If Sen. Feinstein Retires, Watch Out for Newsom’s Next Move – Watch
California Governor Gavin Newsom is reportedly considering a move that would allow him to appoint a temporary replacement to fill the seat of Senator Dianne Feinstein if she retires early. This move has been met with criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, who argue that it would be a cynical attempt to stack the deck in favor of his own party.
Feinstein, 89, is the oldest sitting senator in the United States. She has served in the Senate since 1992 and is up for re-election in 2024. In recent years, she has faced increasing scrutiny for her age and declining health.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has been one of the loudest voices calling for Sen. Feinstein to retire. Khanna is rumored to be considering a future run for president but for now, seems content with being the co-chair for Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) 2024 Senate run.
An early Feinstein retirement has the potential to benefit Khanna by making Lee’s path to the Democratic Senate nomination easier. The reason for this is that Gov. Gavin Newsom has in the past stated that he would pick a “woman of color” to replace Feinstein in the short term. Appointing Lee obviously would give her a major lead over her competitors.
There’s inside information that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) daughter, Nancy Corinne Prowda, has been acting in a caregiving role for Feinstein in recent weeks, and there’s good reason why she has been seen close by her side during some of her recent appearances on Capitol Hill.
This has been to ensure Feinstein’s well-being, and the rumor mill has it that Pelosi is having her daughter keep close tabs on Feinstein to make sure she doesn’t retire early. If she did, it would hurt Pelosi’s choice for the seat – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is also a declared candidate.
Another rumor in the mill is that longtime talk show host and big-money Democrat backer Oprah Winfrey may be on Gov. Newsom’s shortlist.
The Associated Press does state that “a range of names, from obscure to famous” has been “floated in California circles,” so this could simply be a case of the publication deciding Winfrey, with her celebrity status, was the only one worth mentioning.
Newsom promised to appoint a Black woman to Feinstein's post if her seat became vacant, and placing a celebrity in the seat could help Newsom avoid picking favorites among actual declared senate candidates.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) May 24, 2023