Our View: Ignore big gulp, stress content

Posted: February 14, 2013

His mouth was parched, so he took a swig of water. What’s the big deal?

Apparently, quite a lot, for such is the state of political commentary that some pundits contend Sen. Marco Rubio all but disqualified himself for higher office, simply because he reached for a bottle of water during his Republican State of the Union response.

Yes, Mr. Rubio appeared nervous, but then the “response” gig is a thankless job for any pol regardless of party. So let’s eschew the “big gulp” and focus instead on what Mr. Rubio, the GOP’s rising star, had to say, which was a lot.

First, as a first-generation American and son of Cuban immigrants, he told a compelling personal story — one made all the more riveting by his unflinching defense of free enterprise, traditional values, and conservative ideals.

Second, starting with a simple sentence — “But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them” — Mr. Rubio drew a distinction, subtle yet sharp, between the parties. He also refused to recoil from stating the obvious, namely that big government limits opportunity rather than creates it, and that President Obama is as “obsessive” about raising taxes as he is about demonizing his foes.

In 10 minutes, Mr. Ruboo covered a lot of ground. No wonder he needed a drink.