When Sen. Marco Rubio delivered the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night, the substance of his remarks was overshadowed by the highly dramatic battle of will between the rising GOP star and his very evident thirst. (He lost, finally lunging for a bottle of Poland Spring after 11 very long minutes.)
For Republicans desperate to recast their image and court Hispanic voters, Rubio’s water break – and especially the agonizing build-up to it – was an unwelcome distraction. But for Stephen Colbert, it was manna from late-night heaven.
On Wednesday’s “Colbert Report,” he offered some words of comfort to Rubio. “I think it is a bold move to duck off camera during the biggest speech of your life,” he joked. “Ultimately is this really that big of a deal, just because it’s the only thing people will ever remember?”
Colbert also empathized with the difficulty of being in the limelight. “Let me tell you from experience, it is not easy being on TV. You got the sweltering lights, you got the audience, you got the cameras, knowing you’re being watched by millions, that they’re judging your every move, and they’re ready to make the Internet memes out of the smallest mistakes, can really give a person a little bit of cotton mouth,” he said, coughing up a cloud of dust.
“You just cover your problem by always maintaining eye contact with the home viewer and connecting with the audience on a human level makes them overlook your difficulties,” Colbert advised as he climbed over his desk, crawled across the floor, doused himself with a tiny bottle of Poland Spring and quickly returned to his seat, all while looking straight ahead.
“Now folks, you may not have noticed I got a little thirsty there, but that’s how pros like me and Marco Rubio do it," he said.
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