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

Who had the worst week in Washington? Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).

Video: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) had a heated exchange on Wednesday during the secretary’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the September 11th Benghazi attacks.

Wednesday didn’t start out badly for Sen. Ronald H. Johnson.

Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin who was elected in 2010, drew national headlines — and praise from conservatives — for pushing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the origins of the Sept. 11 attack on an American outpost in Benghazi, Libya. At a hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton choked up when discussing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the three other Americans who died that day.

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

More from Outlook

Loaded language

Loaded language

Gun metaphors riddle our slang.

Ma Joad for president

Ma Joad for president

From “Grapes of Wrath” to the White House.

Translating García Márquez

Translating García Márquez

An interview with the woman the novelist accused of “two-timing me with Cervantes.”

A year after Rana Plaza

A year after Rana Plaza

What hasn’t changed since the Bangladesh factory collapsed.

Then, in an interview after the hearing, Johnson suggested that Clinton’s emotional moments were just a tactic to avoid tough questioning.

“I think she just decided . . . she was going to describe emotionally the four dead Americans, the heroes, and use that as her trump card to get out of the questions,” Johnson told BuzzFeed. “It was a good way of getting out of really having to respond to me.”

Oh no, he didn’t! It’s one thing to disagree about whether the gen­esis of the Benghazi attack is critical to understanding how to prevent future assaults. It’s another entirely to insinuate that Clinton cried on command, faking tears to avoid facing the music.

Johnson, sensing he had gotten too far out over his skis, eased back on Thursday. “Maybe I shouldn’t have speculated” about the reasons for Clinton’s emotions, he told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien. “I probably speculated, and I shouldn’t have.”

To quote myself at 10 years old: No duh.

Ron Johnson, for forgetting that questioning someone’s motives is always a losing strategy, 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.

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

 
Read what others are saying