The Washington Post

Marco Rubio and the future of dry mouth in America

No matter what your political leaning, who cannot sympathize with Sen. Marco Rubio and his desperate need to slake his parched throat on Tuesday night? My question here is largely an accusation given the swift, sarcastic remarks that Rubio’s drink of water generated on Twitter, the Don Rickles of social networks. I mean, didn’t anyone notice how professionally and expertly Rubio kept eye contact with the camera as he fumbled for his bottle of Poland Spring?


No, apparently no one did. Twitter memes and GIFs appeared faster than bacteria on raw chicken. USA Today reported that “about 9,200 tweets per minute at about 10:43 p.m. ET, after Rubio’s sip of water. For a short time, #watergate and Poland Spring were trending on the micro-blogging site.”

Rubio wasn’t the only target of Watergate II: Revenge of an Astronomically Bored Populace. Even Poland Spring got criticized: Fast Company magazine felt the bottled water company should have had its own Oreo moment.

By today, of course, Rubio was hitting the morning talk shows to downplay his drinking problem and get back on message. Some commentators were already trying hard to not get splashed by Rubio’s awkward moment.

Perhaps more of us might feel sympathy for Rubio if we paused for a second to consider our truly complicated relationship with water: We can’t live without it, we can’t live with movies about it. With each passing day, we run into ever-escalating troubles with water. One day we all may have a horrific case of dry mouth.

Consider these few examples (and perhaps suggest more of your own):

* Our rivers are unfit for swimming, if not marine life.

* Our drinking water once tasted like a lead pencil.

* Our drinking water is/was/continues to be so bad that one chef decided to charge extra for the filtered kind.

* The U.S. water supply is shrinking faster than Rubio’s presidential hopes.

These are real water problems. A nervous Marco Rubio just couldn’t quench his thirst with the composed, self-possessed manner we expect of all politicians.

Tim Carman serves as the full-time writer for the Post's Food section and as the $20 Diner for the Weekend section, a double duty that requires he ingest more calories than a draft horse.



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Jessica Goldstein · February 12, 2013