Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein is drawing criticism from some in her party. At least three fellow Democrat senators and one Democrat member of Congress have voiced concerns about her mental well-being.
Feinstein refused to give an interview to The Chronicle but relayed her befuddlement to its editorial board.
In an interview with The Chronicle’s editorial board on Thursday, Feinstein came off as diminished but lucid and responsive. She said she does not plan to step down before the end of her term, which runs through 2024.
“I meet regularly with leaders. I’m not isolated. I see people. My attendance is good. I put in the hours. We represent a huge state. And so I’m rather puzzled by all of this.”
If her legislative colleagues have doubts about her fitness for office, Feinstein said they have not raised those questions with her directly.
However, one unnamed Democrat Congress member would disagree with Ms. Feinstein’s self-assessment. The person alleges that he/she had to reintroduce themselves repeatedly over a several hour-long meeting because Senator Feinstein forgot who he/she was. If the person were a new appointee, it would be one thing, but the person had worked with Senator Feinstein for more than ten years!
— New York Post (@nypost) April 15, 2022
Feinstein has already filed the needed papers to run for reelection in 2024. That would place her at 91-years-old! So far this year, she has raised almost $5,600. The drop in funds being raised could be the writing on the wall for her career.
Feinstein is fighting against the claims of her deteriorating memory. She blames her memory loss and inability to concentrate on her late husband’s death.
Her colleagues are not having it, however. One senator said that it has ‘gone from bad to worse.’
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This is not the first time issues have been raised about Feinstein’s mental health. Her colleagues raised the same complaints in 2020.
On Thursday, Bruce Cain, a political scientist, and director of Stanford University’s Center for the American West, was interviewed by KCBS Radio.
“It’s not surprising to me that this would come up at this point because I’m sure there are people who would like to ease her out with a couple of years to go so that the people that would want to run would have an opportunity to start and gear up their campaigns,” he said.
Cain said Feinstein’s “bar” she must clear for reelection is whether she can handle opposition research, and debate-stage questions, centered upon her age and mental fitness. That’s a decision she, alongside her staff, will have to make, but he doesn’t expect the Democratic Party to push her out.
But Cain noted Feinstein’s colleagues will likely air out their concerns in the meantime.
“I think party loyalty is much weaker than it used to be,” Cain said. “The networks are not as strong, so people are bolder about saying things that used to be behind closed doors, and I suspect that’s, as much as anything, what we’re seeing right now.”
America has not even noticed Feinstein’s cognitive failings because the current U.S. president has enough of them.