President Obama Wins on Gun Control and Rubio is One Thirsty Dude

This week, on Tuesday, President Obama gave his first State of the Union Address of his second term. In the speech, the President offered some pretty lofty objectives for his last four years. They included universal preschool, immigration reform, and gun control legislation. And, though it was an epic piece of oratory, one of the most memorable points of the night came, not from the President, but from Marco Rubio who gave the official Republican response to the SOTUA. Why was it so memorable? Well, because about 11 minutes in, Rubio was so parched that he took a huge gulp of water from a bottle that was like 10 feet off-screen. It was amazing television.



It is no secret that President Obama is a great speaker. He consistently delivers rhetorical brilliance in his eloquence before the American public and Tuesday night was no different. The President covered A LOT of ground in his address. He started by acknowledging the successful transition out of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He discussed the economic accomplishments we have had in increased domestic car production and sales and reduced oil prices. Citing these improvements in the American economy, he proclaimed that “the state of our Union is strong.” But, soon after touting these accomplishments, he started to list the tasks on his agenda for his second term.

Admonishing his peers in Congress, he mentioned that Americans expect their representatives to put the “nation before party.” Garnering standing ovations on both sides of the aisle, President Obama urged his peers to keep the promises they have already made and make efforts to compromise where possible.

One of the most moving moments in the address was when the President again pushed for a vote on gun laws. He highlighted the story of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl shot and killed a few weeks ago in Chicago after performing at his inauguration a few weeks earlier. He seamlessly strung together Hadiya’s story with those of Newtown, Aurora, and Oak Creek. And, he repeated one phrase over and over again: “They deserve a vote.”

With such a well planned speech deliberately written to evoke a sense of community and camaraderie, it was intriguing to see how the opposition would respond. President Obama pretty much took the Capitol to church and delivered a proverbial “sermon on the mount.” So, when Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) showed up to give his two-cents he probably knew he’d come up after a pretty hard act to follow. Well, I am not sure if it was all the lights or the filler talk Rubio was rattling off but he got parched. He got so parched that he literally reached off camera, leaned over, grabbed the world’s littlest bottle of water, gulped it, and put it back. I am not kidding. See for yourself.

Was it terrible? No. But it was definitely the gulp heard ’round the world. Senator Rubio has been doted upon by the Republicans in Congress for a few years now. His story (being the child of Cuban immigrants) has garnered him a great deal of acclaim. And, he is positioned to run for President in 2016. All that said, WTH? I mean, I have actually really enjoyed Rubio’s delivery up to this point. His speech at the RNC last year was just stellar. So, I say, let’s give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I get thirsty too.

Regardless of Rubio’s lackluster performance, President Obama really showed his speaking chops. And, he will likely continue to do so for the next four years.

What do you think? Did President Obama give the speech of his life? Was Marco Rubio’s “gulp” so bad?

See the full address below:

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Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

3 Responses

  1. Jamie says:

    One of the best nights I had on Twitter was shortly after the “gulp faux pas” by Marco Rubio. Within seconds a Marco Rubio water bottle Twitter account was created and I used a ton of comical hashatags in jest to highlight Marco’s awkward moment. It wasn’t bad, it was just a little jarring to watch. I think the moment brought a little levity to the SOTU as well. Leave it to the Reuplicans to always make us laugh. We can’t forget the year Michele Bachmann looked in the wrong camera for over 40 minutes…lol.

  2. Yeah, you know, I almost feel bad for the guy because it was totally uncharacteristic of him. And, in politics, folks latch on to the abnormal and blow it way out of proportion. It will probably pass just as quickly as it emerged but he will definitely be avoiding water bottles near any cameras for the foreseeable future. Thanks for the comments!

  3. Keith Matthews says:

    The GOP’s Three Stooges approach to politics aside, (although it’s pretty dang funny you have to admit), I’m hesitant to allow Rubio’s thirst for credibility get in the way of the much larger and more important issue: BO’s approach to gun control. While we as Black people (the term “African American ignores 50% of my heritage, but that’s a topic of another conversation) are in support of the BO Administration, I believe that our November vote earned us the right to vet the policies that come from the White House, and decide which policies are in our own best interest. We should not employ plantation thinking and blindly swallow (as far as gun control is concerned) proposals that are being considered that affect law-abiding Black citizens, because of the actions of (dare we tell the truth?) mentally ill White people?

    Can we tell the truth about the statistics concerning gun violence, and not blindly swallow the media propaganda machine has conjured up, as far as gun violence is concerned? How that, according to FBI statistics, the common profile of the average mass murderer is a White male, not gang-bangers or Black drug dealers (never mind the statistic that your average drug dealer is NOT Black, but White–another myth we blindly swallow, btw)?

    The voice of law-abiding Black Americans need to be heard concerning our right to bear arms; we shouldn’t let White people speak for us, not only concerning this issue, but other issues that affect us as well. It’s not “Uncle Tom-ism” to speak out on issues that concern us, it’s simple self-defense.

    Hurricane Katrina should have taught us a lesson on the ability to defend ourselves from criminals, of any and every color.

    Thank you!