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Schumer's Quiz Team Heads to the Hill
Senator Charles Schumer brought his team—and his competition—to his Capitol Hill office for their 40th high school "It's Academic" reunion. By Carolyn Kriss
Comments () | Published March 22, 2007
Schumer answers questions read aloud by Mac McGarry, Washington, DC, host of It's Academic.

There's nothing like winning a quiz game when you lose a vote on the Iraq war. Although New York Senator Charles Schumer and 47 other senators failed to garner the majority for a resolution to revise United States policy on Iraq, Schumer nailed nine out of ten trivia questions during the fortieth reunion of his high school "It's Academic" quiz team.

Schumer, who skipped eighth grade, captained his high school team at the slender age of sixteen. He lead James Madison High School (also the alma mater of Republican Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman) to the televised “It’s Academic” semi-finals in New York, where they dispatched Flushing High School only to suffer defeat at the hands of the well-organized Plainview-Old Bethpage High School squad.

All three teams assembled for a fortieth reunion on the Hill in the office of the one person nobody in the room described as a huge nerd.

There's nothing like winning a quiz game when you lose a vote on the Iraq war. Although New York Senator Charles Schumer and 47 other senators failed to garner the majority for a resolution to revise United States policy on Iraq, Schumer nailed nine out of ten trivia questions during the fortieth reunion of his high school "It's Academic" quiz team.

Schumer, who skipped eighth grade, captained his high school team at the slender age of sixteen. He lead James Madison High School (also the alma mater of Republican Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman) to the televised “It’s Academic” semi-finals in New York, where they dispatched Flushing High School only to suffer defeat at the hands of the well-organized Plainview-Old Bethpage High School squad.

All three teams assembled for a fortieth reunion on the Hill in the office of the one person nobody in the room described as a huge nerd.
Senator Schumer calls his mom.

"He always had a good sense of humor, and he tried to cultivate a non-nerd persona," said Janet Schwartz, who attended junior high, high school, and college with the man she still calls, "Chuck." Schumer also played on his high school basketball team, perhaps because he was, as Schwartz described, "tall for our ethnic group."

Loyalty to this "King of the Nerds" filled the air like the warm aroma of freshly baked New York bagels. "Go Chuck!" said Schwartz as she noted that Schumer was running considerably late and was probably taking care legislative affairs.

"I would never hesitate to vote for Chuck," said Mark Cannon, a Manhattan psychiatrist who lost to Schumer’s team in the semi's. "I'm proud we had this association with him," Cannon said.

In fact, Cannon's pride jump-started the reunion. Months ago, Cannon e-mailed It's Academic's headquarters noting that their fortieth anniversary was coming up and that he had video clip of Schumer in the competition, thanks to an illicit videotape made by Cannon's parents. The clip was later played on Meet the Press and can be found here.

When the Senator finally arrived, he greeted those assembled—many of whom had not seen each other for decades—like old friends. He dialed his mother to confirm details of the competition, only to be chided for not reading the New York Times editorial she had sent him. "I'll read it, Mom," he assured. Schumer also received a slap on the wrist for breaking with “It’s Academic” in the middle of a busy legislative schedule. "I'm horsing around with 'It's Academic' while the world is burning," he said while on the phone.

A few pictures later and Schumer was called away to talk with the president of George Washington University. Apparently the world can wait for a few trivia questions, but it cannot wait for long.

More photos from the event are below.

Can you answer these? The reunion team nailed them with astonishing rapidity.
The triumphant team of Plainview-Old Bethpage High School.
A photo-op for everyone.

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Posted at 06:49 AM/ET, 03/22/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs