In recent years, there has been growing speculation over whether California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will retire before her term ends in 2024.
Yet according to Breitbart, the 89-year-old lawmaker recently made clear that she isn't going anywhere.
The website pointed to an interview Feinstein had this week with The Los Angeles Times in which she dismissed talk of retirement, declaring that she "absolutely" intends to remain in office for at least another two years.
Feinstein then went on to suggest that she might well run for another term in 2024, indicating that a decision will be reached "probably by spring."
Yet while Feinstein sounds confident in her ability to serve, some of the senator's own colleagues have expressed serious doubts.
Some of them spoke on the condition of anonymity earlier this year to the San Francisco Chronicle, and they characterized Feinstein as someone who is struggling with cognitive decline.
This included having to regularly rehash conversations and even needing to repeatedly reintroduce themselves over the course of a day.
"I have worked with her for a long time and long enough to know what she was like just a few years ago: always in command, always in charge, on top of the details, basically couldn’t resist a conversation where she was driving some bill or some idea," one lawmaker recalled before adding, "All of that is gone."
"She was an intellectual and political force not that long ago, and that’s why my encounter with her was so jarring. Because there was just no trace of that."
Meanwhile, a Democratic legislator told the newspaper that Feinstein's mental dexterity is "bad and it's getting worse," saying, "There’s a joke on the Hill, we’ve got a great junior senator in Alex Padilla and an experienced staff in Feinstein’s office."
However, not everyone agreed that Feinstein has slowed down mentally, and her defenders included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"Senator Feinstein is a workhorse for the people of California and a respected leader among her colleagues in the Senate," Pelosi told the Chronicle.
"She is constantly traveling between California and the Capitol, working relentlessly to ensure Californians’ needs are met and voices are heard," the House speaker insisted.
For her part, Feinstein declined a request to be interviewed but did provide a statement in which she boasted of " still serving and delivering for the people of California."