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Chuck Schumer's Sartorial Secret

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is a man who stands accused of many things -- loving television cameras, the New York Giants and the sound of his own voice, for example -- but never in his storied career as a politician has he been accused of being a fashion plate.

And no one in his or her right mind would ever suspect Schumer of having a European tailor. Which is why his (loud) conversation aboard a recent northbound train ride on the Acela Express came as such a shock to two informants, who also happened to be sitting in the same first-class car as Schumer.

Schumer, along with the equally and proudly unfashionable Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), were on a train to Philadelphia Friday to attend a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which Schumer chairs. A young woman who works at the DSCC rode with them. The senators, uncharacteristically, happened to notice how fashionable she was (compared to them), and they were overheard complimenting her on her necklace.

Leahy, whose idea of haute couture is a pair of Birkenstocks and a flannel shirt, mistook the aide's green necklace for authentic jade. She confessed it certainly isn't, she bought it at Target. Which prompted Schumer -- talking at his usual 60 to 80 decibels above normal speaking level -- to tell his aide and colleagues about his French tailor.

"His name is Jay-Cay Pennay!" shouted Schumer, giving a variation on the more common faux francophilic pronunciation of JC Penney, which is "Jacques Pennay."

Schumer does have a thing for fashion, ya know. He offered legislation last summer with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to fight fashion piracy and protect New York's fashion designers from (mostly Chinese) rip-offs.

Asked about his fancy French tailor, Schumer confirmed it and quipped, "And I do all my shopping at Tarjay." (Or, pronounced another way, Target.)

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 5, 2008; 3:45 PM ET
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Chucky Schumer is a perfect example of EVERYTHING that is wrong with Zionism.

Posted by: DWayne | March 5, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Dwayne could not be more correct and succinct. This vignette superbly illustrating the hubris which Chuck's mother should have spent extra time trying to prevent.

Posted by: PGrimm | March 6, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Ms. Akers for ' exposing ' Chuck Schumer's obvious jerky behavior. Mr. Schumer should be replaced and one can hope a strong candidate will face him for reelection. Michael Bloomberg may not find the Senate a large enough stage for him...but IF the Mayor ran, Mr. Schumer would probably become a lobbyist !

Posted by: Alan Reubel | March 6, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

As a former New Yorker, I love Chuck Schumer, his sense of humor (rhymes w/ Schumer). I'm glad he supports local merchants.

Posted by: Alexandria Lupu | March 6, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden, however, cuts a nice figure in his well-tailored suits and shirts. Quite presidential.

Posted by: Publius | March 6, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

And you wonder how stereotypes are born?

Posted by: LTCSTAN | March 7, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I had the good fortune to be in the Senate Gallary during the extraordinary Saturday session held about a year ago to debate if the Senate would debate about Iraq.

Sen. Boxer was parading about in a designer sweat shirt and baggy pants. Sen Schumer was dressed in a traditional suit and spoke eloquently as did the well turned Sen. Biden who should be the Party's nominee. The satorial award went hands down (in my view)to Sen Liberman who was dressed in an obviously expensive, handsomely tailored suit.

But none of this is important. The Dems lost that day no matter who wore what and Sen. Liberman sided w/the GOP.


By the way I think Schumer is terrific!

Posted by: John A. Fuhrmann | March 7, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

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