When it was whispered earlier this week that Senator Bernie Sanders might be stepping up as Senate Minority Leader, the senator had apparently not heard the same rumor.
As a result, Democrat Chuck Schumer was selected for the position on Wednesday and will replace Harry Reid as the Senate Minority Leader for the next several years.
Though Schumer is the most senior member, and therefore was a shoe-in for the position, many were hoping that Democrats might buck the tradition and place Bernie into the spot as a show of reconciliation with the split party.
Earlier this week, protesters even held a sit-in outside of Schumer’s office, calling for him to step aside for Senator Sanders.
Sanders apparently did not support this same subversion of tradition and after Schumer was confirmed, Sanders sent out his congratulations to the new Minority Leader.
There’s nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than @SenSchumer.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 16, 2016
Though Schumer has a reputation for being a bit too establishment and willing to make deals. In 2016, that is about the worst thing one can be. Nevertheless, Schumer’s appointment makes him the first Jewish leader to head a party in Congress.
Though progressives may mourn this missed opportunity, it is clear that Sanders feels no love lost. Without this distraction of an additional position, he can continue to support issues he believes in, just as he did Tuesday evening when he joined the NoDAPL protest on the White House lawn.