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Schumer unusually quiet during tumultuous week

Is this the Sen. Charles Schumer New Yorkers have gotten to know? The one you didn't want to get in the way of when a camera was near?

In one of the most tumultuous weeks for New York Democrats, Schumer - New York's senior senator and arguably its most powerful Democrat - had very little to say about the happenings.

Schumer said nada after:

Gov. David A. Paterson insisted all week he wouldn't quit.

Harold Ford Jr. Monday dropped his race against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Real estate and media mogul Mort Zuckerman on Tuesday said he wouldn't run against Gillibrand either (after dining with Schumer).

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) on Wednesday stepped down under pressure as House Ways and Means Committee chairman.

The White House added a Schumer meeting with President Barack Obama to its public schedule Thursday. A Schumer aide said it was scrapped. A White House aide said it was by phone.

Rep. Eric Massa (D-Corning), facing a sexual harassment complaint, dropped his re-election bid Thursday and resigned Friday.

News broke Friday that White House advisers would soon recommend a military instead of a civilian trial for the accused 9/11 plotters.

When asked about the silence, Schumer's Washington press spokesman offered two statements. On Rangel: "Charlie has done the right thing, and my thoughts are with him at this difficult time." On the trials: "If this is true, it means with virtual certainty the trials will not be in New York, and that is good news."

As Schumer has become more powerful he has become more selective in speaking out - a man of fewer words. - Tom Brune


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