Who had the worst week in Washington? The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
By Chris Cillizza,
Sheldon Adelson: 1.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: 0.
That’s how the political scoreboard read after a highly unusual public apology that the House Democrats’ campaign arm offered to the billionaire casino mogul — and Republican mega-donor — over allegations of, what else, Chinese prostitution.
At issue was an Associated Press report that a former, and disgruntled, Adelson employee had alleged in court documents that his onetime boss was aware of prostitution in a Macau casino he owned.
The DCCC, sensing an opportunity to tie the at-times controversial Adelson to House Republicans, pounced. “What will Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor and House Republicans do with their Chinese prostitution money?” read a news release from the committee.
Adelson, never one to back down from a fight, threatened the DCCC with a lawsuit, arguing, in the words of his lawyer, that the allegations had caused “serious and irreparable injury to Mr. Adelson and his family.”
On Thursday, the Democrats blinked. “The DCCC made unsubstantiated allegations that attacked Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of the opposing party,” a statement from the committee read. “This was wrong.” The statement added that the DCCC “extends its sincere apology to Mr. Adelson and his family for any injury we have caused.”
Oof. That’s about as full a retraction or apology as you will ever see in American politics, and it’s a sign that Adelson’s threatened lawsuit had its desired effect.
The DCCC, for swinging for the fences and missing — big time — you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org.