Pryor: I'd Support Chuck Schumer Over Harry Reid for Majority Leader

Posted: Oct 06, 2014 1:30 PM

It seems Senate Democrats running for re-election have found their scapegoat.

As The Washington Free Beacon recently reported, at a pricey fundraiser last week Sen. Mark Pryor (R-AR) went out on a limb and said that “possibly the best thing that could happen” after the midterm elections was for Sen. Reid to step aside as majority leader.

And who, pray tell, should replace him? Ahem:

Pryor suggested Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), saying he “does a pretty darn good job there in the Senate, and he’s actually, he’s not this crazy wild-eyed, left wing liberal either.”

I suppose Pryor also prefers Schumer because he doesn’t have quite the same name recognition as Harry Reid in Arkansas, and therefore he’s not as polarizing. Thus, by endorsing a less controversial but experienced incumbent to serve as majority leader (that is, if and only if the Democrats maintain majority control), Pryor can shed both the Obama/Reid rubberstamp label he’s been branded with and prove he’s not afraid to turn on one of his own.

On the other hand, Schumer is about as progressive as they come. National Journal ranked him the most liberal lawmaker in the US Senate in 2013. (He shared that award with Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz). So what, exactly, would replacing Reid with Schumer accomplish in practice? It would merely supplant one partisan and liberal Democrat for another.

I doubt this is the kind of message Pryor intended to send to his constituents. Still, the fact he prefers Schumer over everyone else is telling nonetheless.