Monday, February 18, 2013

You've Gotta Hand It To Marco Rubio

So while President Obama laid out an inspiring domestic policy agenda in his State Of the Union address and while Americans got to hear not one but two rebuttals from the Right detailing their vision for the country, the highlight of the evening was clearly, obviously, and unambiguously Marco Rubio's hydration break.  Rubio's lunge for a bottle of water was this years's "Michelle Bachmann Doesn't Understand Video Cameras" moment and became an overnight viral sensation.  MSNBC even had the clip playing in a loop at the bottom of the screen throughout a 13 minute segment of the Rachel Maddow show.

Moments like that can, for stupid reasons, destroy a political career -- just ask Howard Dean.

While I wouldn't advise liberal politicians to take many cues from Rubio's State of the Union rebuttal, I would urge them to emulate his ability to recover from a gaffe.  After his own sub-Nixonian version of "Watergate," Rubio capitalized on the notoriety by putting water bottles up for sale on his website at $25 a pop.  Supporters could buy "Marco Rubio's Water Bottle" and make a donation to his PAC.

He's raised $100,000 this way already.

This is political jujitsu.  Just as President Obama embraced the label of "Obamacare" to take greater ownership of the Affordable Care Act (it helped him with his base), Rubio has shown that even a meaningless gaffe can be transformed into a meaningful political advantage with the right savvy.

Hillary Clinton in particular should take note, she might find herself running against this guy one day.  On the other hand, maybe if she's had the foresight to sell spent Bosnian shell casings back in 2008 she wouldn't have to worry about that.

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