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Sen. Marco Rubio's mid-speech water gulp goes viral on Twitter

February 13, 2013|By Jessica Guynn

SAN FRANCISCO -- Twitter runneth over with jokes at the expense of the parched Sen. Marco Rubio who awkwardly broke away to take a desperate sip of water toward the end of his Republican rebuttal to the president's State of the Union speech.

Soon the topic was trending on Twitter and hashtags #waterbreak and #watergate threatened to eclipse the "binders full of women" remark from Mitt Romney that lit up Twitter after his presidential debate (and, ahem, water down any serious discussion of the GOP vision to help the middle class that Rubio was trying to outline at the time).

From blogger Ana Marie Cox: "Speech with which Rubio stepped to the side to grab a drink inversely proportional to how long he wanted it. POOR GUY."

From one user, @jamespoyser: "I don’t always drink water, but when I do, I prefer to be awkward. Stay thirsty my friends."

And from Democratic strategist Paul Begala:  "Marco Rubio, the man you want to have a desperate gulp of water with."

Amid all the speculation about which soon-to-be-fired moron put the water bottle so far out of Rubio's reach, Twitter says there were about 9,200 tweets per minute at 7:43 p.m. PST after he took the fateful sip of water. That was his Twitter peak, a spokeswoman said.

But Rubio stemmed the flood of water jokes with his social-media-savvy response on Twitter at 7:59 p.m.: a photograph of the empty Poland Spring water bottle.

Score one for that GOP conversation changer. But it was a missed opportunity for Poland Spring Water which did not spring into action on Twitter to promote itself as Oreo did during the Super Bowl blackout. Its official Twitter accounts, @PolandSpringWtr, and @PolandSpringInc, stayed quiet as they have been since 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Instead we get the fake Twitter account: @RubioH20Bottle: "Hydrating. Out of reach."

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