The Congress’ Matchmaker: Senator Charles E. Schumer

The Congress’ Matchmaker: Senator Charles E. Schumer

Senator Charles Schumer of New York likes to encourage his staffers to get married—to one another.

So far, there have been 10 weddings among his staff members, and two more weddings are scheduled for this coming fall. The senator takes pride in the fact that he has made a “Schumer Marriage” for every year he has spent in the Senate.

How has he accomplished this impressive feat? Through a lot of encouragement (or, as the New York Times puts it, by being “The Yenta of the Senate.”) When a staff-member, Schumer feels, is taking too long getting engaged, Schumer issues instructions such as, “What’s the holdup?” “Did you get a ring yet?” or a simple but forceful, “Get moving!”

“Our staff is a family,” Senator Schumer explains in a fatherly tone.

“I want them to be happy. I get worried that they’ll be lonely. So I encourage them. If I think it’s a good match, I try to gently — as gently as I can — nudge it.”

One couple, Josh Isay and Cathie Levine, who worked on Senator Schumer’s staff in 1997, thanked their matchmaker by asking him to sign their ketubah.

And following the weddings? The “Yenta of the Senate” keeps nudging. “Have kids; have lots of kids,” he tells them, “Start early and keep having them.”

“Schumer couples” who haven’t been in touch with the Senator for years recall receiving phone calls from him following births. Former staffer Laura Block, who gave birth 11 years after leaving Schumer’s staff, told the New York Times, “My phone rang and they said, ‘Can you please hold for Senator Schumer?’ I had just gotten home from the hospital.'”

Senator Schumer, a father of two children, often says that his biggest regret in life is that he and his wife did not have more children. “Everyone has a hole inside themselves,” he said. “They don’t know they had it until they have kids, and then that hole fills up. And it’s so great; it’s just God’s greatest gift to us.”

“There are two tests in life, more important than any other test,” Senator Schumer explains, “On Monday morning, when you wake up, do you feel in the pit of your stomach you can’t wait to go to work? And when you’re ready to go home Friday afternoon, do you say, ‘I can’t wait to go home?'”

“If you can say yes to both those tests, God has been good to you, don’t complain.”

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2 comments

  1. wonder how many kids he has.

  2. It says he has two and regrets not having more

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