.Call it “watergate” or maybe Marco Rubio’s watershed moment. The Florida senator’s awkward sip from a water bottle in the midst of a nationally televised address Tuesday (and how he handled the aftermath) means one of two things, depending on your perspective: He’s either totally ready for the national spotlight or he needs some time to condition. And hydrate.
In the midst of the biggest political moment of his life, Rubio was visibly parched. And in front of those millions of viewers, he stopped his speech and reached for a bottle of water. These State of the Union responses can be like a national try-out for a young politician. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was panned for a stilting delivery in 2009. His buzz quickly died down. Rep. Paul Ryan gave the response in 2012 and found himself as Mitt Romney’s running mate some months later.
Politics – especially national politics – can be about impressions and moments. And while he is today the senator from Florida, there’s little doubt Rubio, 41, has his eyes set on higher office