The Washington Post

Wendy Davis’ sneakers: these shoes were made for filibustering

(Eric Gay/AP)

Davis sported a “rouge-red” pair of running shoes (they were Mizuno brand, probably a model called “The Wave Rider,” which promise joggers an “exquisitely smooth ride.”)

We can already hear the squeals of indignation: why is it that the media always focuses on a powerful woman’s footwear? In other words, why is it always about the shoes?

But the Loop contends that proper filibuster footwear is an issue that knows no gender. Senators both male and female, take note. This is how it’s done.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) certainly could have benefitted from better kicks when he launched his own filibuster on the Senate floor back in March in protest of the Obama administration’s use of drones. Paul didn’t know ahead of time that he would have the opportunity to take to the floor, and so he was wearing his usual senatorial togs — dress shoes included — for the marathon session, which lasted nearly 13 hours, more than an hour longer than Davis’s.

“I didn’t wear my most comfortable shoes or anything,” he told reporters afterward. Given the opportunity, he said he “would have worn different shoes.”

During his time on the floor, Rep. Louis Goehmert (R-Tex.) even offered to loan him the cowboy boots off his own feet when he complained about his footwear, Paul recounted in a Post op-ed about the experience.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tells us he wore his “normal leather loafers” for his 8-hour filibuster of a tax deal in 2010, and didn’t seem too much worse the wear for them.

But we think Davis, with her high-performance footwear, was on the right track.

Just ask Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who often wears a pair of black Puma sneakers in lieu of dress shoes. His spokesman tells us that shortly after Whitehouse came to the Senate, he realized how much walking was involved in the job, and promptly swapped out wingtips for comfier sneaks, which he wears most days. “If he’s going to be running around here, he’d rather be wearing the Pumas,” a spokesman tells us.

Because leaving aside questions about other ways in which filibusters may be an uncomfortable proposition (ahem, no bathroom breaks!), it’s even harder when your dogs are barking.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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