Senator Rubio’s moment in the sun

I like Senator Marco Rubio. And I actually thought he did a fantastic job delivering the Republican response to the President’s state of the union address. Nevertheless, the substance of his speech has been eclipsed by a very human moment while delivering his remarks. It was clear about halfway through the speech that Senator Rubio’s mouth was dry. So he finally gave in and reached for a bottle of water.

The moment turned out to be awkward and hilarious. Instead of simply walking over and picking up the water, Senator Rubio leans over and sort of looks both ways as if he’s trying to be sneaky. He gulps the water, the sound of which can be heard loud and clear through his microphone. I’ve watched this several times already, and it cracks me up every time.

Delivering the response to the state of the union address is notoriously difficult. Many good men have washed-up trying. But I don’t think that Senator Rubio dropped the ball. His speech was still very effective (at least the first half of it was). The drink of water will be funny for 15 minutes, and then I suspect that most people will forget about it. If opponents try to bring it up moving toward 2016, I think most voters will ignore it as irrelevant. Why? Because it is. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the humor of it.

I’m happy to see that Senator Rubio has a sense of humor. After completing his remarks, he tweeted this picture:

Rubio appeared on ABC News the morning after his speech where he again proved his ability to laugh at himself. For my part, I appreciate it when a guy doesn’t take himself too seriously. Rubio explained, “God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human.” See below:

9 Responses to Senator Rubio’s moment in the sun

  1. James Stanton February 13, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Rubio seems very likeable. He presents the same warmed-over ideas but he delivers his lines well and he’s a fresh face. Ultimately, his speech will be far more memorable for partisans on the right who enjoyed a takedown of Obama and partisans on the left who can mock the drinking water moment.

    Right now he’s a shiny new figure in a party that needs someone like that. He’s got some shady campaign finance history so expect that to come out in the primaries.

    • Lee Saunders February 13, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      What most people will remember about the speech is the bottled water, and I’m sure Poland Spring appeciated the free ad. I tend to agree with you, James, about the content of the speech. Other than a few personalizations, Rubio just repeated some of the GOP’s warmed over themes, the usual assertions and cliches about big government and what it doesn’t do, and the general insertions of statements that the voters, including a majority in his own state, have rejected. For his first major appearance in the national limelight, to be showcased as the new face of the GOP, as you might say, he didn’t have a lot of good material to work with. I think the problem Marco Rubio is going to have as an “up and coming” Republican is that their positions are too scripted, whereas Rubio is at his best when he’s freewheeling and spontaneous. He may be comfortable with some of the party’s social issues, but he is not comfortable coloring inside the lines. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did.

    • Denny Burk February 13, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      If Rubio was warmed-over, so was President Obama. He offered massive government expansion with no explanation of how to pay for it. Nothing new or fresh there.

      • James Stanton February 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

        No one is defending Obama here, Denny. This isn’t Team Red vs Team Blue.

        • Elizabeth Anscombe February 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

          Are you TRYING to look like a smart-aleck or is that just the way you are? Just wondering…

          • James Stanton February 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

            You’re reading words on the internet so you’re going to take from it what you will. If we were talking face to face I don’t think I would sound like a smart-aleck and probably you wouldn’t accuse me of sounding like one.

            I mentioned Obama only indirectly and wasn’t trying to compare Rubio to him. Denny never asked my opinion on Obama’s policies.

  2. Paula Bolyard (@pbolyard) February 13, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    Tweeting the picture was exactly the right response. Human, fun, self-deprecating. It was a smart way of disarming any potential critics.

    Sadly, many who oppose his positions will spend the next four years trying to destroy him.

  3. Bob Wheeler February 13, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    I agree with both responses above. The sooner he “embraces it” with actions like the tweet, the sooner it will become obsolete. Doing so will only make him more human, which is something many politicians could do a better job of.

  4. barry joslin February 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Whoever staged that room set needs to be given a good tongue-lashing. Such things like water have to be within EASY reaching distance if you are on camera.


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