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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:53 PM

TPM Editorís Blog: Rubioís Thirst Was The Best Thing That Could Have Happened To Him


Twelve hours after State of the Union night came to a close, my sense is that the chattering class has reached a consensus about Marco Rubioís awkward Big Gulp: specifically, that it genuinely did drown out the message he was trying to communicate to the public; and that this is an unfortunate outcome for the same talented pol whose convention speech got flushed down the memory hole last year when Clint Eastwood yelled at a chair.

The consensus is somewhat silly in as much the same people who reached it have all the power in the world to flip it on its head if they think thatís important. But assuming they donít, Iíd like to plant a flag for the counterintuitive argument that Rubioís unexpected thirstiness was the best thing that could have happened to him.

Imagine for a minute that Rubio had taken a few swigs before the cameras started rolling, that heíd delivered the rebuttal flawlessly, and that the media had to engage what he said in a less frivolous way. Maybe the consensus wouldíve been that the speech was boring or unoriginal and everyone would have forgotten it. But to the viewing public it would have illuminated the GOPís collective decision to promote Marco Rubio as a public figure in lieu of reconsidering its losing agenda.

For the most part, Rubioís speech was a string of banalities that didnít sway public opinion when Republicans mainstreamed them the first time around. Solyndra got a shout out. So did a balanced budget amendment - a genuinely dangerous idea, but one Republicans only return to knowing it will never come to pass and that theyíd abandon if it ever gained traction in a serious way.



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