If Chuck Schumer and Sherrod Brown ever met on the playground, we doubt they would engage in just garden-variety trash-talking.
The two Democratic senators displayed their — albeit playful — rivalry Tuesday at a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing last week when the good-natured taunts covered topics from baseball teams to affinity for animals.
What set the stage was the fact that one of the nominees testifying at the hearing — Mary Jo White, the administration's choice to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission — is from Schumer's home state of New York, and the other — Richard Cordray, who was renominated as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — is from Brown's home state of Ohio.
Schumer started off speaking glowingly of White, who is U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and highlighted some of her non-work pursuits. Those include basketball, motorcycle riding and, Schumer said, "when she does relax and … [takes] a break from putting terrorists in jail, she likes to crack open a cold Bud." But, he said, "She has a warm and fuzzy side too," adding that in 2011 she was named to chair the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Schumer finished off his tribute by identifying White's favorite baseball team, the Yankees, while making an apparent dig at Brown. "All of" White's "accomplishments and accolades aside, the moment of truth for me came, when I discovered that despite being born in Kansas City, and raised in Virginia, she was a diehard Yankees fan," Schumer said. "I hope that won't deter the Senator from Ohio in his deliberations. I know he hates the Yankees."
Not to be outdone, Brown offered this snarky rejoinder to White's resume. "My understanding is that Rich Cordray loves dogs and cats too, so…" the senator said, eliciting laughter from the room. Brown then threw in that he owns a dog, named Franklin, for Franklin Roosevelt.