Democrats are not only nervous about an upcoming recall election because it might oust California Gov. Gavin Newsom and replace him with a GOP rival.
Many are also concerned about the possibility that 88-year-old U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) could be replaced with a Republican under such a scenario — and even some of her allies are urging her to retire immediately.
“Put that into the equation”
According to Fox News, longtime Democratic colleagues including former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) are advising Feinstein that it is time to step down.
“If Sen. Feinstein were to call me today and asked my advice, I would say only you can decide this,” she said this week.
She went on to note her own “perspective” on the topic, noting: “I want you to know I’ve had very productive years away from the Senate doing good things. So put that into the equation.”
Boxer’s concerns appear to be linked to the potential that leading GOP candidate Larry Elder could become the next governor of California following next week’s recall election.
If that were to happen and Feinstein either steps down or dies, the Republican would be responsible for naming her replacement.
“They’re afraid I would replace her”
Polls generally predict that Newsom will retain his position, though the margins have grown slimmer in recent weeks.
Elder himself weighed in on the matter, insisting that “nobody’s seen” Feinstein in quite some time.
“I’m told she has a worse mental condition than even Joe Biden,” he told conservative radio host Mark Levin. “They’re afraid I would replace her with a Republican, which I most certainly would do and that would be an earthquake in Washington, D.C.”
As it stands, the Senate is evenly divided between the parties, leaving Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Replacing Feinstein would thus shift control of the chamber back to the GOP.
A New Yorker report published last year offered some additional details related to concerns about the octagenarian’s mental acuity, asserting that she is “seriously struggling” with short-term memory loss and that Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has had “painful” conversations with her about her political future.