Marco H20

rubio_h20

I’m a partisan, so I don’t completely trust my initial reactions to political events, but I thought Marco Rubio’s SOTU response was a Jindal-class disaster. It wasn’t just the odd, swooping duck to retrieve the water bottle and panicky-eyed glugging: The content of the speech seemed off.

It was as if Rubio were responding to a SOTU that consisted of a reading of Das Kapital. It was jarring to hear Rubio rebutting points that Obama never made — and in fact explicitly disowned. It probably played well to the GOP base, but for anyone who had just watched the president’s speech without FoxGoggles, I’m thinking it had to sound strangely non-responsive. What’s your take?

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99 replies
  1. 1
    Face says:

    One word: EARS. Giant fucking ears. And standing like lamp post with arms/hands jutting out at random times. Just seemed nervous and unpolished.

  2. 2
    Lead pipe says:

    Your observations were mine exactly. I did not hear the same president he did. When are the republicans going to quit building straw men?

  3. 3
    Shrillhouse says:

    “FoxGoggles”?

    That’s gold, baby. Pure gold.

  4. 4
    Comrade Jake says:

    The speech was full of cognitive dissonance. He talked about how awful more government is in one part, while praising his student loans and his father’s Medicare in another. He went on and on about how mean Obama is, then concluded by asking why we all can’t get along.

    Just bizarre stuff. Even more awkward than his water grab, in my view, were his ninja-like moves to wipe the beads of sweat running down the side of his face. If I was one of these guys I’d make sure the room was freezing cold before giving the speech.

  5. 5
    Cassidy says:

    And it was a speech from 2008. He was making a speech against the fictional Obama of two elections ago. He didn’t even try to stay remotely on the same page or time period. It was silly.

    I’m not even going to read Paul’s sludge.

  6. 6

    Yeah, I agree. Even before the water-duck flub (Mr. Beale pointed out that what was weird about that was the fact that he kept his eyes on the camera, instead of just turning his head. It looked very amateur), I thought Rubio was twitchy, itchy, and scratchy. He was wiping sweat from his brow. It was really strange.

    And the content of the speech was whiny. It was, “Obama and the Dems are SO MEAN they keep saying mean stuff about us! We don’t hate Medicare, my Dad depended on it! And no one getting Medicare NOW needs to worry!” Oh. So it’s just people like ME, people who are age 50, who are gonna get screwed! Thanks. Where have we heard this before?

    It was way, way off.

    Didn’t hear anything about Rand Paul’s speech, no one is talking about it. Did anyone carry it?

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    Stay thirsty, my friends.

  8. 8
    danielx says:

    I thought he was better than Jindal, but that doesn’t set a very high bar. Ronald Reagan could have given a better speech than Jindal, and he’s dead.

    Also, too – this business of Republicans whining about President Obama being mean, rude and confrontational is getting tiresome. When did their skins become so gossamer in nature? It’s called politics, you fucking wimps. He was just re-elected. Get over it.

  9. 9
    Cassidy says:

    @Comrade Jake: Or don’t stand so damn close to the lights.

  10. 10

    Michael Tomasky’s take is spot on. And this:

    At point Ramesh Ponnuru tweeted: “Rubio is doing well I think but why does he keep touching his face?”

    That was before the water thing. I kept saying the same thing at home. What’s wrong with him? His hair shirt too tight?

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    I just watched it, and it was “offal.”

    And that was some “glug!”

    What is it about Conservatives and their constant need for hydration?

    President Obama and Joe Biden can give long speeches, even debate, and not reach for H2O.

    Is it the lying, the stupidity, or the ignorance, that makes Republicans like Ryan and Rubio constantly need to drink water (if that was water, and not some vodka from the Speakers flask – or, more likely – some white lightnin’!)?

    Or, is it to wash back the bile that’s inside them, just waiting to burst out, like that creature in “Alien?”

  12. 12

    @Comrade Jake:

    The speech was full of cognitive dissonance. He talked about how awful more government is in one part, while praising his student loans and his father’s Medicare in another. He went on and on about how mean Obama is, then concluded by asking why we all can’t get along.

    This.

  13. 13
    cmorenc says:

    My reaction? Isn’t a standard part of an act like this to show the dummy continuing to talk *while* the ventriloquist takes a sip of water? Rubio had to stop talking to take his drink; this act’s not ready for prime time.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Comrade Jake: Yeah, he had a positively Nixonian Sweat Event.

    @Cassidy: I spared myself the Paul rebuttal too. I cannot abide that prissy Randroid prick. His father is nuttier than a squirrel turd, but he doesn’t exude a fraction of Baby Doc’s arrogance.

  15. 15
    Robin G. says:

    The lighting was terrible. It looked like he was filming an infomercial. And someone has to teach him to economize on the hand gestures.

    On substance, it was like listening to a Romney stump speech. Really drove home the fact that the GOP doesn’t think there’s a damn thing wrong with their message, just the face of the man delivering it. David Brooks was rocking back and forth like a trauma victim and looked like he was wondering where he’d left the cyanide.

    On the water thing, WHY in God’s name did he keep staring at the camera as he drank? THAT was what made it laughable. Just such a bad moment. But the delivery was already going south by then, I though. Dude was getting nervous.

    @Face: My husband pointed out the ears too, and once seen, they cannot be unseen.

  16. 16
    MomSense says:

    Well it was the classic Republican experience. They have spent all these years creating a fictional Obama with a fictional agenda and then rejecting said fictional agenda with inconsistent, hypocritical anti-logic.

    Oh and I also love the way they underestimate the President. Yes, he uses a teleprompter when he delivers a speech as they all do in the tv age but he makes it look A LOT easier than it really is.

    Poor Rubio and Jindal have learned this the hard way.

  17. 17
    Emma says:

    I expected the bad speech; I didn’t expect how badly it was managed. This guy went through law school, and presumably moot court; was in politics in Florida for a while before packing his bags for DC, and presumably made lots of speeches, both stump and official; and he doesn’t know that he sweats under the lights, and that it can lead to dehydration, and therefore he should have water CLOSE BY and to SIP, not gulp because he’s wearing a damn mike and everything will be picked up?

    Pfft. Amateur.

  18. 18
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    The SOTU “response” is a boatload of fail. I don’t know why anyone would do it, other than someone has to, I guess.

  19. 19
    MomSense says:

    @WereBear:

    Only works if you truly are the most interesting man in the world.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    I have the same impression as everyone else here. I also thought the speech seemed quite long for a rebuttal speech.

  21. 21
    amk says:

    He reminded me of that half-wit redneck brother of my name is earl.

    Yet another rethug fuck-up in a supposedly major moment (per fawning idiot msm) for them in unveiling their 2016 face. wtf prevented them placing just a glass of water on/under the podium ?

    And yet ‘murka votes these #Fail imbeciles into office without fail.

  22. 22
    MomSense says:

    @Southern Beale:

    “We don’t hate Medicare, my Dad depended on it! And no one getting Medicare NOW needs to worry!”

    If the big, big plans for Medicare are so great why wait?! I don’t know why anyone would fall for this BS.

  23. 23
    MikeJ says:

    @Southern Beale: (quoting someone else)

    “Rubio is doing well I think but why does he keep touching his face?”

    http://www.marcandangel.com/20.....-to-avoid/

    Touching Your Face During a Conversation – Face touching, especially on the nose, is commonly interpreted as an indication of deception. Also, covering up the mouth is a common gesture people make when they’re lying. Always keep your hands away from your face when you’re speaking.

  24. 24
    kay says:

    The content of the speech seemed off.

    I thought it was really bad. If he’s going to be the national star, he is going to have to introduce and then define himself apart from Obama.

    I understand that it is a “response”, but they can’t continue to spend all their time telling us who Obama is. Five years of them telling us who Obama is, over and over and over. Who are they?

  25. 25
    vor says:

    Agree with the points above. Regarding the optics, the lighting was poor and background uninspired. Why wasn’t there someone right off camera to hand him water so he didn’t have to awkwardly bend down to get it? Clearly they had water handy, but why not be prepared? Regarding the substance of the speech, it was all attacks on classic strawmen. It was like watching Clint Eastwood talk to the empty chair rather than address the real Obama.

  26. 26
    WereBear says:

    @MomSense: I was thinking of the similar water incident during the Veep debate; Paul Ryan was reaching for the water glass every minute towards the end.

    Love that President Obama makes them so nervous.

  27. 27
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Wow – I had most of the same thoughts watching Rubio yesterday. His hand touched his face at least 3 times, once on either side along his sideburns and once to his mouth; the noticeable cottonmouth that resulted in him reaching for the water; the huge freaking ears; and the mega-combover.

    And the content of his response was typical anti-Obama boilerplate – from 4 years ago.

    Marco Rubio inspires no one. His turn yesterday was Jindalesque.

  28. 28
    kay says:

    “But he’s taking to the road for the next few days in basically what I would call ‘campaign mode.’ He seems to always stay in a campaign mode,…

    Paul Ryan whining. Why won’t Obama conduct a private roundtable with Paul Ryan?

    I think we should take this complaint as a good thing. It’s what politicians say when they’re losing an argument. “Stop with all this….TALKING TO PEOPLE” :)

  29. 29
    MomSense says:

    I forgot about the Ryan episode!!

    Pro tip: Hydrate BEFORE you address the nation!

    I wonder if there is some psychological aspect to this whole flop thirst business.

    Most of the time they speak with villagers who give them constant adulation and make them feel important even, no especially when spewing nonsense. All of a sudden they find themselves in front of a camera and have to talk directly to people and they know deep down that they have nothing to offer but their own wits and shitty policies that will be painful to the majority of their audience. And apparently it makes them very, very thirsty.

  30. 30
    Comrade Mary says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    President Obama and Joe Biden can give long speeches, even debate, and not reach for H2O.

    Apart from all the other causes, such as the stress of lying (although you think he’d be used to it by now), maybe it’s a generational thing. Narcissistic gym rats like Rubio and Ryan need to have their binkie bottle of water near them AT ALL TIMES because they will wither up and die without draining a gallon every day.

  31. 31
    Older_Wiser says:

    Rubio is known as “Pingita” around the Cuban-American community.

  32. 32
    handsmile says:

    Chris Christie must be one of the happiest men in America today. The latest challenger to his claim of being the one and true “GOP Savior” has just melted down into a puddle of Big Ears and flop sweat, and not all the bottled water in all the green rooms of Village media television will be able to re-hydrate Rubio’s reputation.

    And let’s not forgot: earlier in the day, this ink-wet poster boy of the “New and Improved GOP” voted against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. How’s that for outreach to a key demographic!

    No mas, Marco, no mas!

  33. 33
    Feudalism Now! says:

    Agua Rubio had a Botox injection right before his speech or he kept touching his face to make sure his mask hadn’t slipped. The speech was forgettable other than I hate big government for other people, it’s just ducky if it helps me. The water chug was just bizarre. I was expecting a WWE moment where he slammed the water bottle and crushed it in his hand while pointing at the camera and screaming, “I am the Macho Man Marco Rubio and I am going to snap into any of these pencil necked soshulist hippies during Election-mania 2016! You hear me Hell-ary Clinton? The President of the World belt will be mine!” instead he looked like he panicked, thought, “omg omg I’m blowing it!” and glut glut glut.

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    It was as if Rubio were responding to a SOTU that consisted of a reading of Das Kapital. It was jarring to hear Rubio rebutting points that Obama never made — and in fact explicitly disowned. It probably played well to the GOP base, but for anyone who had just watched the president’s speech without FoxGoggles, I’m thinking it had to sound strangely non-responsive.

    Pretty much my experience when arguing with conservatives, the few that I still bother to talk to. You’re talking about whatever topic’s in the news these days and they’ll just go off into a rambling tangent against things you never said. It’s pretty clearly something that’s been rattling around in their head all day and that they’re just waiting for the first opportunity to unload.

  35. 35
    Obliterati says:

    The water lurch and the sweat-twitching were the killer, not the content of the speech.

    Anybody remember what Jindal actually said a few years ago when he bombed? Of course not, we just remember that he acted like a doofus.

    The speech itself is irrelevant…conservatives will like it, liberals will dislike it, the low-info middle wouldn’t watch any of it if their lives depended on it. But what will last and be remembered is that when the lights came on Rubio drowned in his own flop sweat.

    Laughter is kryptonite to a politician. Jindal went from A-list to negative ten million F-list in a moment. I suspect Rubio will too.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @danielx:

    Also, too – this business of Republicans whining about President Obama being mean, rude and confrontational is getting tiresome. When did their skins become so gossamer in nature? It’s called politics, you fucking wimps. He was just re-elected. Get over it.

    I love the idea that people who reach for the fainting couches when you call them names would totally be manly and rugged enough to put a bullet through a home invader’s head, rather than shitting their pants on the spot, also too.

  37. 37
    kay says:

    @handsmile:

    voted against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

    I feel as if there’s something grifter/corruption-related behind the conservative opposition to jurisdiction on Indian-owned lands. The whole Abramoff scandal swirled around money-laundering and corruption and gaming.

    I require more details on why this is such and important point to them. What they’re saying doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why are they so terrified of jurisdictional reach inside?

  38. 38
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Comrade Mary:
    Yeah, how true!

    How did we old-timers ever survive in the 60’s and 70’s when water was something you drank from a tap, a fountain, or a garden hose, and not some brand you identified with, and carried around with you like it was the Nike swoosh?

    “Oh, you drink THAT!
    Tsk, tsk…
    We people in the know, drink Evian, not POLAND Spring.
    Cretin!”

  39. 39
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Older_Wiser: What does it mean?

  40. 40
    atlliberal says:

    @Lead pipe: Never

  41. 41
    Jay C says:

    @cmorenc:

    Isn’t a standard part of an act like this to show the dummy continuing to talk *while* the ventriloquist takes a sip of water?

    Usually, but in this case the ventriloquist stayed home, and let the dummy go onstage by himself….

    @Obliterati:

    Jindal went from A-list to negative ten million F-list in a moment. I suspect Rubio will too.

    Not sure how far down that list ol’ Piyush has really fallen: he still gets trotted out by the MSM as a Republican spokesclone (or -clown) on a regular basis; for whatever reason – probably sheer lack of non-batshit-insane alternatives….

  42. 42

    […] Sen. Rubio’s rebuttal to the SOTU last night, but evidently he offered a self-contradicting, straw-man heavy series of talking points. Also, in a moment that will be a little hard to live down, he awkwardly […]

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:

    Didn’t watch Rubio or mega moron Rand Paul, but just ran the clip with the glass of water. Man, was that cringeworthy,. He looked like a kid reaching into moms cake batter for a finger swipe and gawking around guiltily for any possible witnesses. I hope the republicans are thinking rebuilding period, cause they suck mightily in the here and now.

  44. 44
    magurakurin says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Narcissistic gym rats like Rubio and Ryan need to have their binkie bottle of water near them AT ALL TIMES because they will wither up and die without draining a gallon every day.

    You might be on to something here. The massive amount of people carrying water bottles is one of those eye-popping changes that I have noticed in my yearly trips to the States. Certain things seem to stand out when you don’t see a place for 50 weeks of the year. I’m only a two-week a year citizen now, but the water bottles is frickin weird. It’s like the whole country is going hiking in the desert all the time.

    That and the lying. I think the lying has a lot to do with it. Too bad Dennis Hopper isn’t around anymore, he could have done his character from True Romance for the rebuttal instead. “You, you’re part eggplant.”

  45. 45
    Culture of Truth says:

    What a disaster. I kept hearing a scratching sound and I was like, what is that, and then I see he keeps touching his face!

    Also he was whiny and lying and blamed Obama for the recession again.

  46. 46
    quannlace says:

    It was as if Rubio were responding to a SOTU that consisted of a reading of Das Kapital.

    Don’t they get a copy of the Prez’s SOTU beforehand. Otherwise, how can they whip up a rebuttal in a few minutes?
    **********

    What was so weird about the water-lunge was that he had the bottle almost six feet away from where he was standing. And that ill-fitting suit did him no favors. And for all the GOP’ers whinging about people laughing at appearances; this from a party who swooms over flight suits and guys in pick=up trucks.

  47. 47
    dan says:

    That was some dusted off tea party bs from 2009.

  48. 48
    flukebucket says:

    Anybody following Barack Obama is going to look like a peckerwood. There is just no avoiding it. He is professional. They are amateur. I am enjoying this while it lasts. Once Obama is out of the picture in 2016 we will have to go back to the half assed representation we had gotten used to.

    There will not be another Obama in my lifetime.

  49. 49
    quannlace says:

    Anybody remember what Jindal actually said a few years ago when he bombed? Of course not, we just remember that he acted like a doofus.

    I remember his mocking several government programs, most notably ‘volcano monitoring.’ Cause it was only a few weeks later when there was a near eruption in Alaska.

  50. 50
    Citizen_X says:

    @Obliterati:

    Anybody remember what Jindal actually said a few years ago when he bombed? Of course not

    Are you kidding? I’m going to remember “something called volcano monitoring” till the day I die.

  51. 51

    @Older_Wiser:

    Rubio is known as “Pingita” around the Cuban-American community.

    What does that mean?

  52. 52
    dan says:

    @dan: And the dust must’ve made him thirsty.

  53. 53
    Applejinx says:

    Who gives a fuck about his ears? Who gives a fuck about liking water bottles? I’ve got one a foot away from me. Beats soda pop and if Americans are all about the water bottles, good, about time.

    What jumped out for me was how scared he looked. That’s fatal.

    I CACKLED at the picture atop this thread. Damn! That’s just cold :)

  54. 54
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The real joke is that the GOP sees the Hispanic community as monolithic so any Hispanic face will do.

    “Pingita.” Ah, the rich variety of insults provided by the Spanish language is unmatched.

  55. 55
    RaflW says:

    Clearly the GOP has decided that the 2012 election was all Romney’s fault and 0% related to the ancient, hoary, useless and ass-backwards policy positions of Republicanism.

    So I thought the speech was great. Because if this is their A-game, we may have a shot at putting Nancy Pelosi back in charge in ’14. Not a fantastic chance, but if last night’s warmed over shit is what the R’s have got, their structural advantage in the House may not help very much.

  56. 56
    General Stuck says:

    @flukebucket:

    It always takes a while for new presidents to get their sea legs and really realize, that they are the president. Some never do, and others squander any chances by over reach. ie republicans in general. The great thing about the speech to me, was its believability that government can do good works in ordinary peoples lives. And makes it very hard to be countered or attacked with the usual republican mantra of boogyman government. It was brilliant in its delivery that way. With a sense of pent up enthusiasm and genuine belief delivered by this president. Of common sense policy

  57. 57
    RaflW says:

    @Citizen_X:

    I gotta say, the notion that addressing climate change means asking the government to control the weather was vile and stupid, and of a piece with the volcano monitoring.

    A reworked version is probably a standard GOP cocktail-weenie joke, but as a matter of public policy, they may as well say “yeah, we’d re-do that Sandy vote…and try and screw the Northeast ever harder next time!”

    GOP pols just do not live in the real world. I read an article about a month ago about high plains folks from eastern Colorado and western Kansas who are selling up all their cattle and having to radically change their lives.

    These are not lilly-livered liberals, these are bedrock Americans, per the GOP narrative. And their lives are being forever altered because asshats like Rubio would rather crack wise about non-existant weather control than actually stand up to the coal and oil barrons.

  58. 58
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I believe “pingita” means “little dick”.

  59. 59
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Obliterati:

    Anybody remember what Jindal actually said a few years ago when he bombed? Of course not, we just remember that he acted like a doofus.

    Well, I do remember Jindal mocking “sawmthun’ cawled vawl-cay-nuh mahnituhrin'” a few weeks before the Iceland volcano erupted and shut down air traffic between Europe and North America.

  60. 60
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    Rubio was an incoherent mess. Are the warmed over talking points from the last election really going to persuade anybody in 2014 or 2016?

  61. 61
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    If I remember my Miami Cubano vernacular, “Pingita” probably means “little prick” (or “little dick”), and it is not a compliment.

    Dang! Shackleford beat me to it

  62. 62
    Steeplejack says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I will defer to the native speakers, but I believe pinguita is a kind of chile pepper and is also Cuban slang for penis, with the overtones of a little boy’s wee-wee.

  63. 63
    Rafer Janders says:

    @flukebucket:

    There will not be another Obama in my lifetime.

    Eh, who knows? We hadn’t really heard of Obama before 2004, and yet by 2008 he was elected President. It’s as fast an ascent as I’ve ever seen. There may be other Obamas waiting in the wings.

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @magurakurin: Some sort of social norm has shifted, or is shifting, around it, definitely. I have given a fair amount of academic talks, and I wholeheartedly believe that The Only Way to take a drink while speaking professionally is to take a sip from a discreet glass. _Maybe_ a plastic cup, if that’s all you have. But so many people these days will, mid-talk, pull out some mini crinkly water bottle, unscrew the top, take a swig… it’s quite a display, and it just looks juvenile. Like sucking your thumb or picking your nose.

  65. 65
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    fear makes the mouth run dry. He was terrified.

    Of what?

  66. 66
    tom says:

    @Older_Wiser:

    What does Pingita mean?

  67. 67
    MomSense says:

    @Citizen_X:

    And then the effing Icelandic Volcano Too Many Consonants happened and people were stranded and my son couldn’t go on his senior class field trip!

  68. 68
    geg6 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Even before the water-duck flub (Mr. Beale pointed out that what was weird about that was the fact that he kept his eyes on the camera, instead of just turning his head. It looked very amateur), I thought Rubio was twitchy, itchy, and scratchy. He was wiping sweat from his brow. It was really strange.

    I had to laugh when I read that. On the morning radio show on the local rock station, the morning crew (none of them are wingnuts and none are Obots, they stay pretty neutral politically) were saying, based on those exact descriptions of your husband, that he seemed to be on speed because that’s how speed freaks act. Fucking hilarious.

  69. 69
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    There will not be another Obama in my lifetime.

    @flukebucket: Au contraire. We’ve had three great presidential orators in my lifetime and I’m well under fifty:

    Reagan
    Clinton
    Obama

    I’d argue that Clinton is by far the best of them all.

    Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter could dish out a speech that was acceptable. Not “riot in the aisles” great like the first three I listed, but acceptable.

    In fact, the two bad – really, really awful bad – presidential speakers in my lifetime have both come from the same family. Father and son Bush could mangle words like few I’ve heard.

    Rubio fell far underneath the standard set by Bush Junior last night. Both Nixonian in the “flop sweat” content and Bushian in its total incoherency.

  70. 70
    Ben Cisco says:

    There’s this guy that’s on Fox’s mind
    All the time, Ru-Ru-Rubio oh oh
    Now he don’t even know the game
    But I think they want him just the same
    Ru-Ru-Rubio oh no

    Now they should know that he’s just too dumb
    His fail has just begun
    Ru-Ru-Ru Rubio oh no

    Ah, he’s got to have it, have the spotlight
    But he can’t handle it, gives him stage fright
    It makes him nervous and he just can’t think
    But he’ll feel OK if he just has a drink
    Ru-Ru-Rubio just say the word
    Ru-Ru-Ru Rubio oh no

  71. 71
    geg6 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    He was touching his face to wipe off all the flop sweat. Dude was sweating like he was in a sauna.

  72. 72
    Chris says:

    @RaflW:

    I read an article about a month ago about high plains folks from eastern Colorado and western Kansas who are selling up all their cattle and having to radically change their lives.

    These are not lilly-livered liberals, these are bedrock Americans, per the GOP narrative. And their lives are being forever altered because asshats like Rubio would rather crack wise about non-existant weather control than actually stand up to the coal and oil barrons.

    ‘sokay, I’m sure it’s all Obama’s fault.

  73. 73
    maurinsky says:

    The Only Way to take a drink while speaking professionally is to take a sip from a discreet glass.

    Many years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a reading that various writers were putting on to raise funds to pay the hospital bills for the wonderful short story writer Andre Dubus, and I saw Stephen King and John Irving. When King got to the podium, one of the people working the event brought him a glass of water, and he waved her away, saying he was all set. And then he opened his sports jacket, pulled a bottle of beer out of one of the pockets, and cracked it open. That was the best drink I’ve ever seen taken while someone was speaking in a professional capacity.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    “Pingita.” Ah, the rich variety of insults provided by the Spanish language is unmatched.

    I dunno, I think Yiddish gives them a run for their money. But Spanish insults sound best when you spit them out in anger, while Yiddish insults sneak in and stick in the shiv.

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think a lot of people rely on a bottle because they’re afraid of tipping a cup over. We do video tapings of interviews and we always give people a bottle because we’ve had a couple of problems with the (often elderly) interview subjects accidentally knocking the cup over when they gesture.

  75. 75
    MomSense says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    These things are subjective.

    Never cared for Reagan–at all. I always felt he looked half smug, half phony folksy.

    I often liked the content of Clinton’s speeches–but they were always way too long. He had distracting mannerisms and I always had the feeling I was being played.

  76. 76
    Salacious Crumb says:

    Up next, Mnemosyne, ABL and eemom will counter Rubio by saying the President will change water into wine live on TV!! take that GOP!!

  77. 77
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @WereBear: Hahahaha!

    It’s good to laugh every so often.

    That photo is hilarious, by the way. Rubio as hamster.

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I dunno, I think Yiddish gives them a run for their money. But Spanish insults sound best when you spit them out in anger, while Yiddish insults sneak in and stick in the shiv.

    I’ve always been partial to German; the guttural sound goes very well with cursing. Russian’s another good one; I don’t know much of it myself but had a friend who used to love swearing in it and it sounded really good.

  79. 79
    Chris says:

    @MomSense:

    Like you said, subjective. But I think being a politics junkie colors your judgment because it’s impossible not to react to the content of what they’re saying. What sounds smug and phony to us looks to someone else like righteously putting people back in their proper place.

    Everything Sarah Palin said oozed laziness, contempt for her audience and deep, abiding, proud stupidity, but judging from the way she really fired up her base, some people find it authentic and relatable.

  80. 80
    MCA1 says:

    @kay: I remember asking a wingnut relative of mine that same question re: McCain way back in ’08. He couldn’t articulate a single reason to vote for McCain. All he had were false descriptions of Obama, his statements or policy proposals. It’s just catnip for them – they’ve created a punching bag they can hit and make themselves feel good. And then there’s the real Obama, who keeps beating them in elections and making them run for the catnip.

    A part of me thinks that at soon as Obama leaves the stage, the Republicans may find themselves again, and start defining a message that isn’t just anti-Dem. Unless the Democrats run Hilary, in which case we’ll get 8 more years of the same, and by 2024 no one under 50 will have any idea what American conservatives are supposed to stand for, because they’ll have spent a quarter century doing nothing but standing in opposition to individual Democrats and coalescing in a cult-like manner around GWB. Which is a pretty good reason to push Clinton to run, I guess – the longer Democrats troll the Republicans like this, the better for Democrats. And by 2020 or 2024, someone like Castro will be ready to go.

  81. 81
    James Hulsey says:

    @WereBear: @WereBear:

    Stay thirsty, my friends.

    FTW

  82. 82
    MomSense says:

    @Chris:

    Yeah my smug is probably Peggy Noonan’s jaunty.

  83. 83
    patrick II says:

    @MomSense:

    Clinton and Obama are both exceptional public speakers, but I am old enough to remember John Kennedy, and his abilities were on another plane altogether.

  84. 84
    kay says:

    @MCA1:

    Well, it was the complaint from media about Democrats in 2006, except it wasn’t really true. Media said Democrats were just “anti-Bush”, but that wasn’t what they ran on in districts and states. They ran on things like student loans and children’s health insurance. They actually had a fairly specific legislative agenda.

    What I’m talking about with Rubio is giving us a sense of himself. When Obama went out for his big intro speech in 2004 he didn’t talk exclusively about Bush. He had a personal and political narrative all his own. He was establishing himself as an independent entity, apart from “Democrats” or “liberalism”. To me, Romney’s biggest failure was that he’s risk-averse. He was afraid to tell us who he is. I honestly think that “who he is” has to include “Mormon” as absolutely central, so that’s what he was afraid of, but that’s just my sense of why he didn’t feel comfortable revealing anything about himself. Rubio is trying the same thing. I don’t think it works.

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kay: Apparently Rubio’s one trick used to be to talk about his Cuban background. But that was also roughed up by, you know, facts.

  86. 86
    MomSense says:

    @patrick II:

    I’m just too young for JFK but I think that he was in his time what Obama is in ours. I appreciate his speeches but they don’t resonate with me in the same way.

  87. 87
    JustRuss says:

    @kay: I’m not so sure. He trotted out the “parents immigrated for a better life”, “$100,000 in student loans”, “I still live in my old neighborhood”, etc. And he had a boy scout vibe going that my 80 year old mother found sort of appealing, although I found it a bit creepy. he wasn’t great, but neither was Romney and he got a hell of a lot more votes than he should have in a sane country.

  88. 88
    kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Right, and that’s such an unimpeachable personal narrative in this country, “my parents were striving immigrants”. No one attacks that. I don’t know how you screw that one up, but Rubio managed to.
    Obama’s was riskier, “community organizer, I love red states AND blue states, equally“, you just knew they were going to jeer at that, and, predictably, he took tons of shit for it.

  89. 89
    kay says:

    @JustRuss:

    On a purely political level, for 2016, I haven’t seen anyone on that side who can beat Hillary Clinton. I don’t even know who’s running on the Democratic side but that aside no GOP’er I have seen so far could beat Clinton. That’s my honest opinion.

  90. 90
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What gets me is that Rubio has completely revamped his narrative about his Cuban background, and the media let him get away with it. He used to draw a wide distinction between himself as the “son of exiles” vs. a “son of immigrants,” until it was revealed that his parents left before Castro took over, presumably because they were tired of carrying out slop jars at the Copa rather than staunch anti-Commies.

    Nothing wrong with that, of course — good for them! But Rubio used to make such a big, fat, hairy deal of the exile status, as if his parents (fictional, as it turns out) Castro-fleeing made him BETTER than a garden variety immigrant. I suppose if he ever makes a serious run at the presidency, Rubio’s fake background story will get more ink, as will his credit card fraud while he was in the FL legislature, etc., but it still sticks in my craw that it not only passes without comment now, but he is put up as some sort of GOP immigrant champion. It’s bullshit.

  91. 91
    brantl says:

    This just makes me wonder, to they get to see the speach before hand? The only excuse for their stupidity would be if they didn’t.

  92. 92
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kay: Mine too. I kind of wonder Rubio wants to try (assuming the CW is right and he does). The politics-as-theatre side of me is really wondering if, given the Freudian delusions of Jebbie, if he doesn’t see this as the Last Battle between Kennebunkport and Hope

    @Betty Cracker: Paul Ryan had that same self-mythologizing quality, but he was a little more subtle about it, letting half truths and assumptions stand until he started to believe them (I think). It would be interesting (maybe) to see how we got from the two pretty much unrelated truths of “his dad died when he was sixteen” and “he worked in a restaurant after school and on weekends” to “he had to get a job to help support his widowed mother”. I wonder if he didn’t get a little help creating or pushing that from some Wisconsin version of Limbaugh or Doocey.

  93. 93
    kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The politics-as-theatre side of me is really wondering if, given the Freudian delusions of Jebbie, if he doesn’t see this as the Last Battle between Kennebunkport and Hope

    I agree there, too. I was most afraid of Jeb in 2012. I think no one admits the huge advantage the Bush Boys have, which is like 50 years of being national Republicans. Imagine Jeb Bush’s “list”. Good God. It still pisses me off that no one would admit George W’s HUGE advantage, going in.

    On Clinton, we just have this intensely loyal core group of Hillary supporters here, and my sense is that may be a very large group of people nationally. It’s just this huge built-in advantage. I know people said she had that in 2008, but I don’t think she did. She absolutely had Ohio Democratic Party support, so all the institutional Party backing, but I didn’t feel she had an identified group of rabid supporters. She does now! She built it over the course of the 2008 primary and I think it’s still there.

    They were teasing me immediately after the election, that I had “promised” to back her after Obama’s two terms, which I probably actually did say to them, so therefore I have to do that :)

  94. 94
    LAC says:

    @Betty Cracker: Amen to that. As funny as his water chug was, his message was teabag bullshit wrapped in phony immigrant posturing. Manuel from “Fawlty Towers” would have been more effective.

    If that is the future of the GOP, it are taking in more water than the Titanic, literally.

  95. 95
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    I’m surprised anyone takes Rubio seriously. He looks like the Tom Hanks character in Big after he turned back into a boy: wading the sidewalk in a man’s suit that was much too big for him. Rubio looks like a 7th grade boy attending his first adult function.

  96. 96
    Djur says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Richard Nixon did deliver the most successful speech in post-war American history, but it wasn’t really oratory, either. (This one.)

  97. 97
    redactor says:

    @MikeJ: This. I’ll bet Rubio loses at poker a lot.

  98. 98
    W says:

    The more I think about, the more I think believe this is a tempest in a teapot (or tiny water bottle). I can’t imagine we’ll remember this silly moment the way we still remember Bobby Jindall’s dreadful performance (Kenneth the intern) when he was in the spotlight. I suspect that there is a concerted effort to begin to undermine Rubio as a credible candidate in 2016, and that’s fine, but this H2O thing strikes me as a bit silly. It’s not as bad as writing on your hand (Palin) or talking to a chair.

  99. 99
    notoriousJRT says:

    @WereBear:
    Too funny.

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