Senators are scrambling to find methods to persuade Dianne Feinstein to step down before her tenure ends in 2024, after a new research shows she is displaying strong indications of cognitive decline.
San Francisco Chronicle reports that a member of California’s congressional delegation who has known Feinstein (D-Calif.) for 15 years recently had to reintroduce herself to her repeatedly over a meeting spanning several hours. “It’s horrible, and it’s getting worse,” one Democratic senator said.
Lawmaker: “I’ve worked with her for a very long time and know what she was like just a few years ago: always in command, always in control, on top of things, basically couldn’t resist a dialogue where she was driving a bill or an idea,” he added. “It’s all gone now. My experience with her was shocking because she was a powerful intellectual and political figure just a few years before. As a result, there was no evidence of it.”
The 88-year-memory old’s is fast fading, according to the Chronicle article, which cited four of Feinstein’s Senate colleagues and three former workers as well as the House member.
According to an ex-aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, “there’s a joke around the Hill that we have Alex Padilla and an experienced staff in Feinstein’s office.”
When she was first elected to the Senate in 1992, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco, was one of the most influential and well-known senators of the time. She served as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee for six years and as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee under President Donald Trump.
Feinstein may not remember two senators’ names or home states, according to senators who spoke to the Chronicle about the matter. As though they were meeting Feinstein for the first time, a senator’s worker claims to have observed their boss approach her in the Senate hallway.
Feinstein’s critics highlighted that she has both good and terrible days, and at times appears to be her old self.
It has been a very difficult year for me, going back and forth to see my dying spouse who passed away just a few weeks ago,’ the senator said in a statement posted with both the Chronicle and The Post. The fact remains that I am serving and delivering for the citizens of California and will put my record up against anyone.”
Richard Blum, the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein, died on February 27 at the age of 86 after a long battle with cancer. Nancy Pelosi, the 82-year-old House speaker from California, said she hasn’t detected a loss in the cognitive abilities of her fellow Californian, Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Californians can count on Senator Feinstein to get the job done and she is highly regarded by her fellow senators for her leadership in the Senate. Pelosi, in a statement condemning “ridiculous assaults that are beneath the dignity in which she has led and the esteem in which she is recognized,” said she was “constantly traveling between California and the Capitol, working diligently to ensuring Californians’ needs are fulfilled and voices are heard.’”
Although Senate Judiciary Committee colleague, Alex Padilla (D-California), is well aware of the concerns regarding her health, “as someone who has the opportunity to visit her numerous times each week,” he says, “I can assure you she’s still performing her duties and doing them effectively.”
Feinstein’s cognitive abilities have been called into question before.
After Jack Dorsey, then-CEO of Twitter, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in November of that year. When Feinstein began her line of questioning, she repeated word-for-word an inquiry that had already been addressed by Dorsey. As a result, Feinstein resigned from her role as the panel’s ranking member, but she remained on the committee.
Multiple sources informed the New Yorker at the time that Feinstein’s short-term memory was fading and that she “frequently forgets she has been briefed on a topic, accusing her staff of failing to do so soon after they had.”
According to one source, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had “painful” discussions regarding Feinstein stepping down, but she soon forgot about them.
With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s final Supreme Court nominee, scheduled for 2020, many Democrats were anxious about how Feinstein would handle it. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) presided over “one of the best set of hearings that I have participated in,” according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
At the time, Feinstein said, “I work hard. I do my best.” My team is top-notch. I like to think of myself as industrious. And I do my best to represent the people of California.”
Feinstein registered to run for re-election in 2024 with the Federal Election Commission last year. She has not, however, made an official announcement on whether or not she will seek re-election in the future.
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