For days following Senator Marco Rubio's response to the president's State of the Union address, the media collectively decided that it wasn't anything that Mr. Rubio said that was newsworthy. His measured words and sincerity played well with the viewing audience.
However, as we all know, that wasn't the real story. The fact that Rubio had to pause for a couple of seconds and take a sip of water become the most overblown, mind bogglingly stupid story in memory. Grown ups calling themselves political analysts actually posed the question as to whether the sip of water would be a "career ender" for Rubio.
The Florida Senator has now made a virtue out of the media's insanity and offered for sale "Marco Rubio Water Bottles," the proceeds from which go to his PAC.
Rubio's political action committee began selling water bottles branded with the Tea Party favorite's name for contributions of $25 or more. Buzzfeed reports that after a week the effort has sold more than 3,100 water bottles.
The water bottles were an attempt to capitalize on Rubio's swig of water while delivering the GOP response live last Tuesday.
While speaking to the camera, Rubio paused at one point and grabbed an off-camera water bottle to take a sip. The water break attracted widespread attention on Twitter and on late-night television.
Rubio's PAC, Reclaim America, quickly put up a "Marco Rubio Water Bottle" for sale.
"Send the liberal detractors a message that not only does Marco Rubio inspire you... he hydrates you too," said the website selling the bottle.
Rubio has taken the attention in stride, frequently joking about the incident.
"I mean I needed water, what am I going to do?" Rubio asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" the day after his response, while again ducking away from the camera to reach for a water bottle. "God has a funny way of reminding us that we're human."
It was a pitch perfect response then, and the sale of the water bottles is clever politics. In an age where political humor is often cruel, Rubio's poking fun at the media and his detractors by cashing in on their hysteria reveals a playful side of the potential presidential candidate that is both welcome and attractive.