March 10, 2017

Feinstein Faces Pressure From Both Sides

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is in the unenviable position of being under increasing pressure from both the right and the left in California. On the left, many Democrats are upset that Feinstein seems to have lost touch with the people:

“‘Her job is to become so formidable that she discourages those folks from taking her on,’ Gerston said. ‘But the older she gets, the more people resent incumbency, right or wrong.’ Feinstein’s apparent reluctance to hold town hall-type meetings with constituents and her refusal to debate her last two Republican opponents have contributed to a sense that the San Francisco Democrat is a bit removed from voters.”

Feinstein also has to contend with a great number of ambitious, young Democrats who perhaps are not willing to wait another six years to run for higher office:

“And there’s no shortage of Democrats itching to run for higher office. Several — including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Treasurer John Chiang, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former state Schools Superintendent Delaine Eastin — have already announced they’re running to succeed termed-out Jerry Brown next year. But they and others could switch from a crowded governor’s race to the U.S. Senate instead if there’s an opportunity.”

On the other side of the aisle, Feinstein might have to deal with something she’s not had to deal with in decades: a formidable Republican opponent. Yet that might now be in the offing with the news that former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering challenging Feinstein in 2018.