After 13 hours of continuous talking on the Senate floor in an old-fashioned, Mr. Smith-style filibuster, Rand Paul had an even more pressing need than American civil liberties.
"I would go for another twelve hours to try to break Strom Thurmond's record, but I have discovered there are some limits to filibustering, and I'm going to have to take care of one of those in a few minutes."
There was audible laughter on that line, which was impressive in itself, because it means that after 13 hours, people were still listening to Rand Paul. It's also amazing that Paul made it through 13 hours without having to succumb to the calls of nature.
Though Paul started his filibuster with a lot of angry language toward the Obama Administration, its drone policies and claim that it can kill an American on U.S. soil without a trial, he ended on a more gregarious note, thanking the Senate for its "forbearance" and saying that he hoped that he had reached some Democrats.
Paul's reference to Strom Thurmond brings up an important point: real filibusters are, if nothing else, memorable. They are extraordinary acts, and they always make the news. Strom Thurmond was a senator for approximately 250 years, and one of the things he is best known for is filibustering the Civil Rights Act. We can say without reservation that Thurmond was on the wrong side of history, because he made a 24 hour display of which side he was on. Now Rand Paul has too, and yesterday is something people will remember, regardless of how his political career proceeds. Whether you agree or disagree, we know how Rand Paul stands here. That's how politics is supposed to work.