Updated at 9:20 am EST
Marco Rubio made waves on social media even before he finished his response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. By pausing during his rejoinder to reach for a small water bottle off camera and then taking a swig from it, the Florida senator opened floodgates for Internet memes and set #watergate and “Poland Springs” trending on Twitter.
“In the short time I’ve been here in Washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the ones the president laid out tonight,” Rubio said.
He then stepped to his left, picked up a water bottle and gulped in the middle of his rebuttal.
Rubio’s speech topped 2,500 words and touched on immigration, student loans and taxes (full text here). But there was only one word on Twitter’s collective mind by the time Rubio had finished: #thirsty.
I haven’t heard anything post-gulp #Rubio
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) February 13, 2013
“Saturday Night Live” currently writing the “grabs for water” sketch. — The Fix (@TheFix) February 13, 2013
Marco Rubio: the man you want to have a desperate gulp of water with. — Paul Begala (@PaulBegala) February 13, 2013
You thirsty, Marco Rubio, or is your throat just parched with hypocrisy?
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) February 13, 2013
Telling that tonight a plastic water bottle made a bigger splash than a sitting president.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 13, 2013
Zero Dark Thirsty#RubioFilms
— Eric Wolfson (@ericwolfson) February 13, 2013
Rubio, a frequent tweeter, was soon laughing along with the rest of the Twitterverse:
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 13, 2013
After inspiring the creation of at least 15 parody accounts on Twitter, Rubio hit the morning television circuit Wednesday with his water bottle in hand.
“I needed water, what am I going to do?” Rubio joked on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human.”