Poor Mark Rubio. He’s being ridiculed for the silliest of reasons.
Then again, are they so silly?
The Florida Republican senator was asked to give the GOP’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night. In the middle of his speech, he was hit with a touch of cotton mouth. He looked for the water bottle and had to reach way beyond his grasp to grab it; the then took a quite audible gulp of water on national TV.
Many in the media have taken shots at Rubio, who has been hailed by Time magazine with a cover story that calls him the savior of the Republican Party. His status in that regard will be determined in due course.
But one awkward moment in front of millions of Americans is not a deal-breaker.
It is, however, the stuff of lessons to be learned. Rubio’s only been in the national stage since 2011, when he took his Senate seat and became an immediate media star. That’s what makes the Gulpgate moment so funny. Politicians routinely get dry mouths when the lights shine brightly. It’s wise, therefore, to have the water handy, where one can grab it without slipping off the TV screen.
Rubio won’t get caught ever again, I’m quite sure, making that kind of clumsy grab on national television. In this media age, stagecraft does matter. The young senator will have to learn it if he aspires to even higher office.