'What a Mess': Dem Senator Contradicts Her Retirement Statement to Reporters, Staffer Forced to Interject


Well, it’s official: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will be retiring for good in 2024. Provided someone reminds her, of course. And then reminds her again. And again.

According to a news release Tuesday, the 89-year-old senator will step aside next year instead of seeking a sixth term, opening what’s certain to be a fierce Democratic primary battle.

“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” Feinstein in a statement.

“I campaigned in 2018 on several priorities for California and the nation: preventing and combating wildfires, mitigating the effects of record-setting drought, responding to the homelessness crisis, and ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, high-quality health care,” she continued.

“Congress has enacted legislation on all of these topics over the past several years, but more needs to be done – and I will continue these efforts.”

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Now, given Feinstein’s advanced age and reports of her decline, this came as a surprise to no one.

In fact, the one person who seemed to be surprised was, um, Feinstein.

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As reported by The Hill, when reporters asked about her decision not to seek re-election, she said, “Well, I haven’t made that decision. I haven’t released anything.”

When a Feinstein staffer interrupted and said, “Senator, we put out your statement,” she seemed genuinely shocked.

“You put out the statement?” she asked. “I didn’t know they put it out.”

But Feinstein recovered nicely. Or not.

“So — it is what it is,” she said.

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Nor does it look any better when, you know, this was tweeted from her official account:

Now, the ravages of old age are nothing to sneer at. However, this isn’t just grandma forgetting a thing or two. Feinstein sits on the Senate Judiciary, Intelligence and Appropriations committees. Yet, it’s been known for some time that her mental state makes our president look like Ken Jennings by comparison.

For example: A similar situation occurred in November when reporters asked Feinstein whether she would be taking the position of president pro tempore of the Senate.

The position, usually given to the longest-serving member of the majority party, holds little power — but would have made her third in line to the presidency after the president, vice president and speaker of the House.

“Well, I haven’t thought about it, but I’ll let you know when I do,” said Feinstein. “I just got back. I’ve had a lot of issues.”

Slight problem there: The senator already had issued a statement saying she wouldn’t seek the position.

Nor was this the first manifestation of diminishing mental returns for Feinstein. In a 2020 New Yorker profile, anonymous Democratic sources expressed alarm over her rapid cognitive descent.

“They say her short-term memory has grown so poor that she often forgets she has been briefed on a topic, accusing her staff of failing to do so just after they have,” the outlet reported.

“They describe Feinstein as forgetting what she has said and getting upset when she can’t keep up.”

“She should have gone out on top in 2018,” one of her former aides was quoted as saying. “We only have 100 senators. I don’t think she should be there. Someone should have told her.”

And now that she’s finally exiting stage far left, she can’t even help but trip over the scenery on the way out:

My thoughts exactly.

Now, of course, speculation turns to who will replace Feinstein as the Golden State’s next senator.

Early favorites, according to Vanity Fair, include rising Democratic star Rep. Katie Porter and Trump-baiter extraordinaire Rep. Adam Schiff.

For the lefties, Bernie bro Rep. Ro Khanna could be a spoiler.

And if Californians decide they’ve had enough of crime, homelessness and high taxes, moderate-ish former Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso might have a shot.

Say what you will about any of these Democrats, but at least they’ll know if they’re running or not.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture