Former Sen. Boxer Nudges Feinstein Toward Retirement
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)
By Scott D. Jones | Friday, 10 September 2021 03:04 PM
Former Sen. Barbara Boxer hinted that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, her former California Democrat colleague, might want to consider retirement.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Boxer said, ''If Sen. Feinstein were to call me today and asked my advice, I would say: 'Only you can decide this. But from my perspective, I want you to know I've had very productive years away from the Senate doing good things. So put that into the equation.'''
Democrats Boxer, 80, and Feinstein, 88, made history in 1992 when California became the first state to send two female senators to Congress.
Feinstein's potential retirement has been a topic of conversation following an article in The New Yorker magazine that said many of the senator's colleagues were concerned about Feinstein's memory and ability to focus.
In response, Feinstein said, ''I work hard. I have good staff. I think I am productive. And I represent the people of California as well as I possibly can."
Feinstein is up for reelection in 2024. Politico quoted the senator in March telling reporters she would not retire. ''I've not discussed that with anybody. Nobody has asked me questions about it.''
Feinstein's possible retirement has also become a factor in the September 14 California recall election. Leading Republican challenger Larry Elder has said that should he prevail in the election, he would name a Republican to replace Feinstein should she choose to step down.
Elder spoke with radio host Mark Levin and said, "I'm told she has a worse mental condition than even Joe Biden. 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.''
An additional Republican senator would allow the GOP to regain a majority in the Senate.
Boxer's retirement talk also included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the longest tenured left-leaning member on the court. ''He's had a wonderful career,'' she said of the 83-year-old Breyer. ''Look, I had a wonderful career and people said, 'How could you walk away?' There's a time to do it. There's a season for everything.''
The possible retirement of Breyer would provide President Joe Biden an opportunity to nominate his successor while the Democrats have control of the Senate.