In a modern-day “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” moment, Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul), R-Kentucky, stood on the Senate floor for almost 13 hours yesterday. He was using the filibuster to debate the Obama Administration’s drone policy prior to a vote on the White House’s nomination for CIA director.
The day began around 11:47am EST:
Speaking on the Senate floor at length & actively filibustering Brennan’s nomination until further notice Tune into @ cspan now #filiblizzard
— Senator Rand Paul ( @SenRandPaul) March 6, 2013
As the hours passed, conversation on Twitter continued to grow. Supporters tweeted with #standwithrand, while others joined the conversation with creative hashtags like #filiblizzard and #paulnighter. Over a million Tweets were sent yesterday about the filibuster.
Senate rules do not permit carrying of digital devices while in the chamber, so Paul’s colleague Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) joined him on the floor to note that “the Twitterverse is blowing up” and read aloud (printed!) Tweets of support:
Reading tweets supporting @ senrandpaul for taking a stand for liberty: youtube.com/watch?v=IpW0-W… #StandWithRand
— Senator Ted Cruz ( @SenTedCruz) March 7, 2013
Sen. Cruz reading Tweets from all of you meant a lot to me. Protecting the Constitution is everyone’s fight.
— Senator Rand Paul ( @SenRandPaul) March 7, 2013
Twitter is woven through the DNA of this filibuster, taking an obscure legislative process into the public space.
— Rick Wilson ( @TheRickWilson) March 7, 2013
During the night, Senators and even House members headed to the Senate to witness the filibuster and tweet to constituents to explain the process.
I am heading to the Senate floor to support @ senrandpaul Do you #StandWithRand ?
— Richard Hudson ( @RepRichHudson) March 7, 2013
No, Rand is not allowed to sit down. “@ richbudd23: @ repjustinamash @ annaforliberty Can he at least sit down?”
— Justin Amash ( @repjustinamash) March 7, 2013
The non-binding resolution that Sen Durbin objected to earlier. Says cant kill Americans on US soil. #standwithrand twitter.com/RepHuizenga/st…
— Rep. Bill Huizenga ( @RepHuizenga) March 7, 2013
Then 12 hours, 52 minutes and 11 seconds after Paul first stood up, the filibuster came to a close:
@ senrandpaul yields floor, receives standing ovation #StandWithRand
— Thomas Massie ( @RepThomasMassie) March 7, 2013
As the long day ended, an intern caught Sen. Paul exiting the Capitol in the wee hours:
Senator Rand Paul leaving the senate after filibustering for over 12 hours #standwithrand twitter.com/RachelKuiper/s…
— Rachel Kuiper ( @RachelKuiper) March 7, 2013
Posted by Bridget Coyne (@bcoyne)