An amusing “race to the podium” between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was caught on film Tuesday afternoon.
Schumer swooped in front of the cameras staked out next to the Senate chamber right before McConnell could make it to the podium. The hilarious moment came just before the weekly Senate press conferences.
Schumer and McConnell are generally adversaries. But the Tuesday moment, which came as senators continue to debate a bipartisan infrastructure deal on the Senate floor, was all taken in good humor.
The Democratic Leader came in from the right and cut off the Republican leader’s path, prompting gasps and whoops among the assembled reporters.
McConnell stopped dead in his tracks, appearing somewhat confused, holding out his arms as if to say, “What the heck is happening here?”
Schumer turned around and flashed what can only be imagined as an impish grin and pumped his fist.
“The prerogatives of the majority,” Schumer quipped.
McConnell, however, took the one-upmanship in good humor and simply laughed.
“You all remember what they used to say about Chuck over in the House: You never want to get between Chuck and a camera,” McConnell joked as he and his leadership team were forced to step aside awkwardly and wait their turn.
Informal Senate protocol calls for McConnell, as minority leader, to speak after Schumer. But on occasions when the Democratic caucus lunch discussions run long, and Schumer is nowhere to be seen in the Ohio Clock Corridor, sometimes McConnell will speak first.
Schumer, joking: “The prerogatives of the majority.”
Mcconnell and Schumer share a laugh after Schumer cuts him off to go first at weekly pressers. pic.twitter.com/XRLYwGsW1G
— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) August 3, 2021