Report: Adam Schiff Makes His Move as Schumer Punts on the Feinstein Problem

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

We reported Tuesday on an alarming exchange that happened recently between a reporter from the Business Insider and 89-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is the senior-most senator in the U.S. Senate and who has held the position longer than any of her Democratic colleagues, serving since 1992.


For those who missed it, the short version is that a Feinstein aide repeatedly had to intervene to correct her and remind her of a “not interested” position her office says she took in October on whether or not she would run for the Senate president pro tempore position, which is traditionally given to the senator in the majority party with the most seniority and which also would put her third in line to the presidency.

Here’s the longer version, where DiFi at first insisted she hadn’t thought about it and then stated, “but I’ll let you know when I do,” seemingly hinting she might be interested after all. That’s when the aide stepped in:

It has been rumored for well over two years now that Feinstein’s mental health has been steadily deteriorating, with even some in the California Democratic delegation questioning her ability to continue to serve. It’s gotten to the point that even the liberally biased San Francisco Chronicle weighs in with periodic updates and status reports on Feinstein, as they did earlier this week.


In an update to this story, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schmuer (D-N.Y.), who previously refused to share details of his conversations with Feinstein with reporters on this issue when asked about it, has decided to punt on the DiFi problem, instead nominating Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to the position that would have gone to Dianne Feinstein:

She’ll be nominated as Senate president pro tem by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the first woman to hold the position Schumer announced the decision at a Democratic lunch Wednesday.

The appointment needs the okay of the Senate Democrats, who will meet Dec. 8 to formally make the decision. Murray is expected to easily win the position.

Murray has been in the Senate since 1993.

Interestingly enough, all of this comes at a time when “shifty” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is said to be mulling a possible Senate run:

Adam Schiff has decided not to seek a top House Democratic leadership post in the next Congress and is instead turning his focus to a potential Senate run, according to multiple people familiar with his decision.

The California Democrat has privately weighed his future in recent months, meeting with Democratic colleagues to gauge support for a potential House leadership bid. Schiff had mulled a bid for the caucus’ No. 1 role — likely to be minority leader, as Republicans are just one seat away from flipping the House after last Tuesday’s election — though he had not officially jumped into the race.


Both DiFi and her office have been evasive on whether she plans to run again in 2024, so if she did decide to give it another go and Schiff did as well, we could be seeing a lot of Democratic infighting in California play out in the next few months, and not just regarding this race.

Rumors have also swirled that California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been putting out feelers about a potential 2024 presidential run in the event Joe Biden bows out, which would make for a verrrry interesting presidential primary season considering Vice President Kamala Harris – who is an ally of Newsom’s – would be considered the “heir apparent” as far as Democrats are concerned.

As they say, there is never a dull moment in California politics. So buckle up, y’all, and stay tuned.

Related: Joe Biden Sparks Concern After Bowing out of G20 ‘Leaders’ Event, White House Won’t Explain Why


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