WASHINGTON -- His words may or may not be long remembered, but Sen. Marco Rubio's swig lives on.
Across the Web and on every cable news channel, the Florida senator's awkward lunge for a bottle of water as he delivered the official Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday was the moment of the evening.
In politics, timing can be everything and Rubio, 41, heralded as a rising GOP star, experienced a dry mouth at probably the worst time imaginable, speaking to millions before a live TV camera.
Twitter exploded with reaction. Donald Trump offered: "Next time Marco Rubio should drink his water from a glass as opposed to a bottle -- would have much less negative impact."
Poland Spring saw a marketing opportunity, posting on Facebook a picture of a bottle of its water seated in front of a dressing room mirror.
On Facebook, someone created a page called "1,000,000 strong to keep Marco Rubio hydrated."
Rubio made the best of it. He tweeted a picture of the bottle and laughed off the incident in TV interviews.
"My mouth got dry, what can I say?" Rubio said on Fox News.
Republicans thought he did just fine, in spite of the sip of water and the frequent wiping of sweat from his face. They did not think he had damaged his future prospects.
"Rubio did a good job on the substance and delivery, except for reaching for the water bottle. That's too bad, but if the guy's throat got dry, he probably had no choice," Republican strategist Charlie Black said.