Schumer on the Occupiers

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 28 2011 3:28 PM

Schumer on the Occupiers

Greg Sargent gets him to wax about the movement more than Nancy Pelosi has, asking specifically whether "Occupy Wall Street could become a liability for Democrats, as Republicans are trying to make happen."

“Occupy Wall Street has resonance far beyond the protests,” Schumer said. “Whether middle class people agree with the protests or not, the vast majority believes that they’re part of the 99 percent and that something should be done to help them.” Republicans who think this tactic will work with “swing voters,” Schumer said, are “inside their own bubble.”
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This sounds bold, but Schumer has some polling to back him up. Two weeks ago, the Siena poll of New Yorkers found they were okay with Occupy Wall Street remainin in Zuccotti. The margin: A healthy 57-40. New York hasn't had the authority and assault problems* that some other Occupy zones had, and its police clashes have been one-sided, mass arrests and purges with a ton of media capturing the scenes. To some degree I think the overwhelming media attention in New York is helping out; the ugly reports coming from smaller cities' Occupy camps are largely from local news and blogs without a ton of context, while the reports from OWS are livestreamed, put in the New York Times, filmed for CNN. You have to separate that coverage from the regular bashing coming from News Corp properties, but when you average it out, the movement's getting pretty good coverage in New York.

*In many cases, these are derelict and disturbed men who take advantage of the hippy-dippy OWS atmosphere to make trouble.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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