all summer, which would politically imperil any second-term agenda. Last week, the president began to act more decisively. Democrats see that as a start.
Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist.
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