Last Updated:July 30 @ 10:34 am

OMG! Marco Rubio drinks water!

By Chicago Tribune

A parched Marco Rubio's awkward reach for a drink of Poland Spring water during his Republican rebuttal to the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night became an instant online sensation. Predictably, the video clips, jokes and Twitter hashtags that have become so familiar in such situations took the social Internet by storm.

But what might it all mean for the up-and-coming senator from Florida seen by some as a GOP hopeful for the White House in 2016?

The Internet is now saturated with references to the sip. For instance, a Google search Wednesday morning for "Marco Rubio water" brought back 14.3 million results. Surely not all the hits are about this particular incident, but many are.

Using sentiment analysis, a process by which data experts attempt to mine the Internet to determine how users feel about someone or something, we can infer that the sip is proving to be both a positive and a negative for Rubio -- positive in that far more people are talking about him than were before, negative in that much of that conversation is finding fault.

Lisa Joy Rosner is chief marketing officer at NetBase, a Silicon Valley-based social media analytics software company. She said the sentiment analysis of online conversations about Rubio late Tuesday and Wednesday is quite telling.

"He got more air time because of it. It heightens people's awareness of him and led people to talk about him," Rosner said. "A greater percentage of people were making fun of him, and that caused his sentiment to go down. But, because he can engage in the conversation, here's an opportunity for him to engage in the chatter and change the sentiment.

"To some extent, this is people being petty. They're not saying anything super-insightful about his policies, or his acumen or his intelligence, they're just making fun of something that he did."

For his part, Rubio was a good sport about it all, even posting a picture of the infamous water bottle -- or one much like it -- to Twitter after realizing the sip had taken on meme status.

"I needed water, what am I going to do?" Rubio said this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America." "God has a funny way of reminding us we're human."

Innocent embarrassments on the national political stage are hardly irrecoverable. For instance, Bill Clinton's nomination speech of Michael Dukakis at the 1988 Democratic National Convention was seen by many as too long and even boring. Of course, Clinton survived that and much, much more in the decade after.

"He droned on and on, and droned on," then-NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw later said. "When he finally said 'In conclusion,' people began to cheer."

Clinton quickly went on to appear on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and gave other media interviews about the incident.

"That should have told you something about Bill Clinton at that point," Brokaw said. "He would make the big mistake, but then he would crawl out of it in his own endearing fashion."

As for Rubio, Rosner said, the sip could ultimately end up being a positive.

"This is a guy who was not trending at all very much anywhere, and now he's trending," she said. "What this means is, probably a whole new group of people are aware and engaging with him."

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(c)2013 Chicago Tribune

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66 Comments

  1. Jota_Comment by Jota_
    February 14, 2013 @ 9:27 am

    It was not the drinking water, but lack of continuing to talk, which made it appear as if a rebuttal of Obama required more effort

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    • luvjesusComment by luvjesus
      February 14, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

      I knew it would happen – media makes fun of Rubio drinking water and passes on the most blatant story. Did ANYONE else see Biden’s eyes? spooky

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (49 votes cast)
    • bf39Comment by bf39
      February 14, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

      obama made his speech in front of a room full of people and the cameras scanned the crowd. That gave obama time to take a drink without the cameras on him. Give Sen. Rubio a break, he was in a room with hot lights and camera and the camera never left him. Dont take the value off his message by that drink of water. Remember what he said.
      I want everyone to remember the DEBT obama created, Fast and Furious and the Benghazi affair. The news media will use anything to create a diversion so the American People will not remember or ask about these things.
      Again, I think Sen. Rubio did a great job!

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    • KlausComment by Klaus
      February 14, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

      OMG, what if he had reached for a beer?

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (26 votes cast)
    • JimRedComment by JimRed
      February 14, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

      But, the water was in one of those EEEVIL plastc bottles!

      All the leftist hoo-ha is a desperate attempt to take attention away from his message. He scares them, like Sarah did, and must be marginalized.

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    • lokiswifeComment by lokiswife
      February 14, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

      So taking a sip of water for a dry throat is considered a sin in liberalland, but a stream of lies and BS by Obama was okay? If the sip of water was the worst that the liberals could find in Rubio’s speech, he did great. Rubio had to give them something to whine and twitter about…

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    • mcrankComment by mcrank
      February 14, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

      So, this is what professional journalism is all about?? The mental cases that the gun control advocates are so concerned about—we just found them—working for the Media.

      Stupidity infinitum.

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    • KBBComment by KBB
      February 16, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

      If the Repubs had enough brains to think of this or enough ***** to say it if they thought of it, they could take this opportunity of the Dems making fun of Rubio by saying and writing over and over again everywhere at every chance they have for as long as they can keep it going to put out this message: “See how Democrat liberals and progressives are treating Sen. Rubio? This is what the Dems really think of Hispanics and Latinos. They make fun of them every chance they get. The Democrats’ self-professed compassion and tolerance for Hispanics and Latinos is fake, as evidenced by their ridicule of Sen. Rubio. They have exposed their true feelings for Hispanics and Latinos for all to see by the way they have disrespected and humiliated Sen. Rubio.”

      This would be turning and using the Dems own adopted Alinsky tactics against them. The Repubs should make them very regretful that they started this ridicule of Sen. Rubio, and if they were at all talented at effective rebuttals, they could pull it off.

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  2. mirrorComment by mirror
    February 14, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    That was the best speech since the Reagan Presidency. He was clear, concise, sincere, and outlined the differences between the conservative view and the President’s. He connects and communicates well.

    If you want proof, just look at the resulting press, from Maddow, to Matthews, to the NYT – all seeking to cut him down ad hominem. Rubio 2016!

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    • stoneyComment by stoney
      February 15, 2013 @ 2:55 am

      He definitely has a strong self-image in that he can make fun of himself over petty criticisms, much like Reagan did.

      Rubio just needs to keep it up over the long haul, in the heat of the lefty media attack.

      It’s a shame that Romney was not this articulate on the principles of Conservatism.

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  3. tjeptalleyComment by tjeptalley
    February 14, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    Better to drink spring water than KOOL-aid

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    • whodunitComment by whodunit
      February 14, 2013 @ 11:10 am

      Well said!

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    • drsiqueComment by drsique
      February 14, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

      Yup, one would think, from the leftist chatter, that the man chugged half a bottle of scotch in the middle of his speech.

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    • rebartComment by rebart
      February 14, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

      Good one, tjeptalley

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    • stoneyComment by stoney
      February 15, 2013 @ 2:57 am

      He should have channeled his inner Obama, and reached for a spliff or a roach clip instead!

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  4. Allen SComment by Allen S
    February 14, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    Rubio did a good job and I see nothing wrong with taking a sip of water under the stressful situation of making a speech without a podium and no audience. This one little act of thirst should not ruin his career but makes him human with a dry mouth and hard to speak. I have been there; done that and it isn’t easy to talk with a dry mouth.

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    • vevaComment by veva
      February 14, 2013 @ 10:39 am

      All of the smart alecks who like to poke fun at others will someday find themselves where they will have a dry mouth all of the time. It happens when you age. The response to Rubio’s need to drink water is utter nonsense, mostly from those who like to draw attention to themselves, even if it’s only by “joining the crowd”. This shows that many really have nothing to say on their own, and have no ability to critque constructively.

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    • whodunitComment by whodunit
      February 14, 2013 @ 11:12 am

      I carry water with me at all times, since I’m always thirsty. I don’t see why the media is making such a big deal over this. It’s not like the guy leaned over, took a swig of whiskey and then went on . . . He wasn’t exactly acting like Dean Martin, drinking and smoking the whole time . . .

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    • bf39Comment by bf39
      February 14, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

      I totally agree it should NOT ruin his career. He is one of a small few I am going to watch and listen to during the next 2-3 years to watch his stance on different issues.

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    • KBBComment by KBB
      February 14, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

      Good points. Speaking of no podium, why don’t the Repubs ever learn from their mistakes? Look at how they put poor Gov. Bobby Jindal out to respond by not providing him a dignified setting that included a podium?! The denseness of the Repubs is astounding. Sen. Rubio should’ve had a podium at the very least, where he could have stashed his water for easy retrieval. On another thought: I think the main thing that made it awkward for Rubio reaching for water is that he tends to speak very rapidly, with barely taking the time to take a breath. This tendency caused him to look and sound out of control in reaching for the water bottle. He should have slowed down his speech, stopped speaking a few seconds before the reach, then slowly and deliberately taken some water, slowly returned it to its place, and then resumed his speech. It would’ve even helped if the table the water was on had been closer to him. It was apparently on a low table, since he had to bend and reach down for it, and probably wouldn’t have even been visible on camera if it had been up next to him.

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  5. jstevensjrComment by jstevensjr
    February 14, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    Obviously Rubio has a drinking problem. Just ask the leftist press.

    I thought he handled it perfectly, with humor and humility. This guy reminds me of Ronald Reagan in so many ways it sends chills down my spine (no shivers up my leg!)

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  6. Allen MorganComment by Allen Morgan
    February 14, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    The leftists as well as their sychophantic slaves in the drive by media have all used this drink of water by Rubio to slam, slur, accuse and belittle him. If we were all so fortunate. Judge what Rubio said. He said government was not the answer, we were the answer. Adding more debt to our children and grandchildren is not the answer, that in 4 years of Obama he added more debt than 8 years of Bush whom the left ridiculed so much.

    Simply put, the left are hypocrites. They made a continuing big deal of 3 waterboardings which resulted in actionable intelligence, saving lives of Americans. Obama doubles down on the drone bombings and summary executions, killing many innocents along the way in Pakistan and whereever they are used and this collateral damage of destroying lives of children and women are not even spoken about by the leftist and Obamaites.

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  7. murryblueComment by murryblue
    February 14, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    Yep, really worthy for the lefties to start making fun. They so remind me of a bunch of silly kids from grade school who like to point fingers and laugh at the dumbest things; poor things. They do only use 1/100000000000000 of their brain. Did no one notice at the prayer breakfast that big O was having a field day of cleaning his eye boogers out? He worked on both of them. I don’t think he had even washed his face. Now, that is an embarrassment, for sure!

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  8. gnafuComment by gnafu
    February 14, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    I think it’s wonderful that Rubio was thirsty and found the bottle beyond his reach! So What. His words were much more important than that bottle of water to those who listened! I watched the Speaker of The House take a drink from his glass of water and no one made a big ta-do about it. I watched the VP leaf through his papers while the president was speaking, he even tapped them to make sure they were all in order. No one made a big ta-do about that. I listened to the president give the State of The Union speech that was reminiscent of all the expensive government promises he has made in the past – to use tax payer’s money. That should have been the Big ta-do! And Rubio and Rand Paul made their points on those subjects!

    If you have never stood under the hot lights to illuminate an area for televised or video speeches, then you have no idea how bright and hot it can be. You would be sweating bullets and in need of water to replace all the moisture your body was losing. Rubio’s set-up crew could have been a little more professional!

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    • sunnybluesComment by sunnyblues
      February 14, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

      I completely agree about his crew. As I watched, he was obviously in need of water. Someone in his crew should have stood off screen and handed him a glass of water instead of making him reach down for a bottle and taking a quick gulp.

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  9. Al CComment by Al C
    February 14, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    Rubio is a likeable guy but, not a good choice for Republican nomination in a little over three years. Same old same old.They are already setting him up to run. They think he will pull in the Hispanic vote. The dark horse will be Rand Paul.

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    • rebartComment by rebart
      February 14, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

      Rand Paul cannot win because of his father. His father is a radical extremist who makes no sense sometimes. Other times he is right on. However, the press will eat up the Pauls due to the father’s dumb remarks such as what he said when Kris Kyle was killed. Such a very stupid remark for such a brilliant man.

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    • rwjacksrComment by rwjacksr
      February 14, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

      I believe Marco Rubio on the ticket with Rand Paul would be a great combination for President and VP.and I believe that Rand Paul would make a great president and could win easily with Rubio as his VP.Just think about how many more eligible Mexican citizens obama is going to make this year and by next year they will be seeing through his lies, he is creating a lot of votes for someone else.

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  10. rebartComment by rebart
    February 14, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    Yes, let’s focus on the trivial, why don’t we? There’s nothing else more important to do.

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  11. peletierComment by peletier
    February 14, 2013 @ 11:08 am

    Fellow readers of GOPUSA:

    If, the only thing the traditional Idiot Liberals were able pick up, from Sen. Marco Rubio’s rebutal to King Obama I “disastrous” State of the Union, was his reach for a bottle of water, it clearly means, Sen. Rubio really responded to the King’s BS….

    Go Sen. Rubio…

    WE CONTINUE TO BE THE LAND OF THE FREE, AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE! BOOYAH!

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    • mysticComment by mystic
      February 14, 2013 @ 11:16 am

      Exactly what I was thinking as well Peletier! If all the left/MSM can focus on is a ‘sip of water’, that means there was too much truth and nothing to attack in what was said.

      ….when you can’t attack the message/truth, you attack some other nonsensical attribute…like a tie, or color shirt, or a hair cut (poor Donald goes thru this constantly) or in Rubio’s case, a sip of water that was placed just a bit to far outta reach.

      I think it made him look human. So many of our present day politicians look like plastic robots anymore. (Pelosie and Frankenstein anyone?)They are so far removed and entirely too slick appearing that no one can equate with them anymore. Rubio, though not my first pick, did a stupendous job and was eloquent within his prose. He distinguished himself with honesty and realism in his opinion. (Something the liberal progressives have thrown in the basement and forgotten about long ago.)

      For a rebuttal speech, I thought he did fabulously. That does not mean however that he automatically has my vote. But I digress….

      Rubio 1, Obama 0! Rand Paul? ahhhhh….+ for trying? Best I can give him…he’s rhetoric needs a freshener…give it a mint or something to take the old tired ‘morning breath’ feeling off his diatribe laden rants. Rand doesn’t have my automatic vote either. Neither Rubio nor Rand have the expanse or experience in scope to hold the POTUS seat just yet. Only time will tell.

      ~M

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  12. sunnybluesComment by sunnyblues
    February 14, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    Progressives remind me of a bunch of 3rd grade bullies who have nothing better to do than make fun of those who may threaten them or who disagree with them. Bullies are intolerant of contrary opinion, domineering and rather cowardly. The left is sooooo transparent with their bullying tactics – verbally attack an individual who is a possible threat, vilify them, make fun of them until they are perceived as nothing but a silly annoyance. Mission accomplished. But we must never be bullied into silence. We must never allow ourselves to be made a victim. Define yourself and don’t a let anybody else define who you are. That is how to defeat the enemy.

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    • pwpmmpComment by pwpmmp
      February 14, 2013 @ 11:43 am

      I agree, sunnyblues, and I would also add that bullies are rarely the sharpest pencils in the box.

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  13. whodunitComment by whodunit
    February 14, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    I actually like Rubio even better now . . . I guess I hadn’t paid that much attention to him before. But I love the humor and humility with which he’s handling this whole thing . . . Wow, his campaign (assuming he’s going to run) could really play off the water bottle issue — Thirsty for freedom? Thirsty for a better economy? He could be passing out Rubio H2O in 2016 or Race to the Whitehouse Water at his rally’s. Wouldn’t it be great to see some humor back in a campaign once more?

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  14. pwpmmpComment by pwpmmp
    February 14, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    So, Obama now has it in his power to vaporize any of us he chooses if, by his definition, we are a threat. But that’s nothing, watch out for that Marco Rubio, he drinks his water funny, and that’s worth worrying about. Sweet heavens, the left is so stupid. I feel like I’m back in 5th grade every time they open their mouths and let the drivel roll.

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  15. mldouggComment by mldougg
    February 14, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    Too bad they focused on the water instead of what he was saying – I guess that was really the point though.

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  16. whodunitComment by whodunit
    February 14, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    Apparently the left is “turning water into whine . . .” Har.

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    • pwpmmpComment by pwpmmp
      February 14, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

      Thanks, that made me laugh!

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  17. howardrwaComment by howardrwa
    February 14, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    So a sip of water gets a bigger splash in the leftist media than four Americans murdered in Benghazi under Obamas watch What a disgrace !

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  18. extyrequeenComment by extyrequeen
    February 14, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    i’m sure glad that i don’t have a liberal mind or i’d kill my myself….what a bunch of numskulls who think like this and quite frankly i’d much rather have someone like rubio and what
    he stands for that will SAVE this country rather ten OBAMA who
    is dstroying this country…the choice is real simple for me…

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  19. dougoutComment by dougout
    February 14, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

    My senator is having sex with underage hookers and it gets less play than Senator Rubio drinking water.

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  20. sockettuemComment by sockettuem
    February 14, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

    Another example of the abject stupidity displayed by the Idiocracy of Cable News, the Consolidated Nitwits Network.
    This one almost eclipes the benighted question posed by a CNN “journalist” that asked if the latest near earth asteroid (which was probably formed a few millions years ago) was caused by global warming. A pathetic bunch of amateur wannabe propagandists who deserve the unkind title that gives reference to the excretory opening of the terminus of the alimentary canal.

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  21. xjandinComment by xjandin
    February 14, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    The media attention on this is a clear indication that they are mentally unbalanced and need professional intervention.

    Perhaps we need an NCI style background check on news media ‘professionals’ before they are allowed to report on actual events. After all, consider the psychological damage they cause through their mentally unbalanced reporting!

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  22. rwjacksrComment by rwjacksr
    February 14, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

    Had he been a Kennedy he would be swigging a bottle of Vodka.

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    • Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
      February 14, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

      I think the preferred beverage was Crown Royal ;-)

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  23. bowler1hatComment by bowler1hat
    February 14, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

    Just imagine a Republican drinking water and NOT champagne how embarrassing. Can you imagine that he may even wash in the same water as the rest of us? Gee, how common.

    If one fact must be exposed from this trivial drip from the Democrats is that after these past two major elections, with the deceptive tactics of Obama’s axis supporters is that all the water in the world CANNOT get you clean for the damage you have done to the country that gave you the freedoms that you have!

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  24. Comment by Anonymous
    February 14, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

    Wow, you mean he’s human?? He’s not robot-like like a typical politician??

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  25. JDZComment by JDZ
    February 14, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    Rubio did a good job with the Republican response to the state of the union speech by the President while also showing that he is human by stopping a second or two to take drink of water. The fact that the liberal media and pundits focused more on his drink of water then the content of his speech just illustrates how off the ranch the progressive/liberal mentality is these days, and how juvenile.

    President Obama gave an inadequate state of the union address because he failed to spend any significant time on the two highest priorities of the government which are the economy and the growing national debt. His focus on gun control, global warming, immigration, which are not as critical as our economy or debt, just shows where hs head is and has been since being elected President in 2008.

    Rubio had it nailed as he clearly explained the major disconnect in the government and the country at large as to how to get the country back on track which is ideologically based. The President thinks more government is the answer (socialist model) to our economy while, as Rubio stated, the Republicans know that it is our private economy (free enterprise system) that has to begin growing in order to create the millions of good new jobs we badly need.

    There are numerous examples of the extreme failures of the socialist model with the current problems in western Europe as the latest examples, however, Obama and his minions are either too stubborn or too stupid to see the handwriting on the wall.

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    • Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
      February 14, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

      Once again we were witness to a POTUS reading from a TOTUS, with his inflections sounding like a 9th grade drama student trying to act for the first time.

      There is no doubt in my mind that the reason the water sipping was made the focus of the talking heads was because they couldn’t stand to let the profound message Senator Rubio gave get out to the public. What they didn’t realize is that with each and every person who went to the video to see the terrible deed, they also were able to hear some of the message…and hopefully decided to listen to the entire speech ;-) Once again the liberal media were too smart for their own good…way to go!

      Extraordinary messages by both Rubio and Paul…bland, same-old, same-old message by POTUS…promises…evil Republicans…I Me My I Me My I Me My…blah blah blah

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