The buzz today is all about Marco Rubio’s water bottle.
Well, in a way, why not? There’s nothing new to say about Obama except that of course, as could have been predicted and as was predicted, he was more leftist, more aggressive, and simultaneously more ominous and more boring (which should be an oxymoron but is decidedly not). People are hungry (you might say: thirsty) for something real, human, and simple to sink their teeth into, and Rubio’s gesture grabbed them.
Gestures have a tendency to do that, and they can even be revealing—sometimes more revealing than the scripted words. Remember Bush 1’s watch and Al Gore’s sighs? Rubio’s water seems somehow more innocuous—at least as best I can tell from the sample of jokes I see around the web). And it certainly is a change from Romney’s bland smoothness.
Are gesture’s trivial compared to speeches? I contend that speeches have become trivial. Even though I don’t prefer to process information through the auditory route and don’t like speeches in general (and I’m equal-opportunity on that score: I didn’t listen to Obama or Rubio or Paul), I can recognize the fall-off in the quality of speeches between the era from Kennedy to Reagan and recent years, not to mention fall-off from the early days of the republic.
Also in no surprise whatsoever, a CNN poll found that 53% of watchers very much liked Obama’s speech and 24% somewhat liked it, and that those who viewed it were much more likely to be Democrats than the population as a whole. The rest, no doubt, are having difficulty stomaching both Obama and his speeches, and chose to spare themselves.
If you’re interested in content, here’s a piece by Ed Morrissey that goes into what Rubio actually said. But if you’re interested in the water (and who isn’t at least a little teeny bit interested in the water?), a picture is worth 344 words (the grand total in this post, at least according to my word count program):
[NOTE: The title of this post comes from this ad campaign.]