On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took the Senate floor at 11:47 a.m. He didn’t yield it until 12.39 a.m. Thursday. Paul’s filibuster, one of the longest traditional filibusters in recent memory, gained immediate traction on social media. Paul was filibustering the confirmation of John Brennan as director of the CIA.
In particular, though, Paul used the opportunity to rail against the president’s use of drones, vowing to speak “until the President says, no, he will not kill you at a café.”
Regardless of what you think of Paul or his concerns, his ability to rally fellow Republicans, including possible presidential hopefuls Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to his cause and capture the attention of the Twitterverse was remarkable. Ultimately, however, Paul ceded the floor, cloture was invoked, and the Senate voted to confirm Brennan.
Along the way, Paul drew some criticism from the likes of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. The Wall Street Journal also criticized him in an editorial, saying, “The country needs more senators who care about liberty, but if Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about.”
Despite this, Paul managed to unite many different wings of his party behind him, and has positioned himself well for any future political aspirations he may have. For this, Rand Paul is the winner of the week.
Joe Timmerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a sophomore majoring in math and economics.