Wednesday, August 1, 2018

everything has a reason: Marco Rubio reaches for water, 2013

This post develops an observation so obvious, it took five years to notice.
Time, February 18, 2013

As reported by Politico, Senator Marco Rubio (R, Florida) had a "water thing" before 2013 (despite his attempts to laugh it away):

Like Richard Nixon’s perspiring or John Boehner’s crying, Rubio’s need for constant hydration is a bodily quirk that impinges on his political life.
Contextualizing Rubio's post-State of the Union flub, writer Ben Schreckinger includes grousing from "a longtime Rubio associate":
(Rubio) says he just gets thirsty, but it’s clear it’s just a nervous tic. (Water is) something he just has to have around, like a security blanket or something.  
On sweating: 
I don’t think Marco sweats that much more. But Marco thinks he does. He’s always wiping, wiping, wiping sweat — even if he’s not sweating. It can drive you crazy if you’re watching him closely.
Analysis of the water-bottle moment overlooks a possible accelerant.  In The Atlantic (Feb. 12, 2013), Elspeth Reeve is merely droll:
As he sips, he seems to think he's doing something wrong, but he can't stop.
 Getting closer is Ian Crouch in The New Yorker (Feb. 13): 
he made a gamble and reached for a water bottle offscreen: he lurched down to his left and fumbled a bit, making a terrifyingly intimate moment of eye contact with the audience before taking a quick sip from an unfortunately tiny bottle ... 
There it is, what-could-be-worse for a conservative candidate: down to his left.  If only the bottle were to his right.  As it happened -- consciously or not --  the ingenuous senator seems torn by dread/desire of the sinister revelation (he's wearing a blue tie).  Could it be American polarization, then, to render water-break operatic betrayal, with guilty delays and fidgets and desperate gaze.  Perhaps the misplaced bottle caused the dry-mouth, during a short, 14-minute speech.  

Ultimately, Senator Rubio's exit-stage-left is like many of the (creative) gaffes by presidential aspirants: reason to wonder if he wanted the top job.  The presidency goes to the candidate with the least effective self-sabotage.