#OnlyOnTwitter: Mr. Paul Goes to Washington and the Senate filibuster

Thursday, 7 March 2013

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:

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:

During the night, Senators and even House members headed to the Senate to witness the filibuster and tweet to constituents to explain the process.

Then 12 hours, 52 minutes and 11 seconds after Paul first stood up, the filibuster came to a close:

As the long day ended, an intern caught Sen. Paul exiting the Capitol in the wee hours:

Posted by Bridget Coyne (@bcoyne)
Government Team