A bird’s eye view of Ted Cruz

September 24, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has been on his feet for more than eight hours as he continues his hours-long objection to the new federal health-care law.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

As the senator continues speaking, congressional reporters have been coming and going from their unique perch over the Senate Chamber, an area above the dais that affords a bird's eye overhead view of the proceedings down below.

From that perch, we've noticed the presence of no more than 40 and no fewer than about 25 regular everyday folks who've made their way to Capitol Hill tonight to watch Cruz. Only a handful of senators have been in the chamber during the evening hours, mostly Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and whichever Democratic senator is presiding at the time. So far Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Timothy Kaine (D-Va.) and Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) have all taken turns leading the chamber.

Down on the Senate floor, Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Louie Gohmer (R-Tex.) and Paul Broun (R-Ga.) are sitting on a bench along the back wall of the Senate Chamber watching Cruz intently. There are a handful of floor aides, security guards and high school-aged ushers watching on the floor.

As he said earlier in the evening, Cruz is indeed wearing black tennis shoes that are likely giving him a little extra padding as he keeps on his feet for an extended period of time.

On Cruz's desk is a large ringed binder and stacks of paper, what appear to be a mix of notes and prepared remarks and tweets printed out from his staff to read aloud when he's running low on fresh material. Earlier in the evening, a copy of the Dr. Seuss classic, "Green Eggs and Ham," was spotted on a nearby desk.

Resting on his desk to the right is a manila folder, marked, "From: Louie Gohmert."

And just in case he loses his train of thought, there's also a yellow post-it note that reads in blue ink: "Yield only for the purpose of a question. Be careful!"

Jeff Simon contributed to this report.

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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