When multiple senators hold a conference call to make a political point, it's usually not hard to pick out the talking points. They repeat the same words and phrases. It's typically obvious.

But at a telephone press conference today, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and some of his colleagues didn't realize reporters were already on the line. Jennifer Steinhauer reports at The Caucus:

After thanking his colleagues -- Barbara Boxer of California, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut -- for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John Boehner of Ohio, the Speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. "I always use the word extreme," Mr. Schumer said, "That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week."

A minute or two into the talking-points tutorial, though, someone apparently figured out that reporters were listening, and silence fell.

Then the conference call began in earnest, with the Democrats right on message.

Read the full story at the New York Times blog The Caucus.

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