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Durbin And Schumer Vie To Replace Reid

From the former news magazine, Time:

Schumer vs. Durbin: An Early Fight to Replace Harry Reid

By Jay Newton-Small / Washington Thursday, Mar. 11, 2010

No one remembers exactly when they started, but there is no doubt that the campaigns for Senate majority leader are raging on Capitol Hill. They have not been formally declared, of course, and for good reason — the position is still filled. But as Harry Reid’s November re-election has looked increasingly imperiled, his two top deputies in the Senate have become more overt in their quests for his job. And in a Senate that is already near paralyzed by partisan rancor, the two Democrats’ maneuverings are threatening to further gum up the works.

Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, and New York’s Chuck Schumer, who is No. 3, for several months now have been trying to one up each other in wooing their colleagues. Schumer’s speeches to the Democratic caucus are filled with shout-outs to all those whose hard work he appreciates. Durbin lavishes praise on a long list of contributing senators on his bills. They both are racing from issue to issue — health care, jobs, filibusters — trying to position themselves as the next leader for the party…

The first time leadership aides noticed something was amiss was during the health care debate last November, when Schumer made some notable overtures to the progressive wing of the party

Just after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus passed a bipartisan health reform bill out of his committee, Schumer demanded that the public option — a liberal provision that provided government competition to private insurers — be put back in. Reid initially bowed to Schumer’s pressure, but weeks later had to drop the provision in order to secure all 60 Democratic votes to overcome a Republican filibuster threat. That delay would come back to haunt the Democrats after the New Year, when Scott Brown’s surprise victory in the Massachusetts Senate race cost them their critical 60th vote. Even last month, Schumer joined 23 progressives in signing a public letter to Reid asking that the public option be put back in the bill during reconciliation, the parliamentary procedure that the party hopes to use to pass reform by a simple majority vote. "Either way, Schumer came out smelling like roses: if it goes down he’s the progressive champion; if it passes he’s the one who got the public option in," says a Senate aide. "It’s typical Schumer — he doesn’t care about collateral damage, he only cares about self-aggrandizement."

While Schumer was tied up on health care, Reid asked Durbin in early November to craft a jobs bill. For months Durbin polled members and committee chairmen, compiling the best ideas. But throughout his career Durbin has been viewed as more of a policy wonk than a legislative tactician — there’s a perception, Democratic aides say, that he tends not to follow up on the requests his fellow senators make. And Schumer didn’t help matters, lobbying against Durbin’s liberal $82 billion bill by saying there weren’t the votes to pass it.

Reid soon capitulated and gave the bill to Baucus and his GOP counterpart Chuck Grassley of Iowa to craft with Schumer’s help. Durbin, incensed, began a progressive campaign to bring down that bill on the grounds that it gave too much away (in the form of tax cuts and business incentives) to Republicans in an effort to pass a bipartisan bill. In frustration, Reid threw up his hands on Feb. 12, mere hours after Baucus unveiled his bill, and stripped down both Durbin’s and Baucus’s bills to their smallest building blocks and began a strategy to pass them piecemeal instead of in one big package. "The jobs bill would’ve been done weeks ago if not for the Schumer-Durbin wrangling," says a senior Democrat. Not only did their intrigue make Reid look bad — his sudden move sparked a firestorm of criticism — they cost the Democrats a quick, bipartisan victory on jobs

Still, what does it tell you about the Democrat Party when their top options to replace the odious Harry Reid are the equally odious Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 11th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Durbin And Schumer Vie To Replace Reid”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    I love how Time doesn’t even question if the Dems will even hold the majority position after the elections.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    I thought seeing Dingy Harry on my TV day after day was bad, but it got worse when I had to see Barry O get overexposed.
    Now I might have to see and hear “Chuck-U” Schumer more than the number of times he currently hogs a camera?

  3. proreason says:

    I disagree that Schumer and Durbin are “equally odious”.

    Schumer is far worse than the Reaper. His only rival for odiousity is Drooling Barney. Even the Witch isn’t in Chuckie’s league. I could only compare Schumer to Rasputin, in terms of cunning and evil. Don’t know about the sexual escapades, but other than the Drooler, only the evil monk comes to mind as a human as purely evil as Chuckie.

    Durbin is probably about the same as the Reaper, but Durbin may be a bit less mentally deficient.

  4. Reality Bytes says:

    Schumer?! Doesn’t the rest of the country hate New Yorkers enough already?

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      RB, I’m from N.J. originally and I thought New Yorkers liked it that way. : )

    • Reality Bytes says:

      You’re right. Majority Leader Schumer. “Cause New Yorker’s aren’t Hated Enough”.

  5. JohnMG says:

    …..”Durbin And Schumer Vie To Replace Reid…..”

    Alright!!!! This is going to work out perfectly regardless how it comes down. First, we turn Daschle out to pasture, Next, we dump Reid. That’s two Democrat Senate majority leaders in a row. If the Demmies retain power in the Senate, I will take great pleasure in shit-canning either of the two slime-buckets trying out for the job–makes me no mind which.

    And if the Senate flips, neither of the two iceholes advances. But I have to agree with RB concerning New York. If you were going to give the world an enema, that’s where you’d put the syringe.

    • Reality Bytes says:

      You know what they say here MG, “Everything west of the Hudson is Cleveland.”

      And another oldie, “the Jews may own NY, but the Irish run it.”

      Happy St. Pats!

  6. Mithrandir says:

    “And in a Senate that is already near paralyzed by partisan rancor……”

    Well whose fault is that? Writing it that way makes it sound like it’s all the Republicans fault, and if we got them out of the way, there wouldn’t be any partisan rancor.

    Oh no no no! The only rancor is internecine posturing, back-biting, arm-twisting, threat-making, power-hungry play making you ALWAYS get with the Democrats!

  7. BobonStatenIsland says:

    Most people, I have noticed, and I live in New York (just look at my name here), have been consumed with Gillabrand. She took over for Hillary, having been appointed by the non-elected as Governor, Governor David Paterson and promtly changed her position on just about everything and essentially became Schumer’s rubber stamp. That said, she isn’t well liked. Neither is the Governor, for that matter. The thing is, with Gillibrand’s seat up because she was a fill in, most do not realize that Schumer, himself, is also up for re-election. And, he is vulnerable. Let’s face it: if Gillibrainless is unpopular and she is really just a rubber stamp for Schumer, Schumer cannot be all that popular either. If the RNC would sink some much needed money into TWO good Conservative candidates BOTH of these abysmal Senators can be eraticated. Why so many do not see that New York is RIPE for the picking, especially after the Massachusetts turn around, that we can actually have both U. S. Senate seats and the New York Governor seat all turn Republican (hopefully Conservative) is puzzling.

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