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Rubio's 'Watergate' triumph?
Marco Rubio's handling of the media overkill on his awkward sip of water during his response to the State of the Union address is emerging as a net plus for him, and an embarrassment for the media which became hysterical on the subject - particularly CNN and MSNBC.
The first question to consider is whether or not the public really wants a totally smooth presentation in its politicians. Several talking heads noted after the gaffe that Rubio made a rookie mistake, in trying to maintain eye contact with the camera, as he stretched to reach the awkwardly placed bottle of Poland Spring water. OK, so we have a young up-and-comer who is not a polished media expert. Is that somethign the public finds horrifying? Or could it be considered even a little bit endearing?
The second question is the effect of Rubio's handling of the gaffe. Unquestionably, his handling has been almost flawless - combining honest chagrin with a plucky determination to do better. He came across as someone who admits his mistakes, learns from them, and does his best to not repeat them.
The third question is the status of the media attacking him in the eyes of the general public. C'mon, Al Sharpton mocking him is not necessarily a problem. MSNBC running the clip well over a hundred times looks rather pathetic, making obvious the leftist network's determination to do him in, politically.
Jonah Goldberg has concluded the same thing with his characteristic wit:
It's nice to see a bit of political jiujitsu accomplished on the progmedia. If Rubio can keep on doing this, embodying the archetype of the plucky Latino who overcomes prejudice with hard work, humility, and a smile, he just might fulfill the hopes being placed on his shoulders.