Updated 06/12/2009 09:35 PM
Smith Claims Unity Of Democratic State Senators
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On Friday afternoon, State Senator Malcolm Smith emerged from a closed-door meeting with his Democratic colleagues in Downtown Manhattan to say they are all working together.
"Our conference is very united," said Smith.
Yet as of late Friday, it remained unclear who they were united around.
It had been rumored earlier that Smith's fate as Democratic leader would be decided at the meeting.
Brooklyn State Senator John Sampson was mentioned as Smith's possible successor, but even he was adhering to the same talking points.
"We talked about our court case. We are united as a conference, and united we go forward."
The half-dozen state senators who left the Lower Manhattan office building said very little. One even said the leadership conversation did not come up.
"That was not discussed. We feel that we are sticking together as a group," said Westchester Senator Suzi Oppenheimer.
Earlier on Friday, Smith came face-to-face with one of the men responsible for the coup, Queens Senator Hiram Monserrate, at a meeting in advance of this weekend's Puerto Rican Day Parade. The two men even shook hands.
Smith kept a low profile at the event, but insisted then that he was still in control of his conference.
"Right now there's only one president of the senate, and that's myself," said Smith.
Whether that will last is uncertain.