Breaking: Sen. Chuck Schumer Shuns an Open Microphone

Sen. Chuck Schumer at the mics last Thursday after a meeting at the White House. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Some say the most dangerous place in Washington to stand is between Sen. Chuck Schumer and a microphone. The quip has become some widespread, it’s now a D.C. cliche.

But the damnedest thing happened last week, and your correspondent was there to witness it: Chuck Schumer shunned an open mic.

It happened last Thursday, as your correspondent was talking with Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., about a failed Pentagon missile interceptor test. Udall ducked into an elevator on his way to vote. As the conversation ended, Schumer raced toward the elevator.

“He can get on,” Schumer said, referring to your correspondent — then the No. 3 Senate Democratic leader glanced at my press credentials.

Yes, my recorder was still rolling. An open mic. Schumer’s specialty…

“Oh,” said the clearly disappointed senior senator from New York. “He’s a reporter.”

Schumer quickly boarded the elevator and flashed a sly grin.

First, Chuck Schumer shuns a microphone. Then, less than a week later, bipartisanship breaks out in the upper chamber with a deal to move a list of Obama administration nominees. What in the world is going on? It must be this July heatwave.

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett