Within minutes of his strange decision to take a swig of water in the middle of the most important speech thus far in his young political career, numerous news outlets had written about the incident, a YouTube clip of it was posted, and a GIF started to make the online rounds.
And Twitter exploded with references to, and jokes about, the water break seen (and heard) around the world.
Some folks, like whoever was running Slate's official Twitter feed, found it hilarious that Rubio would deign to do such a thing on live TV and think he could get away with it:
Others were horrified at the slurping sound effect that the senator made as he gulped down a quick few drops of liquid. Twitter user @Protognostic was not amused by the bodily functions he displayed:
For his part, @JasonFarkas was mostly impressed that Poland Spring was lucky enough to get its brand flashed on live TV during one of the most-watched political speeches of the year. The term "Poland Spring" even went on to trend nationally on Twitter, along with "Water Break" and "Watergate":
Twitterer @KCarr78 got advice from a trained professional when Rubio took the "sip heard round the world" (to use a term coined by Talking Points Memo's Brad Friedman:
Tuesday wasn't the first time in recent memory that a Republican's State of the Union address rebuttal had a major hiccup. In 2009, when Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal offered remarks of his own in yet another rebuttal speech that was cast as the launch-pad for a rising GOP star's career, he was lambasted for weeks.
Rather than boosting his political ascendancy, Jindal appeared to have dug his own grave as a national candidate by coming off as an ill-prepared amateur standing in an odd foyer-looking space. The performance has gone down as one of the worst political speeches of the past decade. It was so bad in fact that pundits, Democrats and even Republicans panned it equally.
Water break-gate is nowhere near as egregious a sin as the oddness of Jindal's rebuttal remarks, but it definitely distracted viewers from the messages Rubio was trying to push just minutes after Obama stepped down from the podium.