DSCC Gavel Still Up in the Air

Posted November 18, 2008 at 11:12am

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) says he will remain Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman at least until the outstanding 2008 Senate races are resolved, but still is keeping coy about whether he ultimately intends to pass the gavel to Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) in January.

Schumer, chased down after a closed-door session with Senate Democrats to determine next year’s leadership lineup, at first declined to comment about his future. But when pressed, the two-time DSCC chairman said he would stay on at the campaign committee post for at least a few more weeks. Three Senate races remain in doubt, including Minnesota, Alaska and Georgia.

“I’m staying in to handle the three more races, and then we’ll decide what to do,” Schumer said.

Schumer has been mum for months about whether he wanted to do a third, unprecedented tour at the DSCC. Most Democrats expect him to step aside, but in recent days have wondered if he is rethinking giving the chairmanship up for the 2010 cycle. Meantime, Menendez, the No. 2 at the DSCC, has been preparing to takeover.

On Tuesday, though, Menendez was equally vague about the transition.

“You better talk to Harry Reid,” Menendez said, referencing the Senate Majority Leader.