"I always endorse the Democrats."
-Senator Chuck Schumer, at an event on July 19 with Comptroller Bill Thompson, on whether he'd endorse Mr. Thompson in the mayor's race
Chuck Schumer is the most powerful Democrat in New York, a senior member of the Senate Democratic leadership, and maybe, according to some people, but not Mr. Schumer, and definitely not Mr. Schumer in public, the next Democratic majority leader.
If he's going to continue to be a Democrat who tells other Democrats how to be good members of their party, he can't exactly go around forsaking his party's nominee for mayor simply because said nominee doesn't have much chance of actually winning, or because he's actually perfectly happy with the guy the nominee is running against.
The message here, then, is precise and deliberate: This is just a formality.
Yes, Mr. Thompson isn't technically the nominee yet. But it's also the case that Mr. Schumer has effusively praised Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who hasn't been a Democrat for some time (and who happens to have employed the senator's wife, Iris Weinshall, as the city's transportation commissioner for several years).
"I think the mayor has done a very good job. No question about it. But there may be some others who do an even better job," he said at the same event. "May be" and "some others"–hardly a partisan rallying cry.
At the same event, Mr. Schumer said, "It'll be up to the comptroller's office and my office as to the timing of the endorsement."
Friday afternoon, anyone?