It is now just over a week since the infamous water incident occurring during Senator Rubio’s response to the State of the Union Address. While funny, it points to key weaknesses that may prevent Rubio from being a serious contender in 2016. The first is that he’s not properly prepared for major prime-time events. Second, his delivery needs work to convince voters. Third the Republican brand itself needs a true overhaul to build winning coalitions for national elections. These issues are serious obstacles for any Republican looking to face the Democratic Nominee in 2016

Rubio Uncomfortable In High Pressure Situations

Marco Rubio’s response to the State of the Union Address was his official début on the national stage. Even with viewership down from previous addresses, he still had an audience of millions. Such chances to communicate your policies and vision are rare and difficult to make on your own. Rubio’s water-gate showed that he has trouble dealing with high pressure situations. If he has difficulty with a response to the State of The Union, what about a nationally televised debate during the primaries or worse, the general election? A water-gate moment on such a crucial stage cripples or ends campaigns. Even worse is the poor contrast. The President is already known for his oratorical skills, but it is basic political speaking 101 to be able to get through a speech without such awkward moments. The optics only heightened the president’s stature and weakened Rubio’s position as a serious policy maker from the opposition.

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Rubio’s Speech Was Not Innovative

Rubio’s delivery was emotional and compassionate, but it fell short due to rehashing the same talking points of the previous election. A serious response would accept the political reality. The same party positions he repeated failed to win back the presidency last year. A serious change agent would focus on popular issues like supporting a minimum wage, common sense debt reduction, and an immigration policy that works for everyone. Rubio already took a step in the right direction by urging the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, but his speech showed the inability to be a serious spokesperson on the issue. Building credibility is an important part of politics and Rubio’s performance diminished it by not providing a serious-minded answer and properly using his personal American story. Instead the speech was a canned response that didn’t seriously address the actual State of the Union’s key points. Even worse it provided serious contradictions. Rubio talks about reducing the need for government in people’s lives, but talked about how government programs like Pell grants allowed him to go to college. He didn’t recognize the contradictions in his own life, let alone overall policy.

The Republican Party Isn’t Changing Fast Enough

The Republican party has more conservative adherents than ever and they act as if Romney won last November. This attitude is dangerous for a party seeking to stay on the national stage of politics. More dangerous is the pressure it puts on candidates for national office to conform rather than appeal to mainstream opinion. Rubio can be a credible partner on the right for immigration reform as a living example and ambassador. However his own party may limit his effectiveness at working across party lines, a major requirement needed to play in major league politics. A perfect example is the rival Tea Party response made by fellow Senator, Rand Paul.

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A Small Gaffe Points To Major Weaknesses

Overall, we see that at best, Rubio has more to learn about national level politics. And its pressures. At worst, he showed he lacks the seriousness and preparation to be a major actor in Washington in the coming years.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EMXZA4CDHHTHWGY3QISGL7S5QY Marjorie

    He took a drink of water… He had just finished the address to an audience in Spanish. HE TOOK A DRINK OF WATER. I think having a dry mouth and taking a drink of water is allowed in the world as I know it. It certainly is not a sign of weakness. Next time maybe the bottle of water will be closer and he won’t have to reach so far. Life could be worse; media wanna-bees could be running for office. Tragic!!

  • Maria

    I’m with Marjorie on this. Taking a drink of water is a sign of unfitness for the presidential office? Really? I say this as Democrat, by the way.

  • BobTheBuilder

    Haha dude…you’re an idiot.

  • Mr Independent Voter

    If the DNC nominates Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential race I’ll vote for Willma Flintstone! If the GOP has a moderate canidate I’ll vote Republican. But,if the GOP nominates JEB Bush and the DNC has Joe Biden I’ll vote for Joe Biden! If the DNC doesn’t nominate VP Biden I’ll just vote for JEB CLAMPETT he was a millionaire but he didn’t allow his millions to go to his head and he didn’t think that he was any better than others! Sincerely, Mr. Independent Voter P.S. I was taught to vote for the person not the party! I knew that OBAMA was a dishonest politician I watched the man and his voting for many years. Then I saw him go and tell The American groups interested I border security that he was all for securing this Nation’s borders …..! Then he went to the Latino / Illegal Alien Groups and told them that he was going to give the Illegals mor Rights and he was all for giving them legal assistance with their border fights….! How can the man be for controlling the inflow of illegal aliens and at the same time be giving them legal assistance to help them remain in the USA? THE MAN WAS/IS A BIG LIAR!

  • Mr Independent Voter

    Yes, And ,if you’ll observe Hillary Clinton’s voting for the past 2-3+ years and you’ll see if she’s a conservative,moderate or a liberal! She called herself a conservative now as people noticed her Scams as in the office Sec. Of State etc. The woman began to call herself moderate but, she was for all of the president’s misuses of power and supported the crimes commited in office by others and liberal legislation….! Are those the actions of a moderate? No, a leopard can change its spots easier than these politicians can change their habits and voting patterns!