On Wednesday afternoon, the White House accelerated its feud with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a very Obama-White-House sort of way: With a sick Twitter burn.
The tweet made pointed reference to Netanyahu's September 2012 speech at the United Nations in which he warned about the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon. (Fact check: Nukes are not detonated with fuses.) The White House sought to contrast its negotiated plan to avoid that possibility with Netanyahu's; its argument has gotten some poor reviews.
It's interesting, though, that the White House decided to offer the critique as a tweet -- and that the tweet did pretty well. (As of this writing, it has been re-tweeted over 2,100 times.) Given that success, we were curious which tweets from the White House, government officials and agencies and congressional leaders had done the best. What is it about this tweet that made it stand out (besides media idiots writing about it all the time)?
People like jokes
The bomb tweet wasn't a joke, as such -- more of what your grandfather would call a "zinger." But the all-time most-popular tweet from the White House account, according to Favstar, is very much a joke.
Yes, the tweet from the Obama administration that has been the most popular is a photo of a dog tied to a meme from the movie "Mean Girls." 43,000 retweets.
Then there's the most popular tweet, from Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, whose work has been credited with making the Iran deal happen. He's a bit less popular on Twitter, but his top tweet is a joke, too.
Maybe the thread here is, "weird hair."
People like Obama being friends with people
The top tweet from @BarackObama -- once the campaign account of the president and now the account for Organizing For Action -- was also once the most popular tweet in the world. (Until Ellen Degeneres ruined it.) It's Obama and Michelle hugging in a tweet sent out after his 2012 win became official.
The vice president's most popular tweet is this one, reminding people that Joe Biden also gets to hang out with Obama.
Want a popular tweet? Hang out with Obama.
People like being asked to re-tweet
Speaker John Boehner's most popular tweet:
The Department of the Interior's:
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's most popular tweet from his campaign:
People are not complex.
People like feeling good about the world
The most popular tweet from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.):
And from RNC head Reince Priebus:
It's worth remembering that Twitter is used by a younger, more diverse audience -- meaning that it likely skews more Democratic and more progressive.
People like to hate-retweet and like sick burns
Perhaps you remember this tweet from the GOP, its most popular. It went over poorly (since it implied that racism is over). It got a lot of shares, almost certainly from people who disapproved.
The Democrats' most popular tweet, meanwhile, is this one:
People like it when John Kerry speaks French
His most popular:
With that in mind, we've crafted the perfect tweet, which we invite you to share:
Obama, who we've met, makes a sick burn on Netanyahu. Kerry: "Ooh la la!" Please retweet.
This thing is going to be gangbusters.