Saturday, August 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS


Does Feinstein remark imply big Senate races ahead?

elias column sig

By
From page A11 | February 12, 2014 |

No doubt the California Republican Party is down, but anyone who counts it out of big statewide races is a fool who disregards the ego-satisfying appeal prominent public office can hold for the very rich and very famous.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Example A of a fabulously wealthy celebrity who seized an opportunity to run for high office – governor – and then had more fun while holding the office than he appears to have had as a muscleman movie star before or since.

This is relevant today not because there appear to be few or no immediate high-visibility opportunities today for celebrities or business people with big bucks. California offers no U.S. Senate races this year and Gov. Jerry Brown looks pretty secure as he piles up campaign cash while delaying any direct mention of re-election.

But one remark last month by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein suggests there may be plenty of chances ahead. Explaining her vote to end the U.S. Senate’s tradition of allowing minority parties to use filibusters to stymie presidential appointments, she said she did it because she wants “the remainder of my five-plus years to get something done.” As of now, she has just four-plus years left in her latest term.

The reality is that Feinstein will turn 80 on June 22 and would be 84 in June 2018, the next year she might run for re-election, 85 just six months into what would be her fifth full six-year term, plus. (First elected in 1992 to fill out the unexpired term of then-Gov. Pete Wilson, a Republican, she then had to run again in 1994 for a full term). That’s not terribly ancient for the Senate, but it would make her the oldest top-of-ticket candidate in California history.

Did her remark mean she thinks about leaving office when her current term expires, even if she remains in good health? There is, of course, nothing political wonks love more than finding meaning in officials’ words, even where there may be little.

Longtime Feinstein campaign manager Bill Carrick says his friend and client was talking only about her current term. “She hasn’t made any decisions about 2018 yet,” Carrick said. “So I wouldn’t read too much into a casual remark.”

He noted that even now, four years before her campaign could begin in earnest, Feinstein has more than $1 million in her political kitty, while still pursuing a lawsuit against a bank she contends allowed a former campaign treasurer to embezzle another $4 million or so from her in 2012. The theft didn’t matter much: Feinstein won handily that year over a virtual unknown, taking more than 7.75 million votes, the most ever for any senator.

Still . . . her remark might stir the cadre of ambitious Democratic politicians now waiting patiently for a big chance while holding lesser statewide offices – people like Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones – because there’s the possibility of a plum job appearing on the horizon.

There’s also the Senate seat of Democrat Barbara Boxer, 73. The former Marin County supervisor and congresswoman spurred talk of impending retirement when she moved to Rancho Mirage in Riverside County’s Coachella Valley even before she sought re-election in 2010.

Unlike Feinstein, who has had a series of weak opponents, Boxer is perpetually deemed among the Senate’s more vulnerable Democrats and has drawn significant opponents like Bill Jones, then the California Secretary of State, and the partially self-funded former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Since first winning her Senate seat in 1992, Boxer has used a long series of coffee parties in individual homes as a key part of her campaigns, which have usually seemed far more arduous than Feinstein’s. Boxer will be 75 if she runs two years from now, and should she choose to bow out, that’s a possible big opening for the wealthy and ambitious.

But Boxer in 2010 foiled those who thought she might step down and has been more visible than ever in her current term.

All of which means there may be two big political openings forming on the California horizon – or there may not. We’ll all have to stay tuned as two redoubtable women decide how long they want to continue fighting for women’s rights, abortion rights and on other key issues they’ve made their own.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at tdelias@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

County unveils Solano economic diversification study

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Fairfield, Vacaville face off at Solano fair

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Reports close books on Solano DA race spending

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

’4 guys, 4 guns’ case ends with acquittals

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Starbucks card as bribe? Not this time

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

County offers free Hepatitis C testing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Commune with your neighbors on National Night Out

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Stars willing to risk opinions on Gaza clash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
In brief lull, Gaza’s displaced survey devastation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Congress backs Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Poll: Public ready to close book on 2 wars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Israel pounds Gaza as it searches for soldier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Last ex-city official sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California prisons alter treatment of mentally ill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Court gives new life to California high-speed rail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lightning sparks dozens of new California fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Attorney in deadly bank robbery requests records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Report disputes mom’s claim in school altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Ukraine: Body parts retrieved at jet crash site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

2 Americans detained in North Korea seek US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Iran opens first state-run alcohol rehab center

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Remains of Air Algerie crash victims now in Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Uruguayan pot marketplace may go up in smoke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Ugandan court invalidates anti-gay law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Ebola moving faster than control efforts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Stolen WWI gas mask found in pawn shop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

WWI aviation still alive at aerodrome in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Perspective needed on Gaza conflict

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Vogelsong stifles Mets in Giants’ 5-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Baseball Notebook: Vanden grads Negron, Aplin making their mark

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raul Ibanez homers to carry Royals past A’s 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants RHP Cain needs surgery to remove bone chips

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Expos stop Shockers, stay alive in state tourney

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Redskins WR Jerry Rice Jr to have shoulder surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spurs sign Tony Parker to extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns’ Gordon meets with NFL on appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Woods, Mickelson paired together again in a major

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
George suffers serious leg injury in US exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Montoya interested in running The Double for Penske

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anaheim Ducks to retire Selanne’s jersey Jan. 11

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats still alive in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Sergio Garcia shoots 61 to take Firestone lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Goodell defends NFL’s 2-game suspension of Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Packers unveil statue for the Lambeau Leap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Marco Dawson leads 3M Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

PGA Tour refutes report Johnson suspended

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Blaine Gabbert learning 49ers system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jon Lester ready to help lead A’s back to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hunter-Reay tops after early Mid-Ohio practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Larson wins 1st career pole at Pocono Raceway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Raiders’ Bergstrom adding center to his resume

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US job growth eases but tops 200K for a 6th month

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Rare summer relief for gasoline prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

US auto sales sizzle in July, helped by discounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
S&P 500 has its worst week in 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Microsoft sues Samsung over halt to royalties

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
HP to pay $32.5M to settle Postal Service dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Hyundai recalls more than 419K vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Allergan sues Valeant, claims fraud in buy attempt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marjorie Lee Myrick

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Alice Marion Brown

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Enid Mary Vesci

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 08/2/14

Right at Home: cooking up a color-happy kitchen

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.12 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3