Rand Paul: “This Debate Isn’t Over”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 9 2013 9:35 AM

Rand Paul: Filibuster Support Shows “Americans Are looking for Someone To Really Stand Up"

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Sen. Rand Paul is seen on a TV monitor as he participates in a filibuster on the Senate floor on March 6

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky created a sensation in Washington and online Wednesday when he stood up and spoke for nearly 13 hours straight in the Senate chamber, railing against the use of unmanned drones. As expected, John Brennan’s nomination to lead the CIA was approved, but Paul managed to get lots of support from civil libertarians in both the left and the right who have long been uncomfortable with the use of drones. Paul writes an op-ed piece in the Washington Post today describing his experience with the filibuster—“If  I had planned to speak for 13 hours when I took the Senate floor Wednesday, I would’ve worn more comfortable shoes”—and making it clear he isn’t giving up on the debate.

He stood up that day and began speaking as a way to “sound an alarm bell from coast to coast,” writes Paul.  Although he had lots of notes prepared, he mostly spoke “off the top of my head and straight from my heart.” Paul goes on to thank the senators who went to the Senate floor to help out with questions, noting that “their presence gave me strength and inspiration.” And while Brennan was confirmed, Paul hopes his “efforts help spur a national debate about the limits of executive power and the scope of every American’s natural right to be free.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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