The senior senator from California is the body’s oldest member, and recent comments about tax reform and DACA have put a target on her back.
As the 2018 midterm campaign season began to pick up, many openly wondered whether Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) might decide to retire rather than run for a fifth full term.
But in January, she said she believed she could still serve the state better than “someone new coming in.”
Feinstein, 84, is the Senate’s oldest member, and recent comments she’s made about tax reform and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are prompting some on the left to question whether she deserves a primary challenger.
On Tuesday, the same day President Trump announced he would end President Obama’s DACA policy, Feinstein admitted the policy was “on shaky legal ground,” arguing that Congress should pass a law to allow children of illegal immigrants safe harbor in the United States.
The spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, Brian Fallon, quickly took to Twitter to blast the senator, well regarded in his own party:
A permanent fix is needed, but DACA is completely legal.
Feinstein seems like she is craving a primary.https://t.co/eqFMO0zNoS
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) September 5, 2017
Backers of former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were even more direct:
“It’s time for Dianne Feinstein to go,” said Ben Becker, co-founder of San Francisco Berniecrats. “She’s not looking out for people of color and poor people, those who don’t have equal footing in Donald Trump’s America. Her argument for civility and bipartisanship will lead us down a very, very dark path with this current administration.”
Feinstein found herself in hot water with liberals again last week, when she admitted that it would be “fair” to look at adjusting the U.S. corporate tax rate in order to be more competitive with other countries.
All of this has culminated in a potential primary challenger:
Buzz in state political circles increasingly centers on one prospective Democratic challenger, Kevin de León of Los Angeles, the first Latino to hold the powerful position of state Senate president pro tempore in more than 120 years.
De León, the son of immigrants — his father was Chinese and Guatemalan, his mother Guatemalan — has joined forces with billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer to become a leading advocate on the issue of climate change. And, with his introduction of the California Values Act, also dubbed the Sanctuary State bill, he has assumed a leading role in the branding of California as the “state of resistance” against Trump.
Backed by Steyer, de León would have a huge cash advantage over any other would-be challenger to Feinstein. But Feinstein boasts an approval rating over 50 percent in the state and nearly 100 percent name ID, making any challenge very difficult.
“You’ll have to raise $40 million to get there,” one Democratic strategist told Politico.
9.18.17 10:59 amFox News Highlights Media Bias In A CBS Report About Richard Cordray
“CBS Sunday Morning” didn’t disclose that four of the lawyers that it interviewed had ties to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
9.18.17 10:41 amAmericans Overwhelmingly Reject Internet Sales Tax Proposal
Two of three Americans said they oppose an sales tax in their state on items purchased online.
9.14.17 2:07 pmNew NRSC Ad Hits Claire McCaskill for Saying ‘Normal People’ Can Afford a Private Plane
It’s the latest gaffe for the vulnerable senator from Missouri.
8.24.17 3:00 pmIs Tim Cook Running For President?
The Apple CEO held presidential campaign style events in the pivotal states of Iowa and Ohio on Thursday.