While the push has been on in woke Democratic circles to shove Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) out the door before her last term in office is over, there has also been a coordinated effort among Feinstein’s “allies” to make sure she doesn’t.
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. ), a Democratic candidate for the Senate in 2024.
Khanna’s initial claim that Feinstein and her supporters need to “put the country above party” is misleading. In reality, an early retirement of Feinstein could benefit Khanna as it would make Lee’s path toward 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 acted in a caring role for Feinstein over the past few weeks, and was seen by her side at some of her most recent appearances on Capitol Hill.
This was done to protect Feinstein, according to Pelosi. But rumors have it that Pelosi has her daughter watch over Feinstein closely to make sure 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 ongoing Senate campaigns and pick one of the declared candidates to fill the vacancy left by Feinstein.
A second option is to choose a caretaker and leave the decision to voters in next year’s election. This person would fill the seat, but 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 a 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 of names, from obscures to famous” 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.