Day: May 24, 2010

The Growing Influence Of Chuck Schumer: The First Jewish Senate Majority Leader?

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, elected in 1998, after 18 years in the House of Representatives, has become a major player in the Senate, and is on the brink of becoming the highest elected Jewish official in US history, if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada loses his very competitive Senate reelection race this fall.

Schumer, always an aggressive and egotistical figure in the Senate, was the Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and helped bring about the Democratic control of the Senate, and its upgrading to 59 senators in the past four years.

A truly brilliant politician, Schumer is seen as likely to succeed Reid, although he must compete with his townhouse roommate, Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, if Reid leaves the Senate. It is interesting how they have a rivalry, and yet they are good friends. Schumer has an image of being able to cross the aisle for support, and to gain backing from his own Democratic colleagues for various initiatives.

If Schumer ends up as Majority Leader, it can be imagined that he would rival Lyndon Johnson and Bob Dole in getting things done, and he could be a major advocate of new initiatives by President Obama over the last two years of his term.

Schumer will win easy reelection this fall to a third term, and is likely to help Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stay in office as well. And with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo likely to have a tremendous edge over GOP opponents, the Democrats are likely to have complete control of state matters, despite the many problems New York State faces.

Schumer will become one of the most important Senators ever to represent New York, on the level of Robert F. Wagner, Sr. (1927-1949), Jacob Javits (1957-1981), and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1977-2001)! And none of the above ever were Senate Majority Leader!