Sen. Feinstein, pushing 90 next term, says she will NOT go away, despite fellow Dems’ fears she’s not fit

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Despite growing concerns about her allegedly ailing mental health, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 88, remains adamant that she’s just fine, telling the media that if anything, she’s “rather puzzled” by the hubbub over her cognitive state.

“I meet regularly with leaders. I’m not isolated. I see people. My attendance is good. I put in the hours. We represent a huge state. And so I’m rather puzzled by all of this,” she said late Thursday to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Asked whether her colleagues in Congress have raised concerns to her directly, she replied, “No, that conversation has not happened. The real conversation is whether I’m an effective representative for 40 million people.”

She pushed back even harder against the prevailing narrative about her health (see below) in a lengthier statement to People magazine.

“I remain committed to do what I said I would when I was re-elected in 2018: fight for Californians, especially on the economy and the key issues for California of water and fire. While I have focused for much of the past year on my husband’s health and ultimate passing, I have remained committed to achieving results and I’d put my record up against anyone’s,” she said.

“In the past few months, I successfully led the reauthorization of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act, secured more direct government funding for my state than any other Democratic senator other than the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and secured additional funding to retain federal firefighters to help California prepare for the upcoming wildfire season,” the Democrat added.

The clapback came hours after the Chronicle ran an extensive report claiming that both Feinstein’s colleagues and staffers worry that she’s become mentally unfit to serve in Congress.

As an example of the senator’s worsening cognitive health, one California Democrat described a recent interaction wherein they had to be reintroduced to her multiple times during a policy discussion that lasted several hours.

Each time, Feinstein “repeated the same small-talk questions, like asking the lawmaker what mattered to voters in their district, the member of Congress said, with no apparent recognition the two had already had a similar conversation,” according to the Chronicle.

The encounter left the unnamed California Democrat so stunned that they “began raising concerns with colleagues to see if some kind of intervention to persuade Feinstein to retire was possible.”

Her current term expires in 2024, the same year that she turns 91 (in June), and she’s reportedly already filed the initial paperwork to run for re-election.

“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,” the unnamed lawmaker said to the Chronicle.

“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.”

But not everybody agrees with the unnamed lawmaker. Her colleague Sen. Alex Padilla, also a California Democrat, told the Chronicle that, as far as he can tell, Feinstein’s just fine.

“I’ve heard some of the same concerns, but as someone who sees her multiple times a week, including on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I can tell you she’s still doing the job and doing it well,” he said.

The numbers tell a different story. Campaign filings reportedly show that Feinstein raised only $5,566.33 throughout all of 2021. Padilla, on the other hand, raised $7.8 million. Even her “fellow octogenarian” colleague Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, 82, raised over $1 million.

Feinstein’s public behavior also appears to tell a different story.

“She rarely engages with the public outside her official duties as a member of Senate committees, including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which handles sensitive national intelligence, nor does she do extended sit-down interviews with the media,” according to the Chronicle.

“She does field questions from the press in the Senate hallways, but often responds by saying she doesn’t know enough to comment or gives nonspecific responses,” the outlet added.

To the Democrat Party base, these signs all point to the need for her to retire and pass the torch on to the next generation of (presumably far more radical) Democrats:

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