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

Who had the worst week in Washington? Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Bob McDonnell doesn’t live in Washington, but any hope he had of moving here when his term is up took a serious beating this past week.

The Virginia governor was always a long shot to win the presidency in 2016, but he had a chance at the vice presidency and was a good bet for a Cabinet post or a career in the Senate. Now, though, McDonnell has to reassure voters that he can handle the job he already has in the face of FBI questions about the relationship between the governor, his wife and a major campaign donor.

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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“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of friends,” McDonnell told a radio station Tuesday. The friendship under scrutiny involved a $15,000 catering gift, a borrowed Ferrari, and campaign plane trips on one side and “nutraceutical” dietary-supplement promotion efforts on the other.

As governor, McDonnell has repositioned himself as a jobs-oriented technocrat, not the Christian conservative who once railed against “cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” But when Mitt Romney was looking for a running mate, social issues — “transvaginal ultrasounds,” to be specific — helped sink McDonnell anyway. Now, only months before his term is up, his credentials as a no-nonsense executive type have taken a serious hit.

Bob McDonnell, for letting some jumbo shrimp threaten to ruin a ­two-decade political career, 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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