Worst Week in Washington

Who had the worst week in Washington? Vice President Biden.

By Chris Cillizza
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Vice President Biden was the Rodney Dangerfield of Washington politics last week: He didn't get no respect.

An offhand comment on CNN by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward suggesting that Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton might swap jobs in advance of the 2012 election led to a media feeding frenzy. (Among frenzies, it's the best kind.)

Despite immediate denials from the White House and Clinton, questions swirled. Who would be the better pick? Is the White House unhappy with Biden? Does Clinton want back into the world of electoral politics (in 2012 or, more deliciously, 2016)?

None of the questions painted a good picture of Biden, who was left looking like the odd man out. That portrait is ironic given that, by all accounts, the vice president is a trusted adviser on matters of foreign policy (among other topics) in the White House.

While the "swap" story was entirely out of Biden's control, he didn't help himself last week by committing two, well, Bidenisms on the campaign trail.

On Tuesday at a fundraiser in Minnesota, he remarked off-handedly: "If I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them." (Biden quickly noted that he was using a "figure of speech.") Then on Thursday in Wisconsin, the vice president joked to a quiet crowd that they were "the dullest audience I've ever spoken to." (And this was at another fundraiser.)

Both remarks were picked up by the Drudge Report, ensuring widespread media coverage.

Joe Biden, for watching your job security debated relentlessly on cable talk shows and giving your critics even more verbal ammunition, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington?

E-mail chris.cillizza@wpost.com with your nominees.

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