Since the mid-1960s, when Lyndon Johnson was president, the party not in control of the White House has provided a formal response to the State of the Union Address for television and radio networks to air a few minutes following the conclusion of the main event. Republicans carried on that tradition tonight, tapping Senator Marco Rubio of Florida to deliver a speech criticizing President Obama’s policy directions and putting words in his mouth.
Rubio’s speech — a mix of right wing boilerplate and invective aimed at President Obama — were nothing we haven’t heard before. But while the content of his speech may have been forgettable, the delivery was not.
By the time Rubio uttered the words “God bless America”, his speech had turned into grist for thousands upon thousands of conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social networks.
Jamison Foser was among the first to land a zinger:
Why is Marco Rubio speaking from inside a dollhouse?
— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) February 13, 2013
To which Anthony Clark replied:
— Anthony Clark (@Anmclark) February 13, 2013
Others soon began to wonder why Rubio kept licking his lips and wiping his face and forehead. Apparently, he was feeling a bit warm as well as thirsty, because about midway through the speech, he ducked to grab a half-pint sized water bottle — which he proceeded to take a gulp from.
He then ducked down again to put the water bottle back where it had been, all while trying to maintain eye contact with the camera. These awkward few seconds immediately inspired a seemingly endless series of jokes.
Rubio’s water grab was quickly immortalized in the form of an animated GIF.
The GIF quickly began spreading like wildfire. A #RubioFilms hashtag was created shortly thereafter, and has received some fairly ingenious snarky contributions from progressive activists. Here’s a sampling:
The Unbearable Dryness of Being #RubioFilms
— doug potter (@dpotr) February 13, 2013
#RubioFilms You can lead a Rubio to water, but drinking it is awkward
— Jan #UniteBlue (@Jipso19) February 13, 2013
— eclecticbrotha (@eclecticbrotha) February 13, 2013
— Def Jeff (@eqracer) February 13, 2013
Gone with the Water Bottle #RubioFilms(Maybe a lot of truth in that)
— Just Hussein Jo (@desertcronenm) February 13, 2013
All The Poland Springs’ Men #RubioFilms
— 21st CENTURY | Bill (@Political_Bill) February 13, 2013
#RubioFilms There Will Be Water
— Eat the Rich (@RATM4) February 13, 2013
A Few Good Gulps #RubioFilms
— Robert Etchell (@Rudy671985) February 13, 2013
— BlizzyBe Hussein O (@BlizzyBe) February 13, 2013
Zero Dark Thirsty!!! #RubioFilms LMAO
— ARM (@adirado29) February 13, 2013
Meanwhile, over at Democratic Underground , they’ve got a Photoshop contest going. Fresh entries are welcome.