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Have Marco Rubio's Presidential Hopes Drowned With That Water Bottle?

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Alamy

Well, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy, right? There he was, Marco Rubio, the Republican Party's boy wonder and Great Latin Hope, imploding right before the nation's very eyes as he gave the GOP's rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

To be sure, the words Poland Spring will never be the same again to Rubio. In what has become his very own bizarro Bobby Jindal moment, Rubio will be remembered not the way he hoped--for a searing, provocative response to Obama's big government expansion speech--but rather for a humiliatingly awkward episode with a very little water bottle.

Plagued by an obvious case of cottonmouth, and in the middle of an attack on Obama's "false choices," Rubio suddenly and quickly bent down, leaned to his left and desperately reached for the bottle all the while strangely darting his eyes back and forth between the bottle and the camera (like he was hastily picking up his dry-cleaning while eyeing his double-parked car). After an awkward gulp and swish, you could almost hear the stampede of big donors running for the door. You may recall how Jindal, in his 2009 State of the Union rebuttal, swiftly killed his own presidential buzz with one of the most forced, awkward deliveries in the history of politics.

Rubio attempted damage control Wednesday morning, poking fun at himself on ABC's Good Morning America. "I needed water, what am I going to do? God has a funny way of reminding us we're human." Well, if this is God's way of looking out for Rubio I'd suggest he try Atheism.

But let's not give Poland Spring all the credit here. Rubio's stilted, robotic manner and uber-boyish appearance did little to boost his presidential capital. BottleGate simply put a punctuation on these weaknesses.