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"Worst Week in Washington" Winner: Pete Rouse

Here's my Sunday newspaper column in which I invoke Kobe Bryant and substitute teaching to explain why the new Obama White House chief of staff had the "Worst Week in Washington":

Replacing Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff is kind of like being the next shooting guard for the L.A. Lakers after Kobe Bryant retires.

Both men are more feared than loved (sorry, Kobe!), but each casts a very big shadow in their professions.

Into Rahm's shadow (or out of it?) steps Pete Rouse, a man who has cut one of the lowest profiles of any top White House aide in recent memory. Rouse allies -- and there are lots of them in the inner political circles of Washington -- insist that his reputation (or lack thereof) makes him a perfect fit for a White House filled with semi-celebrity staffers.

Rouse may be the right temperamental fit for a White House in transition -- several other top aides are expected to leave 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. by year's end -- but he takes the top job at a moment fraught with political peril for President Obama.

You can read the whole piece here. And, if you have "Worst Week in Washington" nominations of your own, you can always email me at

By Chris Cillizza  | October 1, 2010; 4:04 PM ET
Categories:  Worst Week in Washington  
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