Worst Week in Washington

Who had the worst week in Washington? Clarence Thomas.

By Chris Cillizza
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Phone calls late at night or early in the morning almost never bring good news.

That's definitely true when it comes to a call placed earlier this month by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to Anita Hill, the woman who two decades ago alleged that he had sexually harassed her at work.

The call -- as intriguing as it is inexplicable -- went unanswered, as Hill wasn't in her Brandeis University office at 7:31 a.m. on a Saturday morning. (Shocking!) But that didn't stop Ginni Thomas, who left a message asking Hill to consider apologizing for the allegations she made during Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991.

After the call was made public last week, Hill described it as "inappropriate" and said she has no intention of apologizing for her testimony.

The inevitable result of the back and forth? Scads of stories and columns dredging up the tawdry details of Hill's allegations against the soon-to-be-justice -- Coke can, anyone? -- and re-raising questions that Justice Thomas almost certainly would prefer to leave in the past.

In the wake of the controversy, Ginni Thomas canceled a series of media appearances to promote her newly minted conservative organization, Liberty Central.

Her husband had the even tougher task -- stew in silence and hope the media world moved on as quickly as possible. (And thanks to Juan Williams and NPR, it did.)

Clarence Thomas, for watching as an old controversy once again became national news, 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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