The Senate's rejection Thursday of President Bush's immigration plan was the latest in a series of embarrassments that have exposed Bush's political weakness and shaken his hold on power.
The president slipped out of town for a long weekend in Maine before the Senate delivered the final blow to his immigration bill, but it wasn't the only setback that might put a damper on his seaside getaway with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In the space of a single short week, Bush was hit with more Republican defections on Iraq, more bad news from the battlefield, more subpoenas from a hostile Congress, a new assault on his signature education plan and embarrassing disclosures about his vice president.
He also found himself in a fight over executive privilege that begs comparisons to Richard Nixon's legal battles during the Watergate scandal.
"It's the incredible shrinking presidency. He's lost battles in the courts. He's lost battles in Iraq. He's lost battles on Capitol Hill," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.
"His bank account is empty and there's nowhere to go for more. I think his presidency is essentially over."
Light proposed a headline to sum up the week: "The president loses his legacy."
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- Ron Hutcheson, McClatchy Newspapers