This time last week, everything was aces for Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.).
He was favored to beat fellow Rep. Alan Grayson in the Sunshine State's Democratic Senate primary. Republicans had a giant field to replace retiring Sen. Marco Rubio. At 33, Murphy looked to be on the verge of another big step in a promising political career.
Then Wednesday happened.
First, Rubio announced that he was reversing course and running for a second term. That decision immediately thinned the Republican field, leaving only Rubio and wealthy businessman Carlos Beruff still running. It also increased Republicans' chances of holding the seat, with polling suggesting Rubio has a high single-digit edge over Murphy or Grayson.
Things went from bad to way, way worse for Murphy later that day. A report by longtime Florida journalist Jim DeFede detailed a series of exaggerations and outright untruths in the young congressman's résumé. That included claims that he was a certified public accountant (er, not really) and a small business owner (kind of, sort of).
Murphy's campaign, recognizing the mortal danger to his chances represented by the allegations, threw the kitchen sink at the story. It was old news! DeFede got facts wrong! Quotes were taken out of context!
But DeFede knows his stuff. And the broad impression left of Murphy from DeFede's reporting is of a guy who has a pattern of exaggerations and résumé inflation (Read this Q&A with Miami Herald reporter Kristen Clark for more.)
As the Tampa Bay Times's Adam Smith put it:
What's already certain is that the Democratic party establishment prematurely planned a coronation for a candidate about to mauled and carved up by Republicans. "Patrick Murphy — a career built on lies," is how the National Republican Senatorial Committee has started describing him.
Twenty-four hours after watching his Senate chances take a major hit, Murphy suffered another loss — this time in a more literal sense. He was called on to preserve congressional Democrats one-run lead in the annual baseball game between the two parties at Nationals Park. He couldn't do it.
— Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) June 24, 2016
Patrick Murphy, for losing on and off the field, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Each week, I award the worst week in Washington to an inhabitant of Planet Beltway who stands out for all the wrong reasons. You can always email me with your own nominees.