Tag Archives: Majority Leader

Schumer headed for minority leader role

Harry Reid apparently has anointed Chuck Schumer as his successor as the leader of U.S. Senate Democrats.

Oh, that’s just great!

Reid, D-Nev., announced he won’t seek re-election next year. Schumer, D-N.Y., mounted a quick campaign to succeed Reid. It worked.


It’s not that Schumer is going to be bad for Senate Democrats, or even bad for the country. It’s just that Schumer some years ago inherited a dubious distinction from another senator who decided to retire. The distinction is being identified as part of the “most dangerous place in the world.”

It used to be said of Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, that the “most dangerous place in the world is between Gramm and a television camera.” Gramm left the Senate and handed that unofficial title over to Schumer.

Harry Reid has been called a lot of things; some of them are kind, others are not, depending on who’s saying them. “Camera friendly” isn’t really one of them. He speaks quietly and isn’t known to be a media hog. One cannot say that about Schumer, who’s as garrulous as they come.

Once he becomes leader of the Senate Democrats in 2017 — either as minority leader or majority leader, depending on whether Democrats retake control of the Senate in 2016 — he’s going to be everywhere. Probably at once.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough said on “Meet the Press” this morning that that he believes Schumer will be a far greater constructive force as Democratic leader than Reid. Scarborough is more of an expert on these matters than a lot of folks. I hope he’s right.

However, we’d better get ready to see a lot of Democratic leader Schumer on our TV screens in the years ahead.


President has chance to 'pivot,' says GOP

The next-to-last State of the Union speech by Barack Obama is coming up.

It’s important. Heck, they’re all important. But this one seems more important than most. Why? For the first time in his presidency, Obama is going to make his speech before a joint congressional session controlled completely by politicians of the other party.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made an interesting observation: “Tuesday can be a new day,” McConnell said. “This can be the moment the president pivots to a positive posture, this can be a day when he promotes serious realistic reforms that focus on economic growth and don’t just spend more money we don’t have. We’re eager for him to do so.”

“Pivots to a positive posture,” he said. Positive posture? I think that means he wants the president to turn sharply rightward in his policy, heading right into the teeth of Republican orthodoxy.

Well, do not hold your breath, Mr. Majority Leader.

However, look for the president to “focus on economic growth.” We’ve seen plenty of it during the past five years or so.

The president has sought to scarf up the bulk of the credit for it. Republicans are fighting back, saying, “Hey, we deserve the credit.”

I don’t expect Barack Obama is going to cede much, if any, ground to Republicans on the state of the economy.

He’ll declare, though, that the state of our union is in good shape. Will he say “strong,” or “sound” or “resilient”? All of those descriptions?

Allow me this final observation. Barack Obama’s speech is going to give Republicans plenty of fodder with which to argue with him and his team.

The 44th president is heading toward a rocky and raucous home stretch. On Tuesday night, standing before a Congress controlled by Republicans, he’s going to make the turn.