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

Who had the worst week in Washington? President Obama.

By Chris Cillizza

When President Obama signed the debt-ceiling compromise legislation on Tuesday, he had every reason to think it would be a good week.

After all, he had dodged the bogeyman of being the first president in U.S. history to oversee a default, cut a deal that affirmed his ability to get things done in Washington and watched as the stock market stayed fairly steady amid the turbulence in the nation’s capital.

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.

Archive

Then things started to go wrong. Very wrong.

Several national polls suggested that more Americans disapproved than approved of the debt deal, particularly among the electorally critical independents whom Obama and his political team have been targeting for months.

The news in the states wasn’t much better. New polling data out of Pennsylvania and Florida — two 2012 swing states — suggested that Obama was losing altitude, with a majority of voters in each state offering a negative review of the job he has done in office.

Then there was the low but ominous rumble of the stock market, which had been steadily dropping throughout the week. On Thursday it exploded — maybe imploded is the better word — and fell more than 500 points, the largest single-day point decline since late 2008.

Less than 24 hours later came the July jobs report, showing that, even though the economy added more jobs than expected, the unemployment rate remains stuck stubbornly above 9 percent. And Friday evening, Standard & Poor’s decried Washington’s “political brinksmanship” in its decision to downgrade America’s credit rating for the first time — a major symbolic hit that the administration tried hard to fend off.

The icing on the cake for Obama was that he turned 50 on Thursday, making him eligible to be a full member of AARP. (Yay! Wait . . .)

President Obama, for owning an economy that’s going nowhere fast, 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 .

Can’t remember who won Worst Week last week?

Read more from Outlook, friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

 
Read what others are saying