Feinstein’s “allies”, however, have been working together to ensure that she does not.
Even those who are not inclined to obsess over the details of political maneuvering behind the scenes will find it fascinating.
Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat who has been vocal in his support of Feinstein’s retirement is the most vocal. He may be considering running for president someday but for the time being seems happy to serve as co-chairman for Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) for the 2024 Senate race.
Khanna’s initial claim that Feinstein and her supporters need to “put the country above party” is misleading. In reality, a retirement of Feinstein early could benefit Khanna because it will make Lee’s path towards the Democratic Senate nomination more straightforward.
Why? Because Gov. Gavin Newsom stated in the past that he will pick a woman of color to replace Feinstein within the next few months. Lee would have a head start on her competitors if she were to be appointed.
This last point concerns the former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whose daughter Nancy Corinne has been providing care for Feinstein over the past few weeks. She has also been seen by her side at some of Feinstein’s recent appearances on Capitol Hill.
This was done to protect Feinstein, according to Pelosi. But rumor has it, Pelosi has her daughter watch over Feinstein closely to make sure that she does not retire too soon, as this would harm Pelosi’s declared candidate for the seat, Rep. Adam Schiff.
Newsom is apparently considering options for replacing Feinstein in the event that she leaves the Senate.
Who is on his list of candidates to fill her position? Oprah, the long-time talk show host who is a big-money Democrat supporter:
Newsom can name a replacement for a vacancy in the Senate. It is possible that he could choose himself, but it’s unlikely. State laws dictate when elections must be held.
Newsom’s decisions are all risky.
He could become entangled in the Senate campaign and pick one of the declared candidates for the vacancy left by Feinstein.
A second option is to choose a caretaker and leave the decision to the voters in next year’s election. This person would fill in for Newsom, but would not be a Senate candidate. Winfrey is one of the names that come to mind — a Black celebrity who also happens to fit Newsom’s pledge. Newsom may also find it difficult to get someone to accept a short-term position.
Newsom could upset the field by selecting one of the candidates who have already declared themselves for the Senate and give that candidate the status of frontrunner. U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee is Black and is running against two other Democratic Reps, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff who are both white.
SFGate’s California political experts believe that this rumor could be “more” than a rumor “floated” in California circles.
According to the Associated Press, “a range names, from obscures to famouss” were “floated around California circles.” This could be a simple case where the publication decided that Winfrey’s celebrity status was all it needed. There’s also a good chance that it’s more.
This would be a cowardly move for Newsom. He would not have to worry about his party accusing him of favoritism if he picked Winfrey over other candidates who were being considered. Winfrey has no political experience.
In a sense, this would be a normal occurrence for “New Newsom” if it were to happen. He’s the one who bizarrely runs around the country portraying wokesters including himself as “sane alternatives” to “extremist MAGA Republicans”.
He would have to be a “middle-of-the road” type to placate in the Senate race. This would mean he wouldn’t ruffle any feathers from the political power players that he needs to win a future presidential campaign.
It’s not the “New Newsom”, after all. It sounds more like the Newsom that we know and love, who is willing to put personal ambitions and political ambitions before doing what’s best for his residents.
Californians deserve better.