Discussion: Patty Murray Will Support Schumer For Democratic Leader

Discussion for article #234835

A lot of folks here despise Schumer, and I get it, but here are a couple of thoughts I posted a few days ago of why I can’t think of a better choice at the moment:

  1. Though, yes, the leader makes choices on what bills come to the floor, not since LBJ do they originate policy.

  2. We need all the progressives … Warren, Brown, Whitehouse, etc … writing bills and active in committees shaping policy, and they don’t get to do that as leader.

  3. Who else knows the arcane ins and outs of Senate rules, that are absolutely vital to an effective leader, better than Schumer. I don’t personally know of anyone, but it’s not likely to be a first or second term Senator, no matter how smart and involved they are in the inner workings.

  4. Sound bites. Yes, Schumer is famous for his own that we are all familiar with, but he has moments of crafting a message. Reid wasn’t good at that. The GOP bamboozle so many voters with sound bites. Schumer is safe in his seat … if he shifts to a broader message (which he did somewhat as NSCC chairman), we may gain on the GOP in the message wars.

I do understand the misgivings and disdain for Schumer, but who else can play all the obscure Senate levers of power and we would want to let go of writing policy? I’d actually like him having to respond to and lead the Dem caucus rather than legislating. He does not get the choice to ignore them or he’ll be removed.


I have the utmost respect for Senator Murray.

But I have little respect for whomever edits TPM articles.

Murray has taking on critical roles for the party in recent years,…



The problem in my view is that he has graduated from merely crafting policy to deciding what policy gets crafted, and how. Hello, Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Since we have no say in the matter, we have no choice but to watch and see. I would only point out that after doing exactly what Obama implored us to do in the wake of his election, namely, hold his feet to the fire, there is a loud chorus of opposition among the loyal to doing just that. Therefore, it would seem that any critique of policy that’s opposed by some in the rank-and-file will likewise be met with disdain and ridicule. Under those circumstances, Schumer has free rein.

That’s been corrected to taken since you posted. Nevertheless it’s the end of the speculation about the senator from Washington stepping up, the senator who first described herself as a “mom in tennis shoes.”

I agree on all your points as far as Schumer’s suitability for the job,

And since Reid and Durbin already have voiced their support, it’s rapidly being cemented.

And yes, this has little to do with his position on issues. This is about understanding strategy, tactics and procedure.

And as a bonus, Schumer is more telegenic than Reid, who comes across as too soft-spoken.


This is important. We can praise Reid for his gentle and sometime pugnacious strengths but he didn’t grab anyone’s attention and keep it as Schumer likely will. As a former New Yorker, I say this is to be expected from any pol from the state.


Schumer will get in his opponent’s face in a New York minute.


I wish she wouldn’t do that. He’s going to win with or without her support. She needed be associated with him in that fashion.

Senator Murray is all that. Gotta love her.

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Schumer is Anthony Wiener with a functioning brain who keeps his junk in it’s proper place and perspective.


Huh? How exactly do you see this as any sort of potential ‘black mark’ on her going forward, that might somehow bite her in the sneakers were she to seek the role in future?

This isn’t any sort of democratic process at work here. Each caucus selects its own leader.

Bottom lines: 1. We’re in a presidential election cycle now, billions in oligarch money facing Dem candidates for Congress, Schumer is the Dems’ #1 funnel into Wall Street and selecting him at this time - ESPECIALLY with no fuss or sign of infighting - is the fabled ‘Smart Move’. 2. Schumer’s Jewish. No American Dem politician, no American politician of any political strip, stands as a more authoritative voice in response to Bibi. 3. With a woman House leader and a woman nominee for president and off Obama having appointed 2 out 2 women to SCOTUS, do you imagine that women voters are NOT going to identify with the Dems because of Schumer over Murray? If the Dem Senate Caucus were to fail to place Murray in Schumer’s current role, I could see a bit of a problem, maybe, but we all know that job’s going to her - and with Schumer going from 3 to leader in 2017, that makes Murray the heir apparent.


Brilliant assessment, on every point. I particularly like #2: our issue folks shouldn’t have to broaden their focus to legislative minutiae and caucus-tending (or to other issues and presidential politics, fwiw). And Bernie Sanders told Chris Hayes Friday that Schumer’s a consensus-builder who knows where the party is on economic issues, and he directly said, “I think Chuck will be there on all those issues.” Which sounds like validation from the left to me.

To @Trippin’s comment, I’d say there are different ways of holding someone’s feet to the fire. When FDR told a group who’d been lobbying for a particular policy, “All right, I agree with you, now go make me do it,” he wasn’t saying “Now go complain that I’m a corporatist sellout if I don’t do everything you want right away,” he was telling them to get public opinion on their side and to generate enough pressure on Congress (and his agencies – see “net neutrality”) that they’ll be moved to act. Not saying you’re guilty of method #1; but too many have been, which just fuels low-info voters’ apathy, paradoxically making our goals even harder to achieve. The trick is to simultaneously push our folks and have their backs – generate grassroots pressure in an affirmative way, while countering the right’s attacks on them and making clear we’re there for them if they do the right thing.

On Schumer, he’s actually quite progressive, with the obvious caveat (Wall Street is literally a constituency for a NY senator, just as credit-card companies were for Delaware’s otherwise-terrific Senator Biden); and if only to protect his leadership position, I don’t expect him to block his caucus’ initiatives. But public support for sane economic policies and those who champion them will do more to shape the party’s legislative agenda than anything else. That’s the kind of fire we constantly need to be building.

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