Thanks in part to GOP, Chuck Schumer's stock is on the rise

But there’s no doubt among his Senate Democratic colleagues and aides that Schumer wants to succeed Reid. The bipartisan passage of a landmark immigration bill will go a long way in addressing any lingering concerns about his ability to lead the Democratic caucus.

“Everyone knows he is a great political strategist and a great communicator. Now they know he’s a consummate legislator,” said Jim Kessler, who worked for Schumer before becoming the senior vice president for policy at Third Way, a Democratic think tank.

Schumer has had other significant legislative accomplishments in the upper chamber. He helped push $20 billion in funding for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks through a GOP-controlled Senate; he added the college tuition tax credit to the 2009 stimulus package; and he secured funding for the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy last year…

“He’s been often described in the past as a fierce partisan, a very political person by nature, but in this particular instance he has demonstrated real willingness to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans,” said Jim Manley, a former senior Senate Democratic leadership aide. “It’s impressive that Republicans in the Gang of Eight put aside their views of him as hyper-partisan to work on this proposal.”