WASHINGTON (AP) – As a candidate, Barack Obama vowed to bring a different, better kind of leadership to the dysfunctional capital. He’d make government more efficient, accountable and transparent. He’d rise above the “small-ball” nature of doing business. And he’d work with Republicans to break Washington paralysis.

You can trust me, Obama said back in 2008. And – for a while, at least – a good piece of the country did.

But with big promises often come big failures – and the potential for big hits to the one thing that can make or break a presidency: credibility.

A series of mounting controversies is exposing both the risks of political promise-making and the limits of national-level governing while undercutting the core assurance Obama made from the outset: that he and his administration would behave differently.

Is Congress doing enough to hold the Obama administration accountable to the Constitution and the people?

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