Jane has a front page post about the race between Schumer and Durbin to be the next Senate Majority Leader.

Durbin is winning the poll set up in Jane’s post. "Neither" should have been a poll option, and the following details about Durbin might make you agree.

Dick Durbin was an obscure Springfield, IL lawyer when he was approached by AIPAC President Robert Asher in 1982.

From The New Yorker:

"(Asher) identified an obscure Democratic lawyer in Springfield, Richard Durbin, as someone who could defeat Findley. “We met at my apartment in Chicago, and I recruited him to run for Congress,” he recalled. “I probed his views and I explained things that I had learned mostly from aipac. I wanted to make sure we were supporting someone who was not only against Paul Findley but also a friend of Israel.

Asher went on, “He beat Findley with a lot of help from Jews, in-state and out-of-state. Now, how did the Jewish money find him? I travelled around the country talking about how we had the opportunity to defeat someone unfriendly to Israel. And the gates opened.” Durbin, who went on to win a Senate seat, is now the Democratic whip. He is a fierce critic of Bush’s Iraq policy but, like aipac, generally supports the Administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."


Here is Durbin shaking his money maker at the AIPAC Conference just last year:

Are our only choices for a new Senate Majority Leader two guys who owe their careers to AIPAC?

"I asked Rosen if aipac suffered a loss of influence after the Steiner affair. A half smile appeared on his face, and he pushed a napkin across the table. “You see this napkin?” he said. “In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.”"