Schumer's Weekend: Pokes Romney and Palin, Prods White House

On Saturday, Senator Charles Schumer emailed his supporters with a link to Mitt Romney responding to hecklers in Iowa by saying “corporations are people, my friend.”

Schumer’s email — which said the video “has to be seen to be believed” — was part of an all-out push by Democrats to capitalize on Romney’s comments. In Iowa, the DNC rushed out an ad with the video, and bought a block of ads across Iowa.

“This video is so important because it so clearly shows the contrast between Democrats and Republicans,” Schumer wrote in the email.

The senior senator even doubled-down, including a second video of “former half-term governor of Alaska Sarah Palin” supporting Romney’s comments. “Republican obstruction has gone beyond misguided and cynical to reveal a much deeper misunderstanding,” Schumer said.

The email is one of Schumer’s first forays into the partisan fray of next year’s presidential campaign, and the next day, he tried to push the White House to do the same kind of politicking. In a front-page story in Sunday’s New York Times, which reported on a divide in the Obama administration over how much to pursue compromise with intransigent Republicans, Schumer prodded the White House:

“The president’s team puts a premium on being above the partisan fray, which is usually the right strategy,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate. “But on this issue, when he knows what the right thing to do is, and when a rather small group on one side is blocking any progress, you have to be willing to call that group out if you want to get anything done.”

And, of course, there was the Sunday press conference. While he was calling for legislation to beef up background checks at utility plants, that was an asterisk in the press release; the focus was on Schumer’s call for Congress and the White House to focus on jobs “like a laser,” as he prefers to put it. Schumer's Weekend: Pokes Romney and Palin, Prods White House