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If there’s one criticism of Schumer within his caucus, it’s that he hopes to be loved, not feared, by his members. Even though 67-year-old is studying to say “no” more to his caucus, said one Democratic senator, “he’s and not as iron-fisted, less old-school, and not as personally intimidating” as Reid was.
But that’s just according to Schumer’s quirky style. He has got memorized all of his 48 caucus members’ cell phone numbers, refusing to program them into his archaic flip-phone, and declares that “I genuinely love” all of them. He shooed a photographer out from the room within a recent interview so he could slouch his shoulders without worry.
His long leash has allowed Senate Democrats up for reelection to determine voters having a straight face how they aren’t beholden to Schumer’s every whim.
“People – not only for [progressives] – think I could snap my fingers and have absolutely every Democrat vote generate income vote. It’s not at all happening,” Schumer says of his soft touch. “The No. 1 thing a leader wants is members to experience their job, feel they’re productive, and grow happy inside. And a second of the easiest ways to do this is watch them get to their unique conclusions.”
One cause of the stress between Schumer plus the party’s liberal wing is the fact he views battling with Trump as only a portion of his job. He responds for the president daily, but treads somewhat carefully because “[I] don’t just desire a knee-jerk opposition to him on everything."
Schumer has picked his fights selectively. He watched as his moderate members helped confirm CIA Director Gina Haspel and roll back financial regulations, all the while he personally voted “no.” When he did adopt a difficult line, leading his caucus right into a brief shutdown over immigration policy, it yielded nothing and that he quickly relented.
At one time, Schumer has essentially stymied Trump’s border wall – though he did seriously entertain an immigration deal that will have provided billions for doing it – and won significant spending increases for domestic programs. Anf the husband has had been enlighten both wings on the party that reeled after Hillary Clinton’s loss and Democrats’ poor performance in Senate races.
“He puts his heart and soul into your job,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, associated with Schumer’s leadership team, said in the interview. “And everyone in the caucus witnesses that, and appreciates how hard he’s trying to make an effort to hold our caucus together and move it forward in truly difficult times.”
“The beauty of Chuck to me is, he lets me be me. And vote generate an income desire for my state,” said North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who battled with Warren within the banking bill. Asked whether Schumer has ever twisted her arm, she replied: “Not once.”
Schumer also has rejuvenated his once-ailing friendship with Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the party whip whom Schumer declined for months to endorse as his lieutenant after Reid announced his retirement. Right now, Durbin said people must not be surprised to learn the onetime roommates are just as before close.
“We’ve had good honest conversations about our relationship, as well as it never been better,” Durbin said.
Republicans take a far different have a look at Schumer. They’re operating a national campaign strategy targeted at elevating Schumer right into a national bogeyman, trying to yoke him to imperiled incumbents like they did with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California this season and Reid in 2014.
Ask a Republican candidate what they create a vulnerable Democrat, and are generally more likely to tell you the frequency of which that Democrat voted with Schumer, slamming him to your Senate’s slow pace of confirming Trump nominees and party-line opposition to tax cuts.
“He’s a wise guy. Though the basic strategic error that they’ve made is always to oppose just about everything,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), one of Schumer’s workout buddies inside the Senate gym.
And GOP senators gently mock Schumer for his rosy view of the Democrats’ electoral chances. Schumer began showing off his agenda as majority leader mothers and fathers until the 2016 election, McConnell recounted from a recent interview, even calling the GOP leader to specific hopes they could keep cooperating. After the GOP held the Senate, McConnell called Schumer back and told him he hoped that include still held.
But when mentioned their relationship on a personal level, GOP senators generally find criticize the chatty New Yorker.
"We’re also able to work together at a lot of things. You can be kind of candid amongst each other concerning the internal demands within his conference and mine,” McConnell said. “And I’ve enjoyed working with him.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Schumer is “overplaying his hand” on dragging out confirmations, “but having said that, I’ve dealt with him on a couple of issues. As he tells you he can take steps, he’ll almost certainly apply it. I have found him as being a very dedicated, honest man.”
Some on the loudest criticism Schumer has heard is produced by at night Beltway. His disinterest in flipping votes against Haspel as well as the bank deregulation bill drew howls on the left, though he did quietly block a Coast Guard bill over concerns it might harm the community.
While Schumer’s liberal senators are brimming with praise for him, activists have on the streets to protest him in his home base of Brooklyn for a few years running. As he folded while in the fight over immigration that caused a concise government shutdown, some to the left dubbed it the #SchumerSellout.
The minority leader, however, insists he isn’t worried about dampening enthusiasm among the base by letting Heitkamp and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) vote where did they please.
“Our caucus has been doing a good amount of proof against Trump. Plenty,” Schumer said. “And wherever I am, I receive plaudits to the caucus in standing to Trump, only when it’s appropriate.”