The lighting and background set for Sen. Marco Rubio‘s State of the Union rebuttal speech made him look like an oil painting made to be hung over a large fireplace. It was serene, really, until that uncomfortable heave he made for the water bottle to his left. He was parched and it was funny, even though it was kind of seen as a little embarrassing for Republicans.

Daily Beast reporter Michelle Cottle has an alternate theory:

Poor Rubio was clearly nervous. He kept wiping his temples and the corners of his mouth, making me wonder if we were about to witness a classic flop-sweat episode à la Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. And the constant teeth-licking suggested he was suffering from massive dry mouth—a suspicion confirmed when, near the end of his speech, Rubio lunged awkwardly off camera to snatch up a bottle of water. (You could almost hear Jon Stewart squeal in ecstasy.) For many folks, however, those tics likely just added to his aura of someone so warm, fuzzy, and vulnerable you want to wrap him in a blankie and fix him cocoa. Post-water break, Rubio managed to get into a groove and ease on in for a smooth-jazz finish.

@eScarry