One of the first blog entries I wrote here was when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie screamed at a teacher and had the reaction catapulted across Social Media. The subsequent backlash was…well, predictable. Christie’s opponents attacked him for it, but his supporters thought it was fantastic, and it ultimately didn’t hurt Christie’s numbers. As such, what for a normal politician would have been a fail probably had no negative effects on Christie.
Another example of that phenomenon happened yesterday. The politician was Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX), who replaced former Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Shortly before the State of the Union began, Weber sent out this tweet:
I don’t know what bothers me more about this tweet: the use of “Kommandant,” “Socialistic Dictator” or the fact that he called about a “chef” instead of chief. According to Buzzfeed, a spokesman did confirm that the tweets were from Weber.
Anyway, for a normal politician, this would probably boomerang, badly. But, given the conservative nature of Weber’s district, this is probably going to be more helpful than hurtful. After all, this is the same district that sent Ron Paul to Congress for seven terms. And President Obama certainly isn’t popular in this Congressional district; Romney beat Obama there 59-39%. Thus, despite the terms used, Weber probably won’t see any negative consequences for the tweet.
This is a great example of a “fail” not being a fail, considering the political situation. One man’s fail is another man’s treasure, and Weber’s district will will likely allow him to make these types of outlandish comments. Incidentally, going back to that Christie fail I first referenced: Christie’s political situation has changed dramatically in the wake of the bridge closure scandal, and a recent poll showed his favorability ratings crashing. If he were to go nuts on a teacher now, I guarantee that the reaction would be much more negative. He’d be attacking from a position of weakness, not a position of strength.
Fortunately for Weber, the real fail of last night probably drowned out this tweet. Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY), who is currently under investigation for campaign finance violations, threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony and “break him in half” after the reporter had the temerity to ask him about the investigation. All of this, of course, was captured on video:
Grimm has since apologized.
Pro tip: don’t make violent threats when cameras are rolling.