Worst Week in Washington
A weekly award honoring inhabitants of Planet Beltway

Who had the worst week in Washington? D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray.

The vise is tightening around D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray.

Two of the top officials in his 2010 mayoral campaign pleaded guilty this past week to helping prop up the candidacy of Sulaimon Brown, a fringe candidate who was relentlessly attacking then-Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Worst Week in Washington

Chris Cillizza grants the award to the Democrat, Republican, West Wing dweller, Capitol Hill insider, K Street dealer, business guru, sports hero, think tank scribblers or other inhabitant of Planet Beltway who experienced the absolute worst week.

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The expectation is that both officials will cooperate with the ongoing investigation, which is aimed at higher-level apparatchiks in Gray’s campaign. (Gray defeated Fenty in the Democratic primary and cruised to victory in the general election.)

The mayor has offered almost no public comment on the matter. In the wake of the guilty pleas, he declined to say anything about the “ongoing, pending investigation.” In the past, Gray insisted that anyone who had helped Brown stay in the race did so of his or her own accord — and that he knew nothing of the alleged payments.

Despite the misery of his week — and the promise of bad ones in the future — Gray’s problems were almost-but-not-quite overshadowed by the latest gaffe by former mayor and current D.C. Council member Marion Barry. Attempting to soothe racial tensions caused by his previous comments about Asian Americans, he used a disparaging slang term for people of Polish descent. Note to Barry: “Polack” is not the preferred nomenclature, dude.

Still, Barry’s latest verbal faux pas is nothing compared with the storm that looks headed toward Gray.

Vincent Gray, for starting to feel the squeeze, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at chris.cillizza@wpost.com.

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