Hillary Clinton advises ailing Feinstein not to resign

May 25, 2023

Hillary Clinton gave the world a dark glimpse into her soul this week when she urged Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) not to relinquish her hold on power, even as the senator's mind and body continue to fail her in a heartbreaking public spectacle.

Clinton's thoughts were not with Feinstein, her welfare, or her legacy, but raw politics. If Feinstein leaves now, Clinton told TIME, Democrats won't be able to appoint any judges.

"All these people pushing her to retire: fine, we get no more judges? I don’t think that’s a good tradeoff," Clinton said.

Clinton's heartless advice

The senator returned to Washington this month in a frail and terribly sad condition after a long absence induced by a bout of the shingles.

Feinstein may be suffering lingering effects from brain inflammation, and she has paralysis in the face. But Clinton is preoccupied with the "crummy" scenario of Republicans blocking President Biden's judges.

Feinstein "can't" resign because Republicans won't agree to replace her on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Clinton said. Such blunt, heartless advice is not so surprising, coming from someone whose entire life has revolved around her political ambition.

"I don’t know in her heart about whether she really would or wouldn’t, but right now, she can’t. Because if we’re going to get judges confirmed, which is one of the most important continuing obligations that we have, then we cannot afford to have her seat vacant," Clinton said.

Even before her recent health issues, Feinstein was long rumored to be losing touch. But those who have observed her recently say she is in "frightening" shape.

Power over all

Only a handful of Democrats have piped up to say what most are quietly thinking to themselves. Most Democrats have shown nothing but deference to Feinstein, the first woman elected to the Senate in California, and the oldest serving member of Congress.

Feinstein, who turns 90 next month, has refused to step aside before her term ends in 2025. One could rightly question if Feinstein is in her right mind: she suggested to journalists when she came back to Washington that she had been there the whole time.

But in Clinton's view, Feinstein was effectively shackled to her seat by the voters.

"That was the voters’ decision to vote for her, and she has been a remarkable and very effective leader," Clinton said.

Feinstein should enjoy the last chapter of her life in the love and care of her family -- not limping along as a custodian for a political machine. What a wicked way to look at the world.

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