Sunday, September 21, 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 makes recommendations for crude-by-rail

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hartley House offers look into Vacaville’s past

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

New toilet paper sizes will wipe me out!

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Coastal Cleanup helps get rid of trash in area

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Travis teachers bring creativity to Shakespeare

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

 
Olympians to participate in swim Lap-a-Thon

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Circle of Friends director to speak in Fairfield

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Be alert to stroke warning signs

By Marilyn Ranson | From Page: C4

Recovery community works for lifelong sobriety

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

 
Musical merry-go-round at Jazz Festival

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Deadline looms for lobster boil tickets

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
2 die after car slams into tree on Nut Tree Road

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Crashes blocks parts of eastbound I-80 in Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Seven Artisans opens tasting room

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7 | Gallery

BABA makes big spash

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
Old Kmart site sees signs of new life

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Veterans with PTSD could see discharge upgrades

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

 
Airmen with local ties finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Sept. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Potential push for Obama to expand military effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Teams assess damage as California wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

McInerney, Duka help Impact beat Earthquakes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Old pets, new chances: The case for senior adoption

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C4

Jailed, some mentally ill inmates land in lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Custer youngest winner at 16 in NASCAR series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Retro-hip barber is growing an ‘empire’ by staying on the cutting edge

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C6

 
Tense hunt in trooper ambush case hits 8 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tour ship runs aground by NYC’s Statue of Liberty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Astronauts getting 3-D printer at space station

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Chrysler recalling nearly 189,000 SUVs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Fire captain injured in ice bucket challenge dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

More than 1K people search for missing UVa student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Second man arrested trying to enter White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Pope chooses a moderate for Chicago archbishop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Turkish hostages freed, but questions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Sierra Leone staggers in Ebola isolation effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
El-Sissi ready to back anti-IS fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

NATO chief: Ukraine has cease-fire ‘in name only’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Kurdish fighters head to Syria to face militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Polly Bergen, versatile actress, singer dies at 84

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Stores miss bus on public transit

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Sunset Animal Hospital is the best

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Sound off for Sept. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Pulse poll: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

New car’s fuel mileage accuracy put to the test

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8

 
Obamacare enrollees actually paying premiums

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A9

 
Will they ever get the message?

By Rod Keck | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

There is no message of hatred of violence in Christianity

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

 
St. Paul pastor’s pulpit? A food truck

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3 | Gallery

Horoscopes: Sept. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
My child’s father and I worked things out – but now I’m not so sure

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

.

Entertainment

Erdrich wins lifetime achievement literary prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Designer Donna Karan memoir expected next year

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Author says Christian novel plagiarized, sex added

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Springsteen picture book out in November

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Williams beats A’s for third time with third team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cardinals look to shake off distraction vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cashner, Padres beat Giants 3-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Prep boys soccer preview: Indians, Vikings off to fast start

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Patriots big favorites vs. Raiders despite mediocre start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Schumacher, Hagan win rain-delayed Carolina event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

College football Top 25

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 1 Florida St survives against No. 22 Clemson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Sprint car driver killed in Wisconsin

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Vacaville Christian volleyball team falls in playoffs

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

Stars Recreation results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Estimated 7,000 fans trade in Ray Rice jerseys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Travis Bowl results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Mi Jung Hur, Paula Reto share lead in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Sports on TV for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

Harvick dismisses wins as key to Cup title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Gaughan snatches Nationwide win at Kentucky

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

.

Business

Extended warranties a big sell. Are they worth it?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Recalls this week: fire alarm bases, swings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

US tobacco growers brace for tougher competition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
Marijuana industry battling stoner stereotypes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

George Junior Rhode

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics