Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had a big moment in front of the D.C. glitterati Saturday night as the Democrat joke cracker and according to Politico Playbook, she “fell flat”.

According to the political insider email newsletter written by Rachel Bade, Ryan Lizza, and Eugene Daniels:

THE NO. 1 RULE OF POLITICAL COMEDY — We’ve sat through a number of these highbrow — often awkward — Washington dinners over the years. And after each one, we observe the same truism: When it comes to politicians doing comedy, self-deprecation is the name of the game. 

Poke fun at yourself and your party? You’ll get the audience roaring. Lambast the other side too much? You just look mean-spirited.

Last night’s Gridiron dinner — featuring speeches from Republican Utah Gov. SPENCER COX and Democratic Michigan Gov. GRETCHEN WHITMER — was the umpteenth example of that same lesson.

HOW TO DO IT — First up was Cox, who followed this golden rule to the letter.

He dove in by cracking jokes about his little-known reputation, suggesting he shouldn’t even be in attendance at the fancy dinner. He said he was the “second choice” for GOP speaker after Virginia Gov. GLENN YOUNGKIN — who, said Cox, is “six-foot-five, handsome, played college basketball, went to Harvard and is worth $300 million” — canceled.

“We’re basically twins — in a Schwarzenegger/DeVito sort of way.”

There was more: “They don’t usually let farm kids like me into rooms like this,” he said, pausing. “Unless you count January 6th.”

Announcing that he hailed from Utah, Cox added: “Oh, I’m sorry. I should explain: Utah is a state between Tyson’s Corner and California,” referencing the ritzy Virginia suburb. “You might think, being from a small town in Utah, that I’m not very smart. But I promise that nothing I say tonight … will change your mind.

But the best part of the speech? He dragged his own party mercilessly over and over and over.

— On the modern GOP’s version of President BILL CLINTON’s famous “I didn’t inhale” quip: “Where I’m from, they say they went to the rally, but didn’t go inside.”

— On watching political experts try to understand rural voters’ obsession with Trump: “I recently watched a great documentary that I thought nailed it. It’s called ‘The Hunger Games.’”

— On Senate Minority Leader MITCH McCONNELL’s health issues: “I also reached [out] to my friend Mitch McConnell for some ideas, and he said … ” Cox trailed off, paused and didn’t move. The audience roared. “Anyway, thanks Mitch! You always know just what NOT to say.”

Then he twisted the knife. “In all seriousness, I spoke to Mitch and he said he was OK with that joke. Well … he implied it. … At least he didn’t say no.”

Don’t get us wrong: Cox had some lines that bombed. He also hit Dems a few times, and mocked Biden’s age. But overall, he nailed it.

HOW NOT TO DO IT — Then, there was Whitmer.

She actually started off strong, needling the Gridiron for not allowing women in for much of its history. “On a night when you have the first woman vice president and ‘that woman from Michigan,’ … we’re still starting with Cox and Balz,” she said, referring to the Utah governor and Gridiron Club President DAN BALZ.

But then, she fell flat, with jokes that took aim at Republicans, went easy on Democrats and punchlines that often fizzled out.

— On the Jan. 6 clash between Trump and MIKE PENCE: “The last president wanted to hang his vice president, but [Biden administration officials want] to hang with each other. That’s nice.”

— On KATIE BRITT’s much criticized SOTU response: “She outdid me. I did the response four years ago, and no one remembers it. Sen. Britt’s? No one will ever forget it.”

— On why Youngkin “loves his red vests”: “Your arms don’t get cold at book burnings, do they?”

Whitmer did make a few self-deprecating jokes. Kinda. She quipped that people mostly know her as that woman in Michigan who could someday run for president. “She joked about being 52 — “or as DON LEMON would put it … ‘past my prime.’” And, in fairness, she did have one of the best lines of the night: “As governor, I’ve been able to get a lot done by extending my hand across the aisle — and not in a LAUREN BOEBERT kind of way.”

But overall, as Whitmer spoke, the crowd was reaching for wine and trying to avoid eye contact with the GOP guests at their table — many who were roaring when Cox made fun of their own party, but didn’t take well when Whitmer did the same.

Go Ad-Free, Get Content, Go Premium Today - $1 Trial

Ouch. But never fear: The Whitmer fan club at the Detroit News loved her performance, claiming she threw “playful political jabs” during the performance and made no reference to the apparent groans concealed by glasses of Cabernet.