Presidential contender Marco Rubio got so much grief for his epic 2013 water break that goofing on himself for it is now part of his campaign-trail schtick.
Rubio obviously values hydration — but a playful read of his email appeals for cash suggests a whole different kind of thirst.
Rubio catapulted out of Monday's Iowa caucuses with a third-place finish — the first phase of a "3-2-1-" plan that would have him place second to Donald Trump in the New Hampshire primary and roar on to a big win in South Carolina.
Charm offensive? As candidates scratch for every dollar they can get to underwrite their White House dreams, creativity is a must, and Rubio seems to be pursuing a charm offensive.
"I need you to hear this. I just took a couple minutes to record a special message just for you about the state of this race," read one Rubio email with a distinctive personal touch — and the recipient's name repeated twice in the same sentence, which is the fundraising equivalent of heavy eye contact.
If someone doesn't get seduced into donating, the emails don't stop — and the tone of the follow-ups can range from a little plaintive to Stage Five Clinger.
Even Rubio's wife, Jeanette, is lending her name to the intimate email appeals — but shh! She's keeping it a "secret" from her spouse.
"I didn't tell Marco that I was going to send you this email, but I felt it was so important to reach out to you today," she said in a Monday missive.
Campaign clickbait: Winning hearts (and wallets) is part data science and part social experiment, says E. O'Brien Murray, a GOP consultant and fundraiser who's been honored for his winning outside-the-box tactics.
"Any email that a campaign sends out today has to be clickbait," he told Mic. "They can be personalized; they can be provocative. In the day and age of old, tired emails, creativity is king."
Fear vs. friends: Not every campaign seems as chummy as Team Rubio in fundraising tone.
Ted Cruz's campaign's emails are passionate — or downright scary: "IT'S CRITICAL THAT YOU UNDERSTAND:"
Billionaire-buster Bernie Sanders opens with a salutation of "Sisters and Brothers" and signs off with "In Solidarity."
And if you might have a few bucks to contribute, Jeb Bush calls you a friend — over and over again.
With subject lines like "Will you be the one?" Rubio's brand of campaign clickbait is often a little chiller than the three-alarm fires of Cruz's pitches.
In the end, of course, it's all about sweet talking that money into the bank.
And if a little sugar in a subject line does the trick, it's probably safe to assume Rubio would drink to that.