How Marco Rubio rescued his awkward water break moment
The Florida senator's conservative rebuttal to Obama's State of the Union was overshadowed by his thirst
This speech is making me thirsty.
This speech is making me thirsty. YouTube

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the 41-year-old Cuban-American being billed as the potential savior of the Republican Party, gave a measured, conservative response to President Obama's State of the Union address. His official GOP rebuttal was a Reagan-infused paean to faith, free markets, and small government. But while some conservatives were very impressed with Rubio's performance, the consensus largely validates Jeb Golinkin's warning to Rubio: "Call whomever it is you call about these things, say you have the flu, and stay home."

Rubio didn't look like a cartoonish sitcom character (see Gov. Bobby Jindal, 2009), but about halfway into his televised speech, he apparently got very thirsty. It looked like this:


Twitter, being Twitter, couldn't talk about anything else. First there was shock at Rubio's awkward grab for his bottle of water:

Then amusement:

Then came sympathy:

And blaming the victim:

And finally, the the self-referential self-loathing of a group of media types realizing they are all obsessing, en masse, about a single, goofy moment:

Some Rubio supporters tried to defuse the situation:

But it was Rubio himself (or perhaps his social media team) that turned a potentially embarrassing meme into a shared joke, maybe even a political plus:

And that, politicians, is how it's done:

Meme closed.



Subscribe to the Week