Schumer Shoots Down Majority-Leader Speculation. Also Military Trials, Pheasants

Morning Joe may be losing its steam, but Chuck Schumer seemed well-caffeinated in a pre-dawn interview this morning, launching into long defenses of Harry Reid, health care, and Eric Holder.

The segment began with Mr. Schumer’s least favorite subject: His desire (unstated, hypothetical, overwhelmingly probably) to be majority leader of the United States Senate.

“If I had to pick a guy to run the Senate, and I was a Democrat, it sure as hell wouldn’t be Harry Reid,” Joe Scarborough said. “It would be Democratic Senator from New York–who I just put in an uncomfortable position…Senator Chuck Schumer.”

That left Mr. Schumer shaking his head.

“There’s no one better at this than Harry Reid and I think people always underestimate him. He’s a great leader and I’m totally committed to his leadership. So let’s push that aside,” Mr. Schumer said.

“Well done!” they said back in the studio.

But Mr. Schumer felt the need to keep going, calling Mr. Reid a “great, great bringer-of us-together, and a good vote-counter. We’re going to get the 60,” he promised. (In a majority leader-like move, Mr. Schumer took his first hunting trip with Democratic Senator, and health care holdout, Ben Nelson last week. “I got three pheasants,” Mr. Schumer told reporters on Wednesday.)

Mr. Schumer then scheduled his own next appearance. “Put me on the show in three weeks, and you’ll see, we’ll have a good strong health care bill that people like,” he said.

“You’ll still be talking in three weeks,” Mr. Scarborough replied.

Asked about the terror trials, he called the military tribunals establish in 2006 “untested.”

“So when the authorities say that this is the best and quickest way to put these people to their ultimate punishment, in my view it should be capital punishment, you gotta take him at his word and go with it,” Mr. Schumer explained.

As co-host Mika Brzezinski wrapped things up, Mr. Scarborough had his own send-off: “Future majority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer.”

Mr. Schumer scoffed. “Oh get out of here, stop that.” Schumer Shoots Down Majority-Leader Speculation. Also Military Trials, Pheasants