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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres











Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Charles Schumer are pictured. | Getty


"New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has long been viewed as the heir apparent to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, with such strong support among moderates that a group of them privately urged him to mount a coup for party leader after the midterm election meltdown. Schumer didn’t take on Reid — he’s too loyal — but he is being forced to face a new power center inside the caucus, populists such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren. When Reid was in talks with Warren about a job in Senate leadership earlier this month, Schumer suggested tapping moderate Sen. Mark Warner, too, to balance out her progressive politics — or perhaps making her a 'liaison to liberal groups,' a narrower job than what Reid had proposed, according to sources familiar with the private talks. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said no to both of Schumer’s suggestions, later taking the job as a policy adviser to Schumer’s messaging operation. Warren’s rise in Senate leadership – and her popularity among grassroots liberals – represents an unexpected presence in Schumer’s leadership orbit, where he has spent years cultivating a reputation as one of the masterminds of Democratic messaging.
As one Senate Democratic source put it: 'The turf [Schumer] thought he knew may have shifted beneath his feet.' Schumer allies fiercely deny there was an effort to neutralize her. 'There was no 'dust-up,’ said one source close to Schumer. 'These were discussions, not offers to be rejected or accepted. Schumer is excited with the outcome and looks forward to working with our new leadership team.' No senator believes Warren is about to jump in line in front of Schumer for party leader, but her promotion still creates challenges for the New Yorker as he tries to craft party messaging that keeps both liberals and moderates satisfied. And with Reid now in the top Democratic spot for at least another two years, and a bevy of ambitious Democrats suddenly surrounding him on the leadership team, the chatter in some Senate circles has become: When will it be Schumer’s time to run the caucus?" (Politico)









Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images


"The Republican Party has had some bad ideas, but it has never come up with a political tactic as obviously stupid as shutting down the federal government to protest President Obama’s immigration policies. It is almost a masterpiece of self-sabotage, harnessing the party’s most self-destructive short-term political maneuver to its most dangerous long-term demographic liability. It is the sharks-with-laser-beams of political maneuvers ... Incredibly, in the short time since the midterms, the prospect of a shutdown has progressed from unthinkable to probable enough that Republicans are apparently wracking their brains to come up with an alternative ... Well, they could — I dunno, just spitballing here — try maybe not shutting down the government. It’s just crazy enough to work. The Republicans certainly have a valid procedural complaint about Obama’s prospective plan. The legal consensus is that the president is perfectly in his rights to use selective enforcement to carve out vast new practical exceptions to existing immigration law. Likewise, the Republican Congress was perfectly within its legal rights to refuse to lift the debt ceiling unless Obama submitted to various policy demands. The fair accusation is that Obama is playing Constitutional hardball, pushing his existing powers in new, potentially dangerous directions. One can imagine a future Republican president using selective enforcement to neuter elements of the tax code." (NYMag)








"Wednesday/Michael’s. The joint was jumpin’. Full up from front to back. Missing were Da Boyz, all of ‘em and a few others we often see on Wednesday. In the rundown, you will see many single names. Nobody was lunching alone. I simply didn’t know the names of their lunch partners. There are others who escaped my notice; many. The Mr. Lloyd listed in the sidebar is a grandson of the late Bunny Mellon. He and his wife, who live in Washington, DC, had come up to New York for Tuesday night’s Preview cocktail of his grandmother’s collection sale at Sotheby’s. They were lunching yesterday with Bryan Huffman, an interior designer from North Carolina who was a personal friend of Mrs. Mellon, and with Meryl Gordon who has written a biography of Brooke Astor as well as Huguette Clark, the 105-year-old mysterious heiress who died here in New York three years ago and left tens of millions to her maid and nurse as well as her accountant and lawyer. She is now working on a biography of Mrs. Mellon. The Bunny Mellon art sale was the first of what will have been mainly three sales (the catalogue has two volumes for the interiors items). The jewels and interiors sales took place yesterday and today, and continues until the 23rd." (NYSD)

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