Chuck Schumer next Senate Democratic leader?

posted at 12:55 pm on May 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

How damaged has Harry Reid become in his re-election fight?  Chuck Schumer may not be measuring the drapes to take over as the leader of the Senate Democratic caucus, but he’s starting to campaign already, according to the Washington Post.  He’ll have to push Dick Durbin out of the way, but for a man who seems to have no problem stampeding over the man with the job at the moment, Durbin’s #2 position shouldn’t present much of an obstacle:

During his three-decade legislative career, Schumer, 59, has developed a reputation as a razor-elbowed, shamelessly self-serving, media-addicted political monster. He is also arguably the single most effective lawmaker of his generation.

Now, with confidant Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) hanging on to his seat by a thread, the Brooklynite is nearing the goal line of his long game. Succeeding Reid would make Schumer the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in American history and, more important for the uber-competitive politician, the first among peers. Schumer has thrust himself into the center of issues ranging from jobs to immigration to Supreme Court hearings, but as that momentum has carried him into a more intimate arena where popularity matters, the grating architect of the current Democratic majority has become noticeably more collegial. Perhaps not coincidentally, his colleagues see him as thefront-runner to be their leader.

“It’s very much within the realm of possibility,” said Chris Dodd of Connecticut, who lost a race for minority leader to South Dakota’s Tom Daschle by a vote in 1994. “He’s always moving and always talking to people and he has a very good feel for what other people have to put up with. And that’s a critical point of that job, understanding the environment your colleague has to operate in.”

Schumer declined to be interviewed for this story and betrays an uncharacteristic loss for words whenever the term “majority leader” is uttered. Reid is, after all, still in control, and his closest competitor is Dick Durbin of Illinois, the liberal majority whip with whom Schumer has shared a Washington townhouse for years. Each can boast a strength: Durbin has the pleasant demeanor of a consensus builder; Schumer is the diehard fighter who has never lost an election. The prospect of a Chicago vs. New York majority leader race with echoes of Obama vs. Clinton is tantalizing, but also distracting.

Gee, maybe Schumer should wait for the body to get cold.  After all, Reid won’t get beaten in his re-election efforts for another five months.  Does the campaign have to start now?  Apparently Schumer is impatient to wield the levers of power.

The big question will be how much power Schumer will wield.  With Richard Blumenthal suddenly looking very vulnerable in Connecticut, the Republicans have an outside shot at winning control of the upper chamber in November.  The fight might be over who gets to preside over the minority, which won’t be nearly as much fun as watching Reid blow the majority into a big November loss.

Do Democrats really want a loud liberal as the next leader anyway?  With an electorate poised to punish Democrats for pushing a radical agenda over the last four years and especially the last two, giving Schumer the job sends a message that Democrats think it will be business as usual no matter what.  Even Durbin presents that problem.  They’d be better off going with a more centrist member like Mark Pryor, and if they actually pay attention to the results of the election, the remainder of their caucus may be more likely to consider that as an option.


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Damn it, I just had lunch!

ThePrez on May 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The next Senate Majority Leader will probably be a republican, and if that happens the congress will be absolutely deadlocked with the democrat minority obstructing everything. Nothing will pass congress, nothing.

Skandia Recluse on May 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Hey Ed, can you resize the photo? It is making the blog go to the bottom of the page.

upinak on May 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM

I like the Durbin angle (if the Dems still control the Senate). America, do want to have two of the three leaders of the Executive and Legislative branch to be from Illinois? Have you seen the fiscal state of Illinois?

WashJeff on May 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM

…the Republicans have an outside shot at winning control of the upper chamber in November

This is what we should be striving for, instead of bickering over who will be the 2012 presidential nominee.

Rebar on May 20, 2010 at 1:02 PM

TY Ed

upinak on May 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM

The three most odious members of the Senate are fighting for leadership. Hurry November!

BetseyRoss on May 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Does the campaign have to start now? Apparently Schumer is impatient to wield the levers of power.

Why doesn’t he just get a shingle made that says:

“Office the the Senate Leader Elect”

CC

CapedConservative on May 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM

OT:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down over 300 points @1:05 Eastern.

Emperor Norton on May 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM

BetseyRoss on May 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Better they fight each other and not fighting America.

ThePrez on May 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Schumer will probably get it. He’ll do anything for more exposure, and he might beat Durbin bloody with a microphone to get what he wants.

On the other hand, the Chicago Boys might send Schumer a dead fish.

Aren’t these guys fun? Wasn’t there a time when grotesque ne’er do wells like these chaps were behind bars and not running the country? Gack-tastick!!

It’s astonishing that Dems are proud of these greasy slimeballs – along with that crazy woman Pelosi and Harry-the-Coffin-Reid. All great Americans, for sure! Patriots!!!!!! /not

Cody1991 on May 20, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Durbin has the pleasant demeanor…

The author must be thinking of a different Di ck Durbin.

myrenovations on May 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Dems may not see it that way, but Durbin seems not much different than Reid. Both are leftist hacks, not too bright. Even though Schumer uses his for evil, at least he has a brain.

RBMN on May 20, 2010 at 1:12 PM

SHTF (When the Schumer hits the fan)

Oil Can on May 20, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Even if the GOP doesn’t take back the Senate, it may still get below the “squish” level, where even RINO votes aren’t enough to get past cloture. (Of course Schumer is pushing to “reform” the filibuster by lowering it from 60).

The Dems may get the Maine twins, Graham, McCain (we know he’ll revert to his old ways), Alexander, Lugar, Grassley, but that might not be enough. The RINOs don’t necessarily vote in a bloc on every issue.

If the Dems need 60 to get bills move, Schumer’s abrasive manner might not work, especially with the Maine twins, who like things to be collegial.

Wethal on May 20, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Chuckie might be more annoying than Harry Reid (if that is possible) but he may also be less effective. Durbin and Chuckie are about equally bad and contemptable.

Mr. Joe on May 20, 2010 at 1:14 PM

I would rather the emphasis be on making whoever the Democrats pick the minority leader of the Senate.

Mr. Joe on May 20, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Dems may not see it that way, but Durbin seems not much different than Reid. Both are leftist hacks, not too bright. Even though Schumer uses his for evil, at least he has a brain.

RBMN on May 20, 2010 at 1:12 PM

This

ernesto on May 20, 2010 at 1:17 PM

The dems won’t keep the senate so chuckie can fagetaboutit.

tim c on May 20, 2010 at 1:18 PM

OT but related, file this under to good to check, the DC has up, “Calling In The Cavalry
Liberals rally around Blumenthal, claim he was quoted out of context”

This going to blow up in their faces methinks!

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/#ixzz0oUVBdhTP

Archimedes on May 20, 2010 at 1:18 PM

ANYONE but DURBIN.

Get out the vote people and let Chucky be MINORITY LEADER

originalpechanga on May 20, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Two things rise to the top – cream and pond scum.

LarryG on May 20, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Not surprising, and I can’t say I hadn’t considered this possibility. Only Feingold has more balls than Schumer when it comes to Senate Dems, in my opinion, but they would never make Feingold their leader. He’s too ethical.

MadisonConservative on May 20, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Like other lower forms of life, Congresstitutes go after the weak, sickly or young. Reid certainly qualifies for the first two categories.

SeniorD on May 20, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Do Democrats really want a loud liberal as the next leader anyway?

I don’t know about Lefty’s, but I sure do. Either Schummer or Durbin works for me as long as a prerequisite for the job is to be on the news all day every day. Both their voices are more irritating than Reid’s. But not by much.

cozmo on May 20, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Haven’t Chucky and Turbun Dirtbin lived together in D.C. like for years? How cozy.

MayorDaley on May 20, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Better they fight each other and not fighting America.

ThePrez on May 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM
//
Agreed!

ohiobabe on May 20, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Gag. Schumer should be investigated for nudging the country into economic collapse.

Connie on May 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Schumer may indeed be a “loud liberal” (well, ok, he is), but to my eyes Durbin is worse. He’s a Marxist whose “pleasant demeanor” is merely a piece of clever packaging disguising the not-so-pleasant surprise within. I admit I care more about who replaces Mitch McConnell than Harry Reid but I fear the output from a Senate led by either of those clowns.

MTF on May 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM

little dickie durbin is the next minority leader

reliapundit on May 20, 2010 at 1:36 PM

DURBIN……SCHUMER……..

……go for the juggular, cut-throat politicians that want to WIN….WIN….WIN (at all costs).

What does the GOP get to oppose?

Mitch “GIRLY MAN” McConnell

LORD HELP US!!!!!!!

PappyD61 on May 20, 2010 at 1:37 PM

The next Senate Majority Leader will probably be a republican, and if that happens the congress will be absolutely deadlocked with the democrat minority obstructing everything. Nothing will pass congress, nothing.

Skandia Recluse on May 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Not such a bad thing.

Wade on May 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Do Democrats really want a loud liberal as the next leader anyway?

Is there any other kind?

percysunshine on May 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Do Democrats really want a loud liberal as the next leader anyway?

Of course they do. It’s who they are.

Mitchell to Daschle to Reid. Schumer is the next logical step in that progression.

“They can’t possibly find anyone worse this time.” Dems: “Wanna bet?”

tsj017 on May 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Durbin has the pleasant demeanor…

The author must be thinking of a different Di ck Durbin.

myrenovations on May 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM

He’s also an idiot, as are his staffers.
About 10 years ago-maybe more- I called DD’s office to b**** him out about his stand on partial birth abortion.
While my voice is deep it’s unquestionably female. I also gave my name etc.
The reply I received was addressed to Mr. male name that sounds close to my first name but not and then they misspelled my last name.
The letter was BS anyway
It just shows how seriously Durbin’s office took my concern.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM

OT- Breaking Satire news

Apparently, Congressional Human Resourses will soon be taking applications for food tasters again. They quit calling it “government seasonal work that people are just dying to do” because of the inference of short term employment. Or maybe it was the implications of becoming terminally ill. Workers show up, eat, vomit, collect their check, then go home sick. That turnover rate is terrible. CHR has decided to change their employment search from people wanted to “”eat sh!t and die” to “you are not necessarily what you eat if you throw up immediately afterwards.”

Americannodash on May 20, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Would be nice if the GOP existed in NY and someone could run against this tool.

JammieWearingFool on May 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Would be nice if the GOP existed in NY and someone could run against this tool.

JammieWearingFool on May 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM

andy mccarthy and mort zuckerman or colin powell could beat him.

reliapundit on May 20, 2010 at 2:00 PM

All the more reason that we have to win back the Senate

MainelyRight on May 20, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Schumer only gets to be leader if he gets re-elected. He probably will, but it’d be nice if the Republicans actually fielded a candidate against him.

Iblis on May 20, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Minority leader, maybe

Vashta.Nerada on May 20, 2010 at 2:12 PM

It must be nice to have such a rich, deep pool of sociopaths from which to choose. Still, I wonder if Schumer’s pathological lying wouldn’t cause some problem down the road. The man couldn’t tell you what he had for breakfast without exercising some sort of deception. I expect that, as with many sociopaths, it’s kind of a self-rewarding game to him.

Blacklake on May 20, 2010 at 2:19 PM

The author must be thinking of a different Di ck Durbin.

myrenovations on May 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Bing. +11

Jaibones on May 20, 2010 at 2:19 PM

This has been an open secret in New York for years.

Red Cloud on May 20, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Republicans need to dump McConnell. Being “the face” of the minority leadership is one of the reasons people are turned off to the party.
He looks especially foolish now that Rand Paul slaughtered his chosen candidate.

lonestar1 on May 20, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Schumer, make it Schumer, the more radical the dems, the better for us.
Schumer is so obnoxious it guarantees us taking back the senate.

right2bright on May 20, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Lizard face has got to go.

fossten on May 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Schumer is so obnoxious it guarantees us taking back the senate.
right2bright on May 20, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Was thinking the same thing. The more repellent, the better, heh.

Feedie on May 20, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Do Democrats really want a loud liberal as the next leader anyway?

I wonder if the majority of Dems know what they want unless one of their own tells them what they want. Victory on this front will go to the pushiest. With that criteria Schumer is a shoo in.

jeanie on May 20, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Gee, maybe Schumer should wait for the body to get cold.

Hell, Schumer would knife Harry in the back himself if he could keep the blood off his hands.

GarandFan on May 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Do Democrats really want a loud liberal as the next leader anyway? With an electorate poised to punish Democrats for pushing a radical agenda over the last four years and especially the last two, giving Schumer the job sends a message that Democrats think it will be business as usual no matter what. Even Durbin presents that problem. They’d be better off going with a more centrist member like Mark Pryor, and if they actually pay attention to the results of the election, the remainder of their caucus may be more likely to consider that as an option.

Good god Ed, are you really saying this? If the Dems lose, the base will be all that’s left and they will want a blood and guts and veins in the teeth partisan to tear into the Republicans. The last thing they will do is realize that the loss is their fault. Dems don’t do the introspection and contrition thing. “Centrist”? The party of Obama? HA!

jnelchef on May 20, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Oh goody.

‘Cause things went so well for the last ‘rat majority leader and the current one is doing just fine. /s

I hear he’s a lock for re-election. /S

CPT. Charles on May 20, 2010 at 5:51 PM

He’ll (Schumer) have to push Dick Durbin out of the way:

What a choice! A self-hating Jew how hates America, and a man who not only hates America but our military as well. Yes we can!

madmonkphotog on May 20, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Do we expect anything less from one of the slimiest people to ever walk the earth?

Schumer is one of the most despicable beings ever, he lies and flips more than anyone all for the benefit of himself.

Rbastid on May 21, 2010 at 12:15 AM