The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 7, 2013

Paul's 13-hour filibuster: From dry throat to "Alice in Wonderland" to candy to applause

The Washington Post

11:47 a.m. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., begins the filibuster of John Brennan's nomination as CIA director, with the senator's office saying he will speak for "a few hours"

12:54 p.m. Paul acknowledges "my throat's already dry and I just got started."

1:05 p.m. Paul asks what constitutes an enemy of the state: "Are you going to just drop a . . . Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?

1:16 p.m. Paul says President Barack Obama's foreign policy is "an extension" of George W. Bush's foreign policy.

2:04 p.m. Paul says, "I have decided to occupy as much time as I can on the floor to bring attention. Ultimately, I can't win. There's not enough votes."

2:45 p.m. Paul gets emotional: "We have to adamantly and unequivocally stand up and say to those who would say this is a battlefield. The hell it's a battlefield; this is our country.

2:57 p.m. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, joins the filibuster, speaking and asking Paul questions.

3:08 p.m. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., joins, calling Paul "a modern 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,' because he'll surely be making Jimmy Stewart smile."

3:29 p.m. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, joins.

3:53 p.m. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joins, making the filibuster officially bipartisan.

4:18 p.m. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joins.

4:37 p.m. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., joins.

4:45 p.m. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., asks when Paul might yield for a cloture vote. "I think the rest of the body needs to know if we're going to finish tonight or tomorrow or the next day," Reid says. Paul says he will yield when Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. say clearly that they won't kill U.S. citizens on American soil.

4:50 p.m. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., joins.

4:59 p.m. Paul reads from "Alice in Wonderland."

5:14 p.m. Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Tex., joins.

5:47 p.m. Paul says Obama "ran as the guy with the real moral umbrage at what President Bush was doing and in the end he's taking presidential power to a new level beyond what President Bush could have ever imagined."

6:13 p.m. Paul takes a bite from a small candy bar and struggles when a string of filling hangs from his mouth.

7:11 Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., tells Paul they will schedule a hearing on drone strikes. Paul says he wants Democrats to guarantee a vote on a non-binding resolution expressing opposition to drone strikes on U.S. territory.

7:27 p.m. Cruz reads tweets supporting the filibuster.

9:16 p.m. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., joins.

11:13 p.m. Rubio quotes from hip-hop artists Wiz Khalifa and Jay-Z, whom he calls "modern-day poets," and from the movie "The Godfather."

11:25 p.m. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joins for the first time and says he will oppose bringing to a vote Brennan's nomination until Paul's question is answered. "Should cloture be invoked, I intend to oppose the nomination and congratulate my colleague from Kentucky for this extraordinary effort," McConnell said.

12:38 a.m. Paul closes his remarks: "I would go for another 12 hours to try to break Strom Thurmond's record, but I've discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I'm going to have to go take care of one of those in a few minutes here." The chamber (or what's left of it) erupts in laughter.

12:39 a.m. Paul yields the floor, earning a round of applause.