TODAY | December 28, 2013
>>> as president obama wraps up 2013 with his family in hawaii he is likely to move forward after this year which will be remembered by a government shutdown and a health care debacle.
>> reporter: it was a year that started with great expectations but a few months later, a trio of controversy quickly threatened to detail president obama 's second term agenda. revelations the irs was targeti targeting conservative groups. plus the ongoing fallout from the attacks on the u.s. consulate in ben gansghazbenghazi.
>> we had -- what difference at this point does it make?
>> reporter: one of president obama 's biggest policy goals enacting stiffer gun laws in the newtown tragedy failed to go nowhere after a bipartisan bill was defeated in washington .
>> it was a shameful day in washington .
>> reporter: but it was the president's significant achievement health care reform that ended up becoming his biggest headache. the president forced to apologize over and over .
>> i am sorry. i don't write codes. we did fumble the ball on it.
>> reporter: and for telling americans.
>> if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
>> reporter: we now know that not true and that infamous comment along with the revelations of the nsa's massive surveillance program eroded the public's trust in the president. meanwhile, republicans didn't fare any better in between. the gop watched their poll numbers plummet after the public blamed them for shutting down the government. it was a failed effort in defunding the president's health care law led by tea party reasons like ted cruz who faithed a filibuster that will go down in history.
>> i do not like green eggs and ham .
>> reporter: a deal struck a few weeks ago, could it be a sign 2014 could be better for washington and the american people ? the president almost sounded hopeful at his year-end news conference.
>> i firmly believe that in 2014 can be a bright year for america.
>> reporter: as the president has learned the hard way, achieving breakthroughs in washington is easier said than done. for "today," kristen welker, nbc news, new york.