Rubio on the water: “God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human”

posted at 10:42 am on February 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via the Examiner, I’d call this a case study in effective damage control but that presupposes that an unscripted sip of water during a speech constitutes “damage,” and I can’t bring myself to believe that our frivolous political culture has yet reached that depth. There are three things going on in the media frenzy over this. First, Karl’s right, of course:

Hyperventilating over an awkward moment in a good speech is a way to cast a pall of ridiculousness over the whole thing. Rubio’s biggest political talent is his communication skills, the proof of which you’re seeing this morning in his sustained effort to win over people by laughing along at the water meme. If you’re eager to neutralize those skills by building a larger not-ready-for-prime-time narrative, then yeah, frenetic mockery of a sip of water will come naturally to you.

But it’s not just lefty media that’s interested in this. Stephanopoulos saved a question about the water until the end of his interview with Rubio this morning but Fox & Friends started off with it. Why? This is spot on, I think:

Yup. The more ubiquitous media becomes, the more inured the average viewer becomes to the conventions of polished media presentations, which gives every rare unscripted moment a charge of daring and excitement. We’re reaching the point where, if a curl of hair had fallen down onto Rubio’s forehead during the speech and he’d brushed it back with his hand, that would be a meme today. So programmatic is modern politics with talking points and messaging that taking a sip of water when your mouth is dry practically qualifies as a “gaffe.” It’s soul-crushing, which partly explains why a guy like Christie who often does seem to wander off script can be so captivating.

Finally, some of the reaction here is due simply to the tedium of the endless Obama/GOP ideological death struggle. You’ve got a huge chunk of low-information voters watching and tweeting during the SOTU; they don’t follow politics day to day so it’s hard for them to gauge which side’s lying and which is telling the truth, but everyone can have an opinion about whether Rubio looked goofy reaching for that Poland Springs. Political professionals, meanwhile, have heard it all before. As noted last night, even Obama’s media fanboys were expecting a rote, forgettable recitation of the White House’s policy wishlist; conservatives were more upbeat about Rubio’s big debut but no one on our side was surprised by his message either. When political junkies get bored, they’re going to look for a shiny object to play with, replete with all the same dumb, predictable jokes you know and hate. Somehow, drinking water has now achieved shiny-object status.

Update: If you think Karl and I are exaggerating on the first point, read this.


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First??

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on February 13, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I think it is good he had to get a drink. If they cover that only even stupid people can figure out the obvious hate.

tomas on February 13, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Reinforcing the narrative, way to go Marco.

WordsMatter on February 13, 2013 at 10:46 AM

“It makes a huge difference that he had to drink from a water bottle”..

Hillary

hillsoftx on February 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM

How long before Øbama incorporates this incident into a speech?

ctmom on February 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM

This is silly….what I want to hear about is The Tea Party’s appetite for amnesty.

Are both sides on the same page now? I mean I doubt Rubio has to say it …he proposed it.

So can we just do it and get it behind us all? I will pull my hair out if immigrants keep holding elections hostage

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on February 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I didn’t even know the water bit was a thing?

Seriously???? I’m beginning to lose faith in humanity if a guy taking a sip of water during a speech is a cardinal sin.

NerwenAldarion on February 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM

The Progs will tell you who they fear…

d1carter on February 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM

what he’s doing now is the same as the MSM did…so he is kind of joining the chorus. Now it’s hard scream #idiotmedia….he joined them.

Anyway…IT’S NOT F’N IMPORTANT!

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on February 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Rubio needs a sip of water and the libs freak out.

Bark has to tell the teleprompter guy to scroll back and it’s a sign of his humanity.

Bishop on February 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM

During the 2016 campaign, it should show Marco Rubio holding and then drinking from a water bottle. I can see it now:

(Commerical)

[Marco Rubio comes on with a big smile and reaches for a water-bottle]

Rubio: I’m Marco Rubio…

[drinks from bottle]

Rubio: And I approve this message.

BigGator5 on February 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Honestly, the FREAKOUT over the water-bottle thing, like the Super Bowl blackout, shows a ravenous appetite for ANYTHING unchoreographed.

That’s wishful thinking. The media gets its marching orders from the White House. And the last thing Obama wants is anyone in the Democrat/media complex focusing on the substance of Rubio’s remarks. So they know their job is to zero in on the water bottle and pay mere lip service to the rest of the response.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Somehow, drinking water has now achieved shiny-object status.

Great post Allahpundit..:)

Dire Straits on February 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Awesome that he brought it to the interview with Stephie.

thebrokenrattle on February 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Remember the funny camera angles when Michelle Bachmann gave the Tea Party response? A few laughs and then on to the next conservative to bash…

What media should be afraid of is Van Jones commenting on CNN that Marco Rubio is very dangerous. “What difference does it make” if he took a sip of water?

monalisa on February 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

It’s just the typical progressive tactic.

RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating.

RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more.

RULE 13: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

SOP for lefties and their boot-lickers in the media.

HumpBot Salvation on February 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Rubio handles this well..Very nicely played..:)

Dire Straits on February 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Excellent analysis, AP. In fact, I almost think this was good thing for Rubio, because in my view he has a tendency to appear robotic and excessively scripted. Now we get to see how he handles a minor screw-up, and he is the big story this morning, not Obama. Obama ends up getting swamped before the speech by Chris Droner and the Pope resigning, and after the speech by Rubio’s drink of water.

It wouldn’t be too far afield in this day and age to suggest that politicians need to start scripting some “unscripted” moments.

rockmom on February 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Awesome that he brought it to the interview with Stephie.

thebrokenrattle on February 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

+ 100..:)

Dire Straits on February 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I’d like to see someone smoking a cigarette during one of these things.

Dongemaharu on February 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I didn’t like the look of that blue tie Rubio was wearing one bit.
nonpartisan

I didn’t like the way Rubio had to brush something off his forehead with his right hand. Additionally I thought the wiping of the corners of his mouth at the 10:15 mark was unseemly. What is he dosing heavy meds or something?

nonpartisan

At around 11 minutes Rubio is having what can only be described as a bad case of the cotton mouth, again meds? What is Spanish for marijuana? Might have to look that one up.

nonpartisan

Glad he finally took a sip of water. The cotton must have been bad.
nonpartisan

Is it just me, or does Rubio have a pair of mismatched ears?

nonpartisan

Say, am I the only one who noticed how strangely similar the overbites are on Rubio and Cindy? Maybe its the Whigs?

nonpartisan

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I didn’t hear anyone in the MSM mention Obama had egg on his face when he sat there listening to Dr. Carson lecture him on economics?

fogw on February 13, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Rubio needs to take his water bottle with him on all of these shows when they want to try to degrade conservatism; just a way of reminding them he is human and that conservatism is about substance over style.

Tater Salad on February 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

“God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human”

And the voters who don’t believe in rewarding lawbreakers have a funny way of reminding a pro-amnesty hispanderer that you can’t win without your base.

TxAnn56 on February 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Rubio handles this well..Very nicely played..:)

Dire Straits on February 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Agree 100%. And this is exactly the kind of ability that we need. Of course the whole thing is trivial but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have significance. He had a dry mouth. He took a swig of water. It was funny and he’s laughing along with the joke. And by doing so he’s totally defused the whole thing. I like what Jonah Goldberg tweeted about it: If he’d reached for a mojito it would have been awesome.

cicerone on February 13, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Bwahahahahahaha… OH THAT”S RICH!…… the MSM goes nuts over a guy getting a drink of water during a conversation ( i’ll have to remember not to talk to anyone while I’m at the corner pub) and not a peep about the BS of how great the economy is…..Bwahahahahahaha

even Pravada wasn’t so brazen in it’s prime.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on February 13, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Maybe it would’ve been less controversial if, rather than drinking water, Rubio covered up the death of a US Ambassador or handed some guns to drug cartels.

Weight of Glory on February 13, 2013 at 11:03 AM

I didn’t hear anyone in the MSM mention Obama had egg on his face when he sat there listening to Dr. Carson lecture him on economics?

That was at a prayer breakfast. Maybe they just assumed he was as sloppy an eater as his spouse (who has the table manners of a horse).

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2013 at 11:03 AM

For some reason GMA was on my TV this morning and I caught the Stephie interview. Man he did not like Rubio repeating the sequestration deal was Obama’s idea. And when Steph mentioned there were many on both sides saying what a bad deal it was Rubio grinned and said “that’s why I voted against it” and again reminded the camera that is was the presidents idea and he signed it into law.

Well done Mr. Rubio.

DanMan on February 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM

I’d like to see someone smoking a cigarette during one of these things.

Dongemaharu on February 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Or, instead of a bottle of water, how about doing the speech with a glass of scotch sitting on the podium?

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Just their way of pointing out that Rubio’s not perfect like you know who. Dear leader gave a 6000 word speech and didn’t need to drink any water. Does he drink water or just walk on it? Just askin’.

Kissmygrits on February 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM

wait what? this is so important that it’s part of an interview? this is big news? breaking news: rubio waterbottle scandal.

the only thing is that it’s a little awkward the way he looked at the camera while he did it. but still, big deal. so he drank water. is that really so fascinating?

Awesome that he brought it to the interview with Stephie.

thebrokenrattle on February 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

yeah, he’s funny! he handled it well.

Sachiko on February 13, 2013 at 11:08 AM

The Swig heard round the world.

portlandon on February 13, 2013 at 11:08 AM

When is a drink of water just a drink of water ?
Well played Marco !

Lucano on February 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM

As Matt Yglesias noted on Twitter, Rubio’s “middle-class” neighborhood may also be fiction. As the Huffington Post and the Daily Caller reported last month Rubio put his house on the market for $675,000.

Here I am living in Culver City CA in a house worth more than a million dollars, thanks to the hyper-inflated real estate market fired up by the Democrats.

Believe me, a million dollars does NOT buy the home it used to buy 20 years ago. Mine’s a one bedroom duplex — 2000 sq ft of nice 1920′s era architecture. There are no gold faucets here — take my word for it.

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Can we debate the substance of Rubio’s rebuttal to Obowma over his water drinking habit?

This passes for media reporting?

The Rubio demonizing by the media has begun.

dthorny on February 13, 2013 at 11:10 AM

I’d like to see someone smoking a cigarette during one of these things.

Dongemaharu on February 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Having lost two parents to cigarette related cancer, I tend NOT to vote for someone who smokes a cigarette.

If they are stupid with their own money, they will be stupid with mine.

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM

how many polands does it take to drink a rubio

renalin on February 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Shouldn’t we accuse the media of racism because they attacked Rubio drinking water?

EVERYTIME Obowma gets attacked by conservatives, the media calls as racist.

dthorny on February 13, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I’d like to see someone smoking a cigarette during one of these things.

Dongemaharu on February 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Didn’t a President used to smoke a pipe, and clean it out during his fireside chats?

portlandon on February 13, 2013 at 11:14 AM

He should’ve pounded his desk and angrily snapped, “What difference, at this point, does it make??!!”

This is getting more coverage than Hillary and Obie’s incompetence in Benghazi (among other things).

jdpaz on February 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Rubio needs to take his water bottle with him on all of these shows when they want to try to degrade conservatism; just a way of reminding them he is human and that conservatism is about substance over style.

Tater Salad on February 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

He should incorporate it into his schtick going forward. I’d love it if paused for a moment in every single one of his speeches and took a swig of water. I’m still nervous about handing over the nuclear codes to Rubio, but this is the reason why he gets so much buzz. Being able to laugh at yourself and turn water into lemonade is a winning trait and something that is really rare in politicians. (Ryan is also very good at self deprecating humor.)

Rubio played this much better than Christie’s thin-skinned whining over the weight remarks.

Illinidiva on February 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM

The Rubio demonizing by the media has begun.

dthorny on February 13, 2013 at 11:10 AM

..they’re scared.

The War Planner on February 13, 2013 at 11:18 AM

..they’re scared.

The War Planner on February 13, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Just do a google image search, Rubio drinking water, its all the rage.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM

They actually have a video of Rubio and all his dry mouth sounds cut and spliced together.

These people have no lives.

portlandon on February 13, 2013 at 11:23 AM

We’re reaching the point where, if a curl of hair had fallen down onto Rubio’s forehead during the speech and he’d brushed it back with his hand, that would be a meme today.

That would have been a major twist on the receding hairline story. Totally huge.

forest on February 13, 2013 at 11:24 AM

According to libs, bodily functions are for mere mortals. They’d argue even those of us on the right think Obama is “full of it”, which means he doesn’t do the #2 thing.

moo on February 13, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Here I am living in Culver City CA in a house worth more than a million dollars, thanks to the hyper-inflated real estate market fired up by the Democrats.

Believe me, a million dollars does NOT buy the home it used to buy 20 years ago. Mine’s a one bedroom duplex — 2000 sq ft of nice 1920′s era architecture. There are no gold faucets here — take my word for it.

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I’m surprised that the whole Rubio’s moving his family to DC hasn’t gotten more play. I took it as a huge sign about his future ambitions. It’s less disruptive on the kids to move them to DC now rather than in 2017. ;)

But if you’ve seen pictures of the home, it actually is really modest and small considering he has four young kids. It seems that property values in Miami are pretty inflated.

Illinidiva on February 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Ever since I can remember, you HA commenters have been telling me what a great guy Rubio is.

I almost fell for it.

Now, I have to question his character because of this scandal.

Jeffster on February 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM

The media will tell you who they fear and it isnt Rand Paul.

Flapjackmaka on February 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM

I’ll take a man who gets thirsty during a speech any day over one who spends an hour peeing on the Constitution in front of packed house.

TXUS on February 13, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Rubio drinks water…. THATS the main thing taken from his response…

Okay, want get childish then…

Let’s discuss how much weapons grade botox San Fran Nan had pumped into her forehead before the speech (bet it was more than the volume of water that Rubio sipped).

Let’s discuss Biden sitting there laughing, smirking, acting the fool, searching for paper & pen from his jacket pocket to take notes… ON WHAT!?

Let’s discuss the pigeons in the audience nodding their heads in solemn agreement to every single word…. REALLY?!

…how about some freaking substance people!!!

PermanentWaves on February 13, 2013 at 11:36 AM

That’s funny. Mr. Obama drinking water here, here, here … yet no media coverage?

Oh the gaffes!!!!!

Marcus Traianus on February 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM

This is why Obama was re-elected and the country is imploding…if it weren’t for moron voters, the MSM would never go there in the first place.

cajunpatriot on February 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM

How cool would it be if, whenever a Republican is being interviewed, he or she takes a swig of water? But, no, they don’t have the stones for it.

HiJack on February 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Ever since I can remember, you HA commenters have been telling me what a great guy Rubio is.

I almost fell for it.

Now, I have to question his character because of this scandal.

Jeffster on February 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Sorry to break this to you, but we knew all along that he drank water from a bottle. It was our deep, dark secret till he let it out.

HiJack on February 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Personally I though Boehner blowing his nose and Biden scratching his neck while Zero was bloviating in front of them was more interesting.

Speechlesstx on February 13, 2013 at 11:49 AM

“God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human the MSM are not journalists

FIFE

Shy Guy on February 13, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Let’s not fool ourselves… this is far more important than Menendez and the underage hookers, or the negative effect on job growth that raising the minimum wage will have, or Korea testing nukes and missiles while Obama has no response (or even knows where Korea is on the map I’ll bet)… or a budget… or $16,000,000,000,000 debt…

Why? Because it moves the narrative down the field. If it takes a death by a thousand cuts to remove the Rubio threat… the msm is up to the task and will trip all over each other to make it happen. And that means that the battle will actually be harder in 4 years than it was 4 years ago.

RalphyBoy on February 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Ever since I can remember, you HA commenters have been telling me what a great guy Rubio is.

Jeffster on February 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM

I’ve witnessed exactly the opposite. It’s a 24/7 hate fest of Rubio on this site.

John the Libertarian on February 13, 2013 at 11:52 AM

That this would be even a touch interesting explains why we are going to endure two terms of Obama. We need more homeschooling.

Cindy Munford on February 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Obviously this horrid mistake of a gaffe in a SOTU response speech renders him incapable of running for President. Ever.

cptacek on February 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Or, instead of a bottle of water, how about doing the speech with a glass of scotch sitting on the podium?

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM

“They call me Tator Salad”

cptacek on February 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I’d call this a case study in effective damage control but that presupposes that an unscripted sip of water during a speech constitutes “damage,” and I can’t bring myself to believe that our frivolous political culture has yet reached that depth.

I’m not saying it should be this way, but consider exhibits A and B: Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal.

aryeung on February 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Should also notice Andrew K from Buzzfeed calling the focus on the water the end of civilization.

Zaggs on February 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM

I caught the Stephie interview. Man he did not like Rubio repeating the sequestration deal was Obama’s idea. And when Steph mentioned there were many on both sides saying what a bad deal it was Rubio grinned and said “that’s why I voted against it” and again reminded the camera that is was the presidents idea and he signed it into law.

Awesome that he brought it to the interview with Stephie.

The real scandal is that Stephie carries water and drinks Kool Aid. And Obama eats dog.

LetsBfrank on February 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I’ve witnessed exactly the opposite. It’s a 24/7 hate fest of Rubio on this site.

John the Libertarian on February 13, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Tell me about it. I dont get it. I had to leave the site last year because it wass a romney love fest once nominated

Flapjackmaka on February 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Aww, Dems want to play the water game, “Marco Polo.” How cute.

MARCO!

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Rubio needs a sip of water and the libs freak out.

Bark has to tell the teleprompter guy to scroll back and it’s a sign of his humanity brilliance.

Bishop on February 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM

This water’gate’ proves that the leftists are the charictures they wish us to be. They are the biggest rats in the Earth’ latrines.

Schadenfreude on February 13, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I want to play.. POLO

Illinidiva on February 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM

caricatures

Schadenfreude on February 13, 2013 at 12:43 PM

I don’t get it. Rubio drank some water? Who thought that was strange?

Ellis on February 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Should have been a glass of scotch after Obysmal’s speech!

can_con on February 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Let’s compare our two Cuban American Senators Rubio and Menendez: A dry-mouthed water sipper…..and an underage whore cheater.

Now mainstream media….which are you covering??

originalpechanga on February 13, 2013 at 1:53 PM

You can clearly see him breathe some air too.

Chuck Schick on February 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Or, instead of a bottle of water, how about doing the speech with a glass of scotch sitting on the podium?

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Ron White makes that work for him….

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Ron White makes that work for him….

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

As did Christopher Hitchens.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 3:14 PM

I’ve witnessed exactly the opposite. It’s a 24/7 hate fest of Rubio on this site.

Sorry had to jump on this. He ain’t perfect (thank God) and from a reasonably old guy…(56)

It is high time we got out of the way. I believe in the youth though 41 is not THAT young. In either case the Bohners(sp) need to go away and WE need to let the next gen step up.

Rubio, Cruz, Ryan none of them flawless, certainly no worse than we were and maybe just maybe better.

Let’s give ‘em a shot.

landowner on February 13, 2013 at 3:40 PM

You can clearly see him breathe some air too.

Chuck Schick on February 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

lol

So funny!

How long before we hear that the reason Republicans like dirty water is because they are rich enough to afford bottled water?

Elisa on February 13, 2013 at 3:59 PM

The Obama media spent more time on this water bottle than all of thier reporting on the Benghazi attack and cover-up or “Operation Fast and Furious”

Texyank on February 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I’d like to see someone smoking a cigarette during one of these things.

Dongemaharu on February 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Yeah, or drink something other than water.

C’mon, Rubio. You gave part of your speech in Spanish. Make it tequila next time.

TexasDan on February 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Look!

A squirrel! With a water bottle!

novaculus on February 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

The media will tell you who they fear and it isnt Rand Paul.

Flapjackmaka on February 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM

If the Establishment RINOs get their way, then it will be Rubio. If Constitutional Conservatarians get our way, it will be Rand. Then the MSM will seek to destroy him. They are taking a guess that the Establishment will once again choose our candidate – with their help, of course.

Decoski on February 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

“Rubio looked goofy reaching for that Poland Springs.”

Surely, I’m not the only one who was reminded of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgvGyvLhE1Q

Syzygy on February 13, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Think of the uproar if he had taken a sip of “Two if by Tea”.

LOLOL

JG27 AD on February 13, 2013 at 9:14 PM