On Wednesday, Chuck Schumer of New York was elected as minority leader by Democratic U.S. senators. He, in turn, tapped former Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders to aid the Democrats in wooing blue-collar workers, most of whom voted for Republican Presidential-elect, Donald Trump, in the elections held on November 8th. A meeting was also held by Senate Republicans who voted to keep Kentucky’s Mitchel McConnell as their majority leader. 65-year-old Schumer is coming in to replace Nevada’s Harry Reid, who is retiring. Schumer will be the top Democrat in the Senate as the party is preparing to deal with the Republican majorities in both House of Representatives and the Senate as well as Republican Trump.
Schumer said that the Democrats had learned a valuable lesson from the presidential elections on November 8th. They had come to understand that they needed a better economic message to show the people that they wanted to return the economic system to something that works in their favor rather than against them. Schumer has been part of the Senate since 1999. After the closed-door election was held by the Democrats, he told the reporters that they were willing to work with Republicans and soon-to-be president Donald Trump on issues they agree upon.
However, he added, that they had complete intention to fight the president-elect if their progress or values were ever assaulted. Schumer, recognizing the influence Bernie Sanders has with numerous working-class voters, he requested him to become the caucus head of outreach. The independent senator from Vermont had lost the presidential primary to former Secretary of State and senator, Hilary Clinton. He declared that his job was to get in touch with ‘grassroots America’. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, another liberal was rewarded the position of vice chair of conference whereas the role of conference secretary was given to Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who is a progressive voice.
The title of vice chairman of the Democratic communications and policy committee was given to the more conservative Democrat from West Virginia, Senator Joe Manchin. Schumer said that he was aware that the new team would have some differences in opinion. Nonetheless, their aim was to work together to reach out to the blue-collar workers in Michigan, West Virginia and also those living along the coast. The economic populism of Donald Trump had helped him in convincing some Democratic regions in blue-collar states. On the other hand, Democrats had performed well in coastal states and larger urban centers.
The minority whip, which is the number 2 spot, is still with Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois whereas the assistant Democrat leader is going to be Senator Patrick Murray of Washington. In the House, an announcement was made by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. She said that she was running once again for the position of minority leader and one-third of her caucus is already supporting her. There may be a challenger for Pelosi, but she agreed to delay elections until November 30th as her fellow Democrats said that they needed more time to assess where they had gone wrong in the presidential elections.