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"Worst Week in Washington" Winner: Michele Bachmann

The Minnesota Republican -- and tea party favorite -- dropped her bid for House GOP Conference Chair less than a week after she got into the race.

That quick exit won her The Fix's "Worst Week in Washington award.

We explain:

Republican establishment 1, tea party 0.

That's the post-midterm score after tea party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) dropped her candidacy for a spot in the House Republican leadership roughly one week after announcing it.

Earlier in the week, Bachmann, who founded the tea party caucus in the House, was making bold proclamations about the power she wielded. She went so far as to tell Politico that she helped to "put that gavel in John Boehner's hand."

Her colleagues -- at least some of the more influential ones -- didn't seem to agree. While a handful of conservative members (and Glenn Beck) backed her, GOP leaders sided almost unanimously with Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.) for the No. 4 leadership role.

Sensing that the tea was -- ahem -- cooling, Bachmann ended things Wednesday, touting Hensarling as a "strong voice" for the tea party movement. (He has long been an outspoken conservative, an ideological position that had always made Bachmann's challenge to him a bit of a head-scratcher. )

Bachmann's quick exit from the leadership race signals that while the tea party may have seized control from the GOP establishment outside Washington, the powers that be still have, well, power in the halls of Congress.

Make sure to read the whole thing here. And check out our "WWW" archives for past "winners".

By Chris Cillizza  | November 12, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Republican Party  
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Next: Michael Bennet opts against DSCC chairmanship

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