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Tags: dianne feinstein | cognitive decline | senate

'Diminished' Feinstein Better Than a Junior Senator, Former Staffer Says

dianne feinstein appears at a senate hearing
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (Brandan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 June 2022 03:13 PM EDT

Despite the apparent significant cognitive decline in 88-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former staffer insisted to The Cut that the California Democrat is still able to get more done than a younger, more recently elected senator could.

"Is a diminished Sen. Feinstein better than a junior California senator?" the staffer asked. "I would argue, emphatically, yes."

In the interview, published Monday, Feinstein occasionally forgot questions and had to depend on an aide to help her remember significant details. She also sometimes trailed off in mid-sentence while answering questions, relying on Communications Director Tom Mentzer for help.

In addition, Feinstein, who is the oldest member of the Senate, is heavily reliant on those in her office to carry out her daily legislative duties and is constantly accompanied by a staffer as she walks to votes and hearings on Capitol Hill.

As illustrative of her decline, she also appeared to forget the year of the enactment of the 1994 assault weapons ban, one of her major legislative accomplishments.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that four sitting senators said they have observed her deteriorating cognitive skills, and a Democratic representative from California said they had to reintroduce themselves to Feinstein multiple times during a conversation over several hours earlier this year.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged Feinstein on at least two occasions to step down from her position as the lead Democrat on the Senate Judiciary, according to the Business Insider.

When asked about these conversations, Schumer said at recent press conference that "I've had a good number of discussions with Sen. Feinstein, but I'm keeping them to myself." 

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Despite the apparent significant cognitive decline in 88-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former staffer insisted to The Cut that the California Democrat is still able to get more done than a younger, more recently elected senator could.
dianne feinstein, cognitive decline, senate
269
2022-13-07
Tuesday, 07 June 2022 03:13 PM
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