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Obama can't spin away this crisis

A president's lost luster

Better spin won't win President Obama's latest battle, crisis consultant Eric Dezenhall says.

A writer, blogger and corporate communications specialist who grew up in Cherry Hill and works in Washington, D.C., he likens the administration's Benghazi, IRS and Associated Press problems to a "tri-fecta" whose ultimate outcome will most likely be determined by the facts.

"What's happening is not about the mishandling of sin," Dezenhall tells me. "It's about the commission of the original sin."

That one of the sins is against the media itself "makes this different," says the author of "The Devil Himself" and five other novels about Jersey wise guys. "As soon as the mob kills a cop, all bets are off."

But if whatever White House press secretary Jay Carney says (or doesn't) will make no difference, what is the president to do?

Obama  "can investigate, he can fire bad actors, he can set forth future policies, he can apologize, and if contrary information comes out, he can exploit it," says Dezenhall, worked in the Reagan White House at the start of his career.

"I've been doing this for 30 years," he says. "Damage control is about making things less bad, not making there be no damage. I think the price of this is not the end of Obama -- but [will be] an inability for him to do a lot of the things he would have done if this didn't happen."