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Gavin Newsom refuses to call on Feinstein to resign: ‘I leave it to her’

 September 11, 2023

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has chosen not to urge 90-year-old Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California to retire from her role, despite her ongoing health issues and perceived challenges in performing her legislative duties, as the Daily Wire reported.

"I Leave It To Her": Newsom on Feinstein's Senate Service

Newsom's stance was articulated during his conversation with Chuck Todd on the NBC News program Meet the Press.

Todd questioned why Feinstein, as an elected official responsible for representing millions of people, should continue serving as a senator.

Newsom, emphasizing his longstanding personal ties with Feinstein, replied, "Well, I leave it to her."

He said, "I'm the most subjective human being in the world on this topic. I have no objectivity whatsoever. I've known Dianne Feinstein since I was a kid. I interned with her in college. I still have a signed book from my days when she was mayor."

During the conversation, however, Newsom mentioned that he would make an "interim appointment" to fill the seat only if it were necessary, as Axios reported.

He also reaffirmed his earlier pledge to appoint a Black woman to succeed Feinstein if a vacancy occurred.

Debates Arise Over Feinstein's Continued Tenure and Age Limits

Earlier in the year, Feinstein confirmed she wouldn't be running for re-election in 2024. However, after an extended absence from Congress due to health reasons, there have been increasing calls for the lawmaker to resign before her term concludes.

Growing discussions around age limits and cognitive evaluations for elderly politicians in a broader sense have frequently brought up the 90-year-old senator's name.

Newsom's Defense of Feinstein's Capabilities

In his defense of the senator, Newsom recounted recent instances where Feinstein engaged him in detailed policy discussions.

He said she discussed laws concerning forest and vegetation management and initiatives in California's Central Valley addressing drought and water challenges.

He emphasized that this was a recent interaction, not something from the distant past.

Moreover, Newsom hinted at Feinstein's team's pivotal role behind the scenes, acknowledging their dynamic involvement in her activities.

"We're working extraordinarily closely together," he declared, emphasizing their teams' close collaborative efforts.

Newsom's Reluctance for Another Senate Appointment

Drawing from his recent experience of appointing a replacement for then-Sen. Kamala Harris, who left her seat to assume the vice presidency, Newsom expressed his reservations about going through a similar process to fill Feinstein's seat.

He noted, "It would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off."

"That primary is just a matter of months away. I don't want to tip the balance of that," said the governor of the electoral process that lies ahead.