Politico's latest in-depth report on GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio reveals something many have long suspected: He likes to drink water. Indeed, he likes to drink water a lot.
We've seen clear evidence that Rubio drinks water before, notably in 2013 when he delivered the GOP's State of the Union response and paused during the middle of his speech to drink water on air. There was no mistaking what was happening as Rubio stopped talking for a moment and reached down
But Politico's 1800-word report on the matter presents the clearest evidence yet that Rubio not only drinks water, he likes to drink it all the time, especially while making political speeches.
But the water tic has persisted and remained noticeable on the campaign trail this fall, drawing comment from those who have worked with and watched the Florida senator. Like Richard Nixon's perspiring or John Boehner's crying, Rubio's need for constant hydration is a bodily quirk that impinges on his political life.
The 44-year-old senator takes care to ensure the availability of water at his public events and can be particular about how he takes it. His advance team has mandated exact requirements for the vessels he will drink out of: stemless glasses—not stemmed ones or water bottles. He reaches for it constantly during public remarks. Its absence has thrown off his delivery, and he and his campaign have acknowledged its presence by attempting to turn it into a joke. On the trail, he has even asked hecklers to time their outbursts around his breaks for it.
"Marco does have a water thing," said one longtime Rubio associate who has been affiliated with his past campaigns.
Indeed, as Politico reports, Rubio doesn't just have a "water thing," he often talks about it during his speeches, not-so-subtly referencing his current thirst as well as his most famous water grab. There can be little doubt that he both drinks the stuff frequently and makes light of the practice.
The report raises some potentially difficult questions for the Rubio campaign. Rumors have long swirled that Rubio has some sort of skeletons in his closet, and that a full vetting might raise serious questions about his candidacy. Are we finally starting to see some of that submerged info come into the public eye?
This isn't the first time that a major news outlet has published a deep dive in Rubio's history. In June, we learned that after Rubio received an $800,000 advance for a book, he paid off his school loans—and then, The New York Times reported, he bought a "luxury speedboat." The craft in question was later reported to be medium-sized fishing boat, but either way, there's little question that Rubio bought the boat.
And then there is the matter of Rubio's driving record. In another story from over the summer, The New York Times also reported that Rubio himself had recieved four separate driving infractions since 1997, including one for running a red light and another for speeding.
There's a clear pattern emerging here. Add it all up—the boat, the speeding ticket, and now this so-called "water thing"—there's only one conclusion to be drawn: Marco Rubio lives in Florida.
Having grown up in the Sunshine State, and thus being all too familiar with its strange and sometimes disturbing culture, I'm still not quite willing to say that this makes him unfit for the presidency. But it is something that voters should know.