When Is a Compliment Not a Compliment in the Senate?

None

Schumer: Strategy will lead to deal.
National Journal
Michael Catalini
See more stories about...
Michael Catalini
Oct. 24, 2013, 1:32 p.m.

Sen. Chuck Schu­mer of New York, the No. 3 Demo­crat in the Sen­ate, is look­ing ahead to the Feb. 7 debt-ceil­ing dead­line fa­cing lead­ers in Wash­ing­ton. To pre­vent an­oth­er close call, Schu­mer is sug­gest­ing what’s known around the Cap­it­ol as the “Mc­Con­nell Rule.”

The pro­pos­al was in­tro­duced by Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell of Ken­tucky dur­ing the 2011 fisc­al crisis, and it would let the pres­id­ent ex­tend the debt lim­it but also al­low Con­gress to send along a res­ol­u­tion of dis­ap­prov­al. If the pres­id­ent ve­toed it, Con­gress, of course, could then over­ride the veto.

It’s ex­pec­ted that Schu­mer would want to take any pos­sible lever­age away from Re­pub­lic­ans, but it’s also worth point­ing out that Schu­mer’s com­ment on Sunday’s Meet the Press was the second time Schu­mer em­braced Mc­Con­nell in pub­lic re­cently.

The first time came in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of the shut­down and debt-ceil­ing ex­ten­sion when Schu­mer heaped praise on Mc­Con­nell for work­ing out an 11th-hour deal with Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id.

As has been typ­ic­al for Schu­mer throughout the shut­down and debt-lim­it drama, he shared his shrewd polit­ic­al ana­lys­is at the same time.

“My hat goes off to Sen­at­or Mc­Con­nell,” Schu­mer said at the time. “He’s in a very dif­fi­cult situ­ation polit­ic­ally. And once he saw that Speak­er [John] Boehner in the House was tied in a total knot, he knew he had the ob­lig­a­tion to step up, even if it might hurt him in his cam­paign. I re­spect that. I think every one of my Demo­crat­ic col­leagues re­spects that. And it’s something that I’ll re­mem­ber.”

Schu­mer might have been pay­ing Mc­Con­nell a com­pli­ment, but that’s not the way the com­ment played in con­ser­vat­ive me­dia circles or in Mc­Con­nell’s GOP primary back home in Ken­tucky.

“Mitch Mc­Con­nell is pro­moted in a pos­it­ive light by the de­test­able Chuck Schu­mer and the me­dia: ‘He’s the adult in the room,’ ” said con­ser­vat­ive talk ra­dio show host Mark Lev­in. “How the hell can I sup­port this guy for any­thing?”

Lev­in went on to en­dorse Mc­Con­nell’s primary chal­lenger, Louis­ville busi­ness­man Matt Bev­in.

For his part, Mc­Con­nell has said in in­ter­views since the pres­id­ent signed the agree­ment he helped broker that his role in seal­ing the deal il­lus­trates he’s the go-to guy when grid­lock strikes in D.C.

“I’ve demon­strated, once again, that when the Con­gress is in grid­lock and the coun­try is at risk, I’m the guy who steps for­ward and tries to get us out of the ditch,” Mc­Con­nell said in an in­ter­view with Na­tion­al Re­view.

From his per­spect­ive, the deal un­der­cuts his Demo­crat­ic chal­lenger, Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes, who has painted him as “Sen­at­or Grid­lock.”

“She’s go­ing to need to find a new ra­tionale,” Mc­Con­nell said.

Schu­mer’s flick­er­ing em­brace of Mc­Con­nell pro­motes Sen­ate col­legi­al­ity but also, shrewdly, dings Mc­Con­nell with the right-wing of the Re­pub­lic­an party, said long-time New York Demo­crat­ic op­er­at­ive Hank Sheinkopf.

“The two ac­tions fit to­geth­er. Here’s Schu­mer who caresses Mc­Con­nell while at the same time put­ting a knife in his back at home,” Sheinkopf said. “Schu­mer is a very smart tac­ti­cian.”

What We're Following See More »
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
2 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
2 days ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×