For the sixth time in his presidency, Barack Obama "won" our "Worst Week in Washington" award this week.
"For a president who wanted to spend the week, and the weeks to come, talking immigration and budget, the events of the past seven days virtually ensure he won’t be doing that anytime soon," we wrote in describing Obama's scandal-plagued week.
So, is this the worst week of President Obama's time in office? We asked Outlook's Justin Moyer to gather all of the president's worst weeks so we could compare and contrast. Our rankings -- the #1 rated is his absolute worst week -- are below.
6. Kamala Harris comment (4/5/13): Obama's off-hand remark about the good looks of California's female Attorney General caused a few-day distraction. And that's about it.
5. The New York City mosque (8/22/10): Following an iftar dinner to commemorate Ramadan, President Obama seemed to endorse the construction of a mosque just two blocks from Ground Zero. Reaction was immediate with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) among others breaking with the President's position. The White House was forced to release a statement insisting that the President in no way meant to pass judgment on where the mosque should be built.
4. A bad August (9/2/11): Obama's August 2011 wasn't a good one -- marked by the downgrading of the nation's credit, controversy about whether Obama should be taking a vacation in Martha's Vineyard and even an earthquake in D.C(!). This was about the time that people started to believe the economy wasn't going to get better in time to save the president's re-election bid.
3. Stock market tumbles 500 points (8/5/11): The start of Obama's now-traditional summer swoon began with faltering poll numbers in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida. Then came a 500-point dip in the stock market followed by a July jobs report that showed unemployment (still) over 9 percent. Boom. Boom. Boom.
2. Scandal week (5/19/13): The IRS, the AP phone records and Benghazi (not to mention military sexual assault controversy) will all linger into the next few weeks -- and maybe even months. What that means is that Obama's second term agenda, which has already experienced a hiccup when efforts to tighten gun laws failed, will be delayed as Congress searches for details and answers in the various investigations.
1. First presidential debate (10.4.12): Obama's listless -- and that's being nice -- performance in his first showdown with Mitt Romney altered the presidential race (at least for a few weeks). What had looked like a glide path toward a victory for Obama suddenly got very complicated as pollingsuggested the incumbent's lead evaporated in the aftermath of that debate.