Donald Trump along with also Chuck Schumer are spoiling for a clash once the President-elect takes office next year along with also the completely new Democratic Senate minority leader gets his hands on his caucus after winning election on Wednesday.
Schumer had hoped to be directing a Senate majority to implement Hillary Clinton’s agenda, nevertheless the stunning upset in last week’s election means he can be the lone expect for Democrats as they resist an unexpected Republican presidency along with also GOP dominance on Capitol Hill.
“Chuck Schumer can be going to be the single most influential Democrat in Washington,” said Jim Manley, a former top aide to retiring Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. “He can be, as leader of the Senate Democratic caucus, the only thing standing between the Trump-Ryan legislative agenda along with also those who are opposed.”
Trump along with also Schumer — both flamboyant, media savvy, outspoken, deal-generating larger-than-life completely new York personalities have history. In fact, Schumer can be one of the few political figures in Washington who Trump actually knows well, along with also the billionaire contributed to several of his completely new rival’s election campaigns.
Schumer even rode to Trump’s defense when he got embroiled in a primary spat earlier This particular year with Ted Cruz over “completely new York values.” Schumer (Brooklyn) along with also Trump (Queens, then Manhattan), had common cause against the Texas senator.
Schumer could never have expected he could be matching wits against Trump within the White House — nevertheless the next stage of their political relationship promises to be one of the most intriguing stories of 2017.
Given their common experience within the completely new York fishbowl, where business along with also politics mix, both probably have an idea of what makes the additional tick. in which alone contrasts with the awkward relationship between President Barack Obama along with also Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who lacked a common political language. McConnell could prefer to work with Vice President Joe Biden instead.
Skirmishes between Trump along with also Schumer will also reflect the ironic influence of the elite East Coast haven of completely new York on top-level politics in Washington — after an election decided within the industrial heartlands of the Rust Belt.
Trump, with his reality television background, promises to dominate the conversation once he moves to Washington in January.
nevertheless in Schumer, Democrats also possess a megaphone, along with also a contrast to the soft-spoken Machiavellian Reid, who was more of an inside player.
Schumer’s facility with the media led to the Washington cliche in which the most dangerous place within the city was between him along with also a camera, nevertheless in recent years he has refashioned his image along with also spent less time in television green rooms.
He’s promoted additional Democrats by his spot on the party’s Senate Democratic leadership team along with also become a more rounded political figure.
“He has become a much more serious legislator along with also I think Republicans understand in which,” Manley said.
Still, Schumer’s capacity to drive a sharp political message along with also sense of shifting political winds will be vital to Democrats as they climb off the canvas.
Schumer the politician can be known as a schmoozer, who can be willing to engage the additional side nevertheless to also fight tenaciously.
Schumer “has generally worked well with Republicans even though he can be a fierce partisan,” said Jim Kessler, who was a senior aide to Schumer on Capitol Hill for eight years along with also today can be senior vice president for policy at Third Way.
“He features a belief in which politics can be a rough sport nevertheless This particular can be played fairly along with also cleanly. If you play the game in which way even if you take a shot at him he feels in which This particular can be fair along with also doesn’t ruin the relationship,” Kessler said.
If This particular comes to a knife fight with Trump, Schumer can be unlikely to shirk by a confrontation along with also will marshall his Democrats behind him.
“This particular can be a guy — he wants to win,” said Jim Battista, a professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, completely new York, where Schumer can be a fixture at commencement ceremonies.
“This particular’s not much use being the minority leader, if … he can be not winning.”
Still, if common ground does emerge within the completely new Washington, Schumer can be likely to explore This particular.
In recent years, he has built relationships with Republicans like Sen John Cornyn of Texas along with also Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. along with also This particular’s likely his interactions with McConnell will not be as publicly acidic as those between Reid along with also the Republican leader in recent years.
The Democratic leader in waiting’s first task can be to restore equilibrium to his traumatized party. By January, he must chart a strategy for their efforts next year to emerge as a roadblock to Trump along with also to salvage as much as they can of Obama’s legacy by wielding the Senate filibuster.
Then, Schumer must steel his party for a tough set of re-election races within the mid-terms in 2018.
Fresh by his uncontested election on Wednesday, the product of years of behind-the-scenes maneuvering in which speaks to Schumer’s political shrewdness, the completely new York senator vowed to stand firm against Trump nevertheless to also seek areas where the next president along with also Democrats can work together.
“When we can agree on issues, then we’re going to work with them,” Schumer said. “nevertheless I’ve also said to the President-elect on issues where we disagree, you can expect a strong along with also tough fight.”
Possible common ground includes Trump’s proposals for a massive infrastructure building program along with also a plan to censure China for what critics says can be currency manipulation.
nevertheless hopes for cooperation hit a reality check This particular week, with the appointment to a top White House job of Stephen Bannon, a Trump ally who has links to the white nationalist movement.
The move alarmed some Democrats because This particular appeared to suggest in which the Trump administration could embrace some of the darker aspects of the Republican’s campaign — nevertheless This particular also energized a party in which had spent the days since the election wallowing in grief.
“We’re going to keep a genuinely careful eye on the president along with also on him. If they do anything by This particular day forward — they’ve done so much awful by This particular day back — along with also we’re going to go after them in terms of bigotry,” Schumer said.
Rebuilding the Democratic brand
One of Schumer’s most important duties — as the effective leader of his party in Washington, will be to repair Democratic links to blue collar along with also middle class Midwestern voters who defected to Trump.
With in which in mind, he expanded the Senate Democratic leadership team to include Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose populist primary campaign tapped into the sense of economic malaise along with also anti-establishment fervor exploited by Trump.
Schumer’s critics have long pointed to his ties to Wall Street finance along with also big money donors to question his fealty to working class Democratic values.
nevertheless Kessler said no one in American politics features a better understanding of the economic challenges facing voters.
“He has the best intuitive sense of the middle class of any politician I have ever met,” said Kessler.
“He comes by the middle class, he still lives in a middle class area, along with also he obsesses about them along with also their well being. If there was ideology called middle class This particular could be his.”
As he reaches out to disaffected Democratic voters, Schumer might be influenced by his own dealings with economically challenged areas of his own state, where he won a thumping 70% of votes in his re-election race.
“He’s a broadly seen as a Manhattan guy who can be working at not appearing so much of a Manhattan guy,” said Battista, who said Schumer had taken pains to understand the concerns of Western completely new York, including campaigns to keep the Buffalo Bills by relocating. “He’s somebody who has always seemed to be comfortable sitting down along with also talking to the Rust Beltier parts of completely new York.”
sy88pgw’s Jeff Zeleny along with also Nicole Gaouette contributed to This particular report.