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The Power Dozen


Illustration by Riccardo Vecchio  

Chuck Schumer
WHO: U.S. Senator
WHAT: New York State

On Columbus Day in Astoria, parade marchers noticed a familiar man approach them on a bicycle. It was Chuck Schumer, unshaven and wearing workout clothes. He just happened to be on a solitary bike ride and intersected with the parade. Schumer got off his bike and walked a few blocks with the throng, chatting with people. And then he biked away. Somehow, New York’s senior U.S. senator manages to be everywhere at once. In Washington, he’s mediating or brokering the most high-profile bills. In New York, he’s constantly courting media coverage of his latest consumer or middle-class agenda. On Wall Street, his most powerful constituency, he’s raising a prodigious amount of political cash. Schumer has become the kingmaker of local Democratic politics. And there’s the constituent services: “I get almost daily calls from somebody saying can you get Schumer to weigh in on this,” says Councilman David Yassky, a former Schumer aide. His wife was a Bloomberg commissioner until 2007, and the senator calls the mayor frequently to talk strategy.


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