Mike Huckabee's Savage Hillary Clinton Twitter Burn Makes No Sense Whatsoever. | Gradient
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Mike Huckabee’s savage Hillary Clinton Twitter burn makes no sense whatsoever.

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On Tuesday, the FBI announced that it would not be pursuing a criminal justice investigation against Hillary Clinton. For Republicans, this was cause for despair. For Democrats, rejoicing. For former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, it was an opportunity to unleash a devastating burn.

On the surface, this is an adequately savage zing. It takes a little time to get to the point, maybe, but it’s got some heat. Sure. Maybe — if you don’t think about it too hard. I submit to you that, upon reflection, this thing completely falls apart. Observe:

  1. It is bizarrely untimely: Huckabee is clearly gunning for something both topical and timely here but, come on, the WINTER Olympics? Now? Why not just make this joke about Christmas, or the World Cup, or el Niño? It would have been so easy to make this joke timely by finding a Summer Olympics tie-in (“Hillary may not be POTUS, but she’ll be on the Summer Olympic team for fencing, no one has successfully dodged more jabs than her.”) but, no. Making the burn entirely non-Olympics related could have had a pleasant nonsequitur flair. But making it about the Winter Olympics when it’s the summer Olympics right around the corner? That is just lazy.
  2. It is factually incorrect: What doeHuckabee think ice skating in the Olympics is really like? Does he think they’re actually skating on thin ice? Does he think Olympic officials intentionally leave the Olympic ice rink at dangerously warm temperatures? It must be truly thrilling for Huckabee to watch Olympic figure skating, never knowing when the next Olympian will plummet through the ice into their eternal rest: A watery grave. But since Olympic ice skating rinks are an inch and a half thick, there is no chance that Hillary — our hypothetical Olympic figure skater — would be on any thin ice of any sort.
  3. It is not even a burn: Successfully skating on thin ice is, by almost measure, an impressive feat. Literally, it means risking death and coming away unscathed. Metaphorically, it means being brave, testing the waters, flirting with trouble, and coming away unscathed. Clinton’s email scandal involved very little skating on thin ice in either sense (she did not literally skate on thin ice, and she didn’t flirt with trouble and successfully come away unscathed). Governor Huckabee’s burn isn’t even a burn. It’s a backhanded compliment.

In the age of Twitter, politicians feel an increasing demand to be not just savvy operators of political theater, but social media masters. Some people are good at this. Some people are not. Some people are really not. Huckabee is not in the “really not” category yet, but he’s close.

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