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Who had the worst week in Washington? Sarah Palin.

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By Chris Cillizza

In the end, Sarah Palin exited the presidential stage more with a whimper than a bang.

After months — that seemed like years — of playing cat and mouse with Republicans and the press corps, Palin took to Mark Levin’s radio show Wednesday night to make clear that she was officially out of the running.

What was surprising was not that she stayed out — polling suggested that if she had run, she would have been a second-tier candidate at best — but how little stir her decision caused in the political world.

Yes, many people, including The Washington Post’s Fix bloggers, covered it. But Palin’s no-go announcement drew nowhere near the attention of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 50-minute news conference making clear that he — finally-seriously-I-mean-it-this-time — isn’t running, either.

The truth is that most Republicans are, well, over Palin. To wit: In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, two-thirds of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents said they would prefer that she not seek the presidency in 2012.

Spinning her decision as best as she could, Palin insisted that “I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office.” So there.

Sarah Palin, for leaving the political theater as a bit actor rather than the star of the show, 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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