Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Schumer and Casey

It's behind a subscription wall but “The Senator and the Street,” by Jeffrey Toobin in the The New Yorker, August 2, 2010, has an interesting note about PA Sen. Bob Casey, Jr.:

Schumer's political dexterity, more than any fixed ideology, is reflected in his work bringing the Senate Democrats from minority to majority status. Shortly after Robert P. Casey, Jr., was elected state treasurer of Pennsylvania, in 2004, he got a call from Schumer, asking him to challenge Rick Santorum, a two-term Republican incumbent, in the 2006 race. "I wasn't thinking of running for the Senate at all," Casey said. "So Chuck called me, and I had all these arguments ready -- I had only run for state office, it's hard to run against an incumbent. Buck Chuck had through of all of them before me, and he had good answers."

There was, however, the question of abortion. Casey, like his father, a former governor, was staunchly opposed to abortion rights and thus, he thought, an unlikely recipient of support from the national Democratic Party. yet Schumer, an abortion-rights supporter, waved off Casey's concern, saying that the importance of beating Santorum trumped reproductive rights. "chuck took a lot of shrapnel for supporting me on that one," Casey said. (Some pro-choice groups denounced the D.S.C.C. for backing Casey.) "He took the time to know my issues. He didn't just want to talk about what he needed." Casey defeated Santorum by eighteen percentage points.

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