Donald Lambro

When Obama took office, regular gas was selling for $1.90 a gallon under Bush. The decline in gas prices under the Bush administration was a welcome relief to motorists, but not to Obama, who believes gas prices must rise substantially if alternative fuels are to become economically viable.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Steven Chu, a physicist professor at Stanford University and one of Obama's energy advisers, told the Wall Street Journal: "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe" where gas prices are about $9 a gallon.

That was music to Obama's ears. He made Chu his secretary of energy, and gas prices soared.

Over the past six months, Obama has been battered by one scandal after another, further eroding whatever trust voters had in him when they gave him a second term.

The administration's slippery explanations, doubts, and denials about what was clearly an all-out terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi spawned suspicions that the White House was playing politics with this tragic event in the mist of the 2012 campaign.

To this day, the White House's response has the rank smell of coverup. The State Department still hasn't explained satisfactorily why the pleas of Ambassador Christopher Stevens for increased security were coldly ignored before terrorists murdered him and three other Americans.

Then came the nasty IRS scandal where, under orders from Washington officials, federal tax agents targeted and intimidated dozens of conservative groups during the 2012 campaign cycle to delay and deny their tax-exempt status.

More recently, Edward Snowden's disclosure of national security surveillance programs has presented problems for the administration.

The scandal isn't that we've used telephone and internet data tracking, under oversight by the courts, to uncover and foil terrorist attacks on our country and our allies. The police have used such tools in their criminal investigations for a long time.

The real scandal is this administration's negligent hiring practices in our intelligence agencies and its loose security rules which allowed this national security thievery to take place.

The White House still hasn't bothered to explain how much damage has been done to homeland security on Obama's watch.

The result: The President is fast losing the confidence of Americans who voted for him in November. They see a chief executive who has an excuse for everything that's gone wrong and who spends much of his time at party fundraisers focusing on next year's midterm elections.

In a recent nationwide survey, the Gallup Poll read out a list of institutions in American society, asking "how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one."

Confidence in the Obama presidency ranked fifth in the responses -- a dismal 36 percent.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.