Alex Stubb’s Kingi-sized mistake

Kirjoittaja on New Yorkissa varttunut ja Helsingissä naisistunut copywriter.

Dear Mom,

What kind of Prime Minister tweets about a TV show when the rest of the world – especially the rest of the political world – is in total shock and mourning over the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov?!

Alex Stubb.

People here are totally freaking out about a tweet Stubb posted on Saturday night saying: “After a hard week, it was nice to relax and watch #Kingi. I had a great laugh. Still smiling. It really is entertaining. Amazing bunch.”

“What a moron”, “I hate him”, and “It would be funny if it wasn’t so scary” are just a few of the comments I’ve seen. Stubb happened to tweet about Kingi at exactly the same time Sweden’s ex-Prime Minister and ex-Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted his condolences. Yeah, it looked kinda’ bad. But Stubb had already released a statement hours earlier.

Like most people – including the thousands of people who marched in rainy Moscow today – I’m saddened, outraged and scared by Nemtsov’s murder. I mean, God (and no, I’m not referring to Putin) only knows how far Russia could go. And for Finns and everyone else living next door, that’s a particularly scary thought. That said, I’m still planning to watch and enjoy Homeland tonight.

I spent eight years getting a Masters degree in politics. One of the biggest things I took away from all those lectures and the thousands of pages I read (and my internships at the White House and U.N., I might add) is that to be a good politician you also have to spend time doing things outside of politics. Because when all is said and done, that’s really what politics is all about – life.

Personally, what worries me isn’t that Stubb was watching Kingi while the world was focused on Nemtsov’s death. It’s that he actually finds it funny! But I guess the millions of Finns out there who agree with him can’t be wrong (well… yes they can).

And to Alex, I’d say what Teddy Roosevelt once said: “The most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice.”

And isn’t that what Twitter is, after all?