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Looks like Dianne Feinstein isn’t taking the hint. So, New York Times, you’re up next!
These days, however, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the trailblazing Democratic power broker who has served in the Senate for 30 years, is far from the towering presence she once was on the American political stage.
At 88, Ms. Feinstein sometimes struggles to recall the names of colleagues, frequently has little recollection of meetings or telephone conversations, and at times walks around in a state of befuddlement — including about why she is increasingly dogged by questions about whether she is fit to serve in the Senate representing the 40 million residents of California, according to half a dozen lawmakers and aides who spoke about the situation on the condition of anonymity.
On Capitol Hill, it is widely — though always privately — acknowledged that Ms. Feinstein suffers from acute short-term memory issues that on some days are ignorable, but on others raise concern among those who interact with her.
Ms. Feinstein is often engaged during meetings and phone conversations, usually coming prepared and taking notes. But hours later, she will often have forgotten those interactions, said the people familiar with the situation, who insisted that they not be named because they did not want to be quoted disparaging a figure they respect.
Some of them said they did not expect her to serve out her term ending in 2024 under the circumstances, even though she refuses to engage in conversations about stepping down.
A recent article in The San Francisco Chronicle, her hometown paper, reported that some of Ms. Feinstein’s colleagues believe she is mentally incompetent to serve. . .
One Democratic lawmaker who had an extended encounter with Ms. Feinstein in February said in an interview that the experience was akin to acting as a caregiver for a person in need of constant assistance.
My hunch is that the situation is actually worse than people are letting on in these repeated “news” stories. There’s nothing in this Times story that isn’t a mere repeat of the first Chronicle story. It hardly qualifies as “reporting.” (Yes, I know, that can describe a lot of Times articles. . .)
Take this as yet another sign of Democratic paranoia. It’s a memo to Gavin Newsom: have someone ready to go at a moment’s notice, because the Senate calendar is counting down, and Democrats need every vote—if they can even get things to the floor. Also, California already has one appointed Senator (quick—can you name him?), and going into the 2024 it would be best to have another appointed Senator with time to build up political capital. The longer Feinstein waits to leave the scene, the more vulnerable the seat becomes, even in deep blue California.