Who had the worst week in Washington? Rep. Chris "Craigslist" Lee.

Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) resigned from the House Wednesday evening effective immediately, an announcement that came just hours after a Web site reported that the married congressman had sent a shirtless image of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.
By Chris Cillizza
Friday, February 11, 2011

They just never learn.

Despite the abundance of sex scandals that have rocked Washington over the past few years, Republican Rep. Chris Lee decided it would be a good idea to respond to a Craigslist personal ad from a woman looking for single men in D.C. With a picture of himself. Shirtless.

Just as the well-oiled - ahem - sex-scandal machine was ramping up, the second-term congressman from Upstate New York (who, by the by, has a wife and a young kid) abruptly resigned his seat.

The speed with which the Lee Flee played out was the most remarkable element of the scandal - aside, of course, from the remarkably bad judgment in sending a half-naked picture to a woman you have never met.

Less than four hours after Gawker, an online gossip site, posted a story about Lee's flirtations, the congressman bowed out. The scandal was tailor-made for Twitter, where Lee's denial, reversal and resignation unfolded.

For average people - a.k.a. people less obsessive about political news than the Fix - Lee's political career had expired before they even knew it was ailing. In that, Lee may have outsmarted us all: He refused to dangle in the wind (or hike the Appalachian Trail) as late-night talk show hosts turned him into a punch line.

Still, Lee went from a promising member of the majority with a prized seat on the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday to an ex-congressman with a lot of explaining to do on Wednesday. (At least his Craigslist alter ego - a divorced lobbyist - may soon become reality.)

Chris Lee, for taking it off and then covering it up, 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.

Can't remember who won Worst Week last week?

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