Rand Paul made it nearly 13 hours: The Republican senator/Tea Party favorite ended his old-style filibuster shortly after midnight today, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would continue to oppose confirmation of John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director. Paul's performance, which centered on questions about the possible use of drones against targets in the United States, clearly energized a number of his GOP colleagues, who came to the floor in a show of support and to share in the speaking duties. Some highlights:
- Sen. Ted Cruz read Twitter messages from people eager to "Stand With Rand"—along with passages from Shakespeare's Henry V and lines from the 1970 movie Patton, starring George C. Scott.
- Sen. Marco Rubio made references to rappers Jay-Z and Wiz Khalifa.
- Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, and red tie, Paul read from notebooks filled with articles about the expanded use of drones.
- Paul's Twitter account adopted the hashtag #filiblizzard to commemorate his feat, notes Politico.
Paul ended his lengthy speech with a joke. He said that he was tempted to go another 12 hours and try to break Sen. Strom Thurmond's record (he filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957), but he needed to use the bathroom. "I discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I'm going to have to go and take care of one of those in a few minutes," Paul said. After Paul yielded the floor, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin filed a motion to cut off debate on Brennan's nomination, setting up a vote for later this week.