Taking a drink was the one moment of humanity in Rubio’s over-prepared speech, and he fluffed it.
Pundits poke fun at Marco Rubio’s determined gulp of water In his unofficial Republican leadership reply to Obama’s State of the Union address, but the incident washes over most people.
Rubio had worked himself up for a passionate delivery of a standard set of conservative principles. In mid-flight, in-studio, to-camera, he needed water. It stood on a occasional table just out of camera. He speed-sidled over to it, took an audible gulp, and carried on in wound up fashion.
In the over-designed world of US political performance, the gulp stood out as a very human ‘glitch’. Especially when contrasted with Obama’s slick and well practiced SOTU delivery.
Rubio’s own team, alert to the distracting role of such minor blemishes, ironically tweeted a pic of the water bottle immediately after the speech.
But there was really nothing in the gulp. It was a guy delivering a speech where a moment’s distraction emphasised an over strong delivery. For most non-political class watchers it was unimportant.
There’s a lesson for politicians in the incident though;
Control means having the confidence to stop and CALMLY do what you need to do – cough, remember lines, scratch, or drink. Just wind down the sentence, pause, and do it. Then wind up into the next line.
The moment also provides a deeper insight to the psychology of many politicians and their minders. They think the public expect and want some sort of super-human perfection. They don’t – they want politicans who are human. Not so human that they’re embarrassing, but human enough to understand our lives. Taking a drink was the one moment of humanity in Rubio’s over-prepared speech, and he fluffed it.