People who love their jobs can find it very difficult to retire. Work is their life and identity. That’s why Senator Dianne Feinstein kept going.
I got it.
This is especially true when it is a position of power, privilege, and privilege. And there are very few people who can top a US Senate seat.
But it’s time for Feinstein to seriously consider giving up.
The 89-year-old senator, the longest serving man in California history, needs to weigh she could harm the Democrats by not showing up to voteespecially on President Biden’s judicial nominations.
More importantly, Feinstein needs to ask herself if she is still capable of performing to her high standards.
And she’s the only one who can honestly answer that – not political vultures hovering. She and her top employees should be honest with both themselves and her.
Feinstein would probably have been better off if he himself stayed away from all the growing pressures and sniped to get lost, a dark play. that she doesn’t deserve it. She is arguably California’s most successful senator ever and nothing can take that away from her.
Whether or not California will benefit by getting a full-time, stronger, working replacement, we can’t know until a successor performs in office. in a period of time.
Feinstein announced in February what everyone expected: She will not run for a sixth term at the age of 91 next year. So there is an all-out battle for her success.
If Feinstein resigns before her term expires, Governor Gavin Newsom – alone – will choose another Democrat to serve for the remainder of her term.
The the best bet to be Newsom’s potential pick in that event is Liberal US Congressman Barbara Lee, 76 years old, of Oakland. That’s because two years ago, Newsom pledged to appoint a Black woman if the Senate was vacant.
Newsom’s commitment is unfortunate. I say it not because Lee or anyone else he might choose, but because no governor should lock himself in an ironclad commitment to a hypothetical future situation. He should give himself some flexibility to deal with changing circumstances.
In 2021, Newsom is trying to appease Black women angry that he didn’t replace former Senator Kamala Harris with another Black woman after she became vice president. Harris’s departure left the Senate without a single Black woman. But that’s not California’s fault. There are 49 other states that also elect senators.
Newsom appointed his longtime political ally, then Secretary of State Alex Padilla, became California’s first Latino senator. Padilla is doing great.
Lee could probably do very well too, depending on your ideology. She has 25 years of experience in Congress and is one of the top three candidates running to replace Feinstein in the middle.
The Democratic Party’s two early leads — in voting and fundraising — were U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff, 62, of Burbank, and Katie Porter, 49, of Irvine. Newsom did not endorse anyone.
If Lee is appointed by Newsom to fill the brief remainder of Feinstein’s term, she will receive a significant campaign boost as a newly crowned senator. But that by itself isn’t necessarily enough to beat Schiff or Porter.
None of these three candidates are among the vultures trying to dissect Feinstein.
But Representative Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) — Lee’s campaign co-chair — bluntly called for the senator to resign last week.
Khanna tweeted: “We need to put country above personal loyalty. “It is clear that she is no longer able to fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.”
Forgive me the trusty Trumpian style.
I have always hoped that Feinstein would be allowed to end her term with dignity, receiving the respect she has earned.
Also, I don’t panic about a governor appointing a senator. That should be the voter’s decision.
But Feinstein’s situation has worsened, and her absence from Washington while recovering from shingles threatens the Democratic agenda in the Senate, which her party controls only with the separate two votes. And that’s with the help of three independent people.
Furthermore, Democratic Senator-elect John Fetterman, 53, of Pennsylvania, still recovering from a stroke last year, was hospitalized for six weeks for treatment for clinical depression. He probably needs to ask himself the same questions as Feinstein should. Like Feinstein, if Fetterman stepped down, a Democratic governor would choose his successor, thus preserving the party’s razor-thin majority in the Senate.
Feinstein’s more significant problem was her widely reported diminished cognitive ability with lapsed memory.
But she voted and helped move Biden’s judge nominations away from the Senate Judiciary Committee until being hospitalized with shingles in late February.
Since then, she has missed more than 60 Senate votes and judicial nominations have stalled. Without Feinstein, the committee was mired in a 10-10 partisan deadlock.
Last week, Feinstein asked Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer to temporarily replace her on the committee with another Democrat. But Republicans are expected to balk at that. And there is no timetable for Feinstein’s return.
Feinstein said she will return “as soon as possible after my medical team advises that I can travel safely. In the meantime, I… will continue to work from home in San Francisco.”
Okay, millions of Americans have been working from home since the pandemic hit. But they are not members of an organization that calls itself the world’s largest discussion body. It meets and deliberates in person—not over Zoom. How much can she really do at home?
Hopefully Feinstein will be able to return soon. If not, she needs to do some painful soul searching and perhaps step aside heroically.