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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A year after his State of the Union 'water break, Rubio rebuilds



It was the "water lunge." The "sip seen around the world." His "water break."


A year ago, Sen. Marco Rubio gave the Republican State of the Union rebuttal but delivered late-night comedy. He turned it his advantage, selling water bottles for his Reclaim America PAC and poking fun at himself in subsequent speeches. But the moment shows how much can change in a year. Rubio began 2013 at the top his game, with frothy media speculation about 2016. Then came immigration reform and a fallout with conservative activists. Giving a nationally televised speech is tough, but legislating is tougher.

Rubio is rebuilding, focusing on foreign policy and claiming a piece of the debate over income inequality - "mobility" is his preferred term - and education. The next 12 months will shape his decision whether to run for president. Meantime he's going for something less flashy tonight. Rubio will attend the State of the Union with his 13-year-old daughter, Amanda. UPDATE: Rubio will appear with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly at 8 p.m.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 1:34pm]


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