After President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, Florida Senator Marco Rubio had the privilege to administer the Republican response. But in the innocent and perhaps undeserving course of doing so, Sen. Rubio has become a source of both ridicule and support on social media and is well on his way to becoming the latest internet meme.
At the onset of the response, Sen. Rubio seemed well composed. But partway into his speech, he became thirsty for one reason or another and had to pause briefly, to take a sip of water from a water bottle that was supposed to be out of the camera’s view.
Almost instantaneously, Twitter started receiving a deluge of tweets, mostly mocking the Florida senator for a myriad of reasons, from “lying makes Marco Rubio so thirsty” to “the spotlight must be too bright because he’s sweating like crazy.” But one of the most hilarious tweets came from Craig Pittman, an author who ironically is also from Florida, who tweeted “stay thirsty, my friend”, in a obvious reference to a Dos Equis beer commercial that features “the Most Interesting Man in the World” and utters the same exact line. Other images of Sen. Rubio with the same tag line are now popping up on Google Images.
While President Obama’s speech brought many positive points, especially the complete withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan next year and businesses creating more than six million new jobs, the Florida Senator’s momentary pause was an absolute distraction.
Tweets are currently appearing within mere seconds of each other and one Twitter member pointed out that an animated gif of Sen. Rubio’s water sipping has already been created and is certain to gather steam over the internet waves. There is no indication this latest trending story will be going away anytime soon.
Still, all the social media hoopla on a mere sip of water takes away from far more important aspects of tonight’s State of the Union address. The country is still at war in Afghanistan and more American soldiers will die before the complete withdrawal at the end of 2014. Other Americans continue to live below poverty levels despite working 40 hours a week and the scourge of maintaining health care is far from over. The President also implored Congress to begin discussion on gun control, citing those who have been killed in gun violence and their surviving families by saying "they deserve a vote"repeatedly and emotionally.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama cited a stronger, smarter government that creates broad-based growth but in order to allow this to materialize, needs bi-partisan support. That in itself, will be a challenge but something the country desperately needs.