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Marco Rubio’s water grab becomes the talk of Twitter and social media

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:

@jamisonfoser @ericboehlert Why is he speaking, period?

— 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.

Marco Rubio is thirsty....

Marco Rubio is thirsty….

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

The Legend of Creepy Swallow #RubioFilms #Gulp

— eclecticbrotha (@eclecticbrotha) February 13, 2013

#RubioFilms “The Waterboy” Movie Poster –Everybody Will Feel His Pain-#GOP #Stupid…

— 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

An Inconvenient Gulp #RubioFilms #UniteBlue

— 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.


  1. B. Houdini
    Posted February 13th, 2013 at 5:25 AM | Permalink

    I think its a non-issue honestly. If the democratic party and its supporters want to continue to be taken seriously, they must rise above indulging in such petty criticism. Oh no, the Senator took a drink of water, film at 11!

    This is a non issue, it is not newsworthy, it is not even gossip worthy. Anyone who indulges in tweeting about this as some major mistake needs to have their head examined for chronic trivial pettiness.

    Do you think the average American cares about this? Be honest now, if he were on the democratic party’s side, would you even bother to mention it? Of course not. Its a non issue. `

    Its time politics be about the policies and direction of the country, (of which you may have valid reasons to debate Senator Rubio on an disagree with), but picking on a man for taking a drink of water in the middle of a speech is well, honestly a form of passive aggressive, nit picky, petty group think bullying and every one who has indulged in it it should be ashamed of yourselves. We are better then this.

  2. Posted February 13th, 2013 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    Hey, the SNL writers need some material.

  3. Pat
    Posted February 14th, 2013 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Media is ridiculing Rubio for his water grab display during his State of the Union response, but once the Republicans do tend to use “code language” in their presentations and ads, the inside jokes may be more meaningful.

    much like the invidious discrimination that has long become a recognized trademark of the GOP, the use of Eastwood and the empty chair requires people to decipher their code language to know what they are really thinking since they will not be forthright.

    using misdirection and distorted logic is one of the only methods of their communication that alerts to the extent of their deviousness.

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  1. […] Marco Rubio’s water grab becomes the talk of Twitter and social media, as Sen. Marco Rubio’s mid-speech water gulp goes viral on Twitter. C.f. [Twitter Loves] Marco Rubio’s drinking problem, and for context, More than 1.36 million people take to Twitter to talk State of the Union. […]