On Saturday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was dining on Peking duck with family and friends on the West Side of Manhattan when a staff member called with critical news: Democrats would win Nevada’s Senate seat and maintain their majority.
As the news appeared on television, the restaurant erupted in applause, and a group of people who were having a birthday party sent him a piece of cake.
Schumer did not, however, stay to celebrate.
He was shortly hurrying across town for a last-minute, late-night news conference in the foyer of a building close to his office.
He practically giggled to the cameras, “I will be majority leader again.”
He said the 2022 election was “a success and a vindication for Democrats.”
It was a victory for Democrats’ slender 50-50 majority and especially for the frequently underrated Schumer, who has amassed a string of surprising legislative triumphs this year.
The biggest shock came during the midterm elections when his party successfully defended seats despite historical tendencies and President Joe Biden’s poor approval ratings.
Another two years of slender Senate control were the outcome.
The Senate confirms judges and nominations for the executive branch, including for the Supreme Court, if there are any openings in the next two years.
Even a slim majority has significant repercussions for Biden and his party.
Republicans, who could control the House, would likely attack the president politically in the run-up to the 2024 election.
Democrats will have the power to pick which measures to bring to the Senate floor.
A fire roared behind Schumer as he stated, “Listen, I was on top of every one of these campaigns,” during a Monday interview in his Capitol office.
He asserted that he thinks Democrats prevailed because they had superior candidates and successfully passed legislation over the summer that, among other things, restricted who could possess firearms and allowed the government to negotiate some prescription drug prices.
This was always the idea, according to Schumer.
Get things done, keep your attention on them, and avoid becoming sidetracked.
Finally, he claimed that Republicans who backed former President Donald Trump’s efforts to rig the election were rejected by voters who opposed their anti-democratic actions.
Schumer said, “We were on the verge of autocracy gnawing away at our democracy.”
He pointed out that the House committee looking into the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising had renewed interest in the attack over the summer, with numerous hearings and videos of Trump supporters assaulting police receiving significant airtime.
“The American public expressed disapproval of this. I will reject it. The people of America saved us.