Wall Street pal Chuck Schumer awfully quiet as Obama attacks private equity

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), the third ranking Democrat in the Senate, and freshman Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), declined a New York Times interview to discuss the controversy on Wednesday. Neither senator has returned calls from the Washington Free Beacon, nor did second ranking Democrat, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, and former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.).

“Many top Democrats are quietly hedging their bets. They’re thinking, ‘What if Obama doesn’t win?’ They’re still going to be in D.C.,” said a top Senate Republican aide. “What you’re seeing could be one of the first indicators that not all Democrats are confident Obama can hold on.”

The silence from Democratic leadership has surprised Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute, a free-market think tank.

“These guys aren’t shy about criticizing the banks,” she said. “Durbin was out there talking about Bank of America for charging $5 debit fee charges, which they didn’t even go through with … It’s curious.”