Oprah Winfrey doesn’t want to replace 89-year-old Senator Dianne Feinstein

What’s happening with Senator Dianne Feinstein is a travesty. It’s bad for Feinstein, it’s bad for the Senate and it’s bad for the Democratic Party. Feinstein is the senior senator from California, a longtime figure in California politics and she’s also 90 years old and in very poor health. Feinstein just came back to Washington after recuperating from shingles for ten weeks. Reportedly, Feinstein is so confused, she’s been saying some truly wild things to the media, and her staffers are covering up just how bad it is. Instead of pressuring Feinstein to simply resign and have her replacement appointed by the Democratic governor of California, the Democrats are simply sitting on their hands and refusing to do anything. Still, there are names being floated for who could possibly replace Feinstein. One of those names: Oprah! Only she doesn’t want the job.

If California Sen. Dianne Feinstein leaves Congress before her term is over, she won’t be replaced by Oprah Winfrey. The media mogul’s spokeswoman on Thursday threw cold water on the idea that Winfrey could make a foray into politics, saying she “is not considering the seat should it become vacant.”

Winfrey, who has never held public office, has repeatedly turned down appeals to run for president. An endorsement from the talk show host moves markets, pushing millions of Americans to try new diets and turning books into bestsellers overnight.

The Montecito resident’s name had been floated in several media outlets as a possible replacement for Feinstein, who is frail after being hospitalized with shingles.

The Democratic senator, who turns 90 next month, was absent from Washington for 10 weeks and has been using a wheelchair to get to committee hearings since returning to Capitol Hill. She is visibly thinner, with drooping in her face and eyelid that is apparently caused by Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a side effect of shingles that is usually temporary. Feinstein has vowed to serve out the rest of her term, which ends in January 2025. Three members of the House of Representatives are competing for her seat on next year’s ballot: Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland).

[From The LA Times via DListed]

I remember when Feinstein ran for reelection in 2018 and people complained about how she was too old and out-of-touch even then, and that was before it was so obvious that her staffers were doing everything for her. So… yeah… I don’t know. I think it’s fair to let the primaries play out next year, but in the meantime, we need to get Feinstein the hell out of that seat. I can see why Oprah wouldn’t be interested in filling a temporary seat, but something needs to be done.

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25 Responses to “Oprah Winfrey doesn’t want to replace 89-year-old Senator Dianne Feinstein”

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  1. HeyKay says:

    Somebody needs to replace NF, she is not fit.
    Strom Thermond all over again.

    • Chic says:

      If she’s replaced, Dems don’t get a vote on judiciary committee. It’s not the RBG situation again.

    • Truthiness says:

      While a replacement could vote on general Senate issues, it’s doubtful that a replacement would be allowed to sit on the judiciary committee. It’s not the easy substitution we would like it to be. Over simplification doesn’t help us here.

  2. Chaine says:

    This is the hubris of people in power. This is Ruth Bader Ginsburg all over again, foolishly thought she would live forever and now look what a mess our country is in, all because one person would not retire when there was a Democrat president in power. Now is the time that Dems can get judges placed to preserve our democracy, but we can’t because this elderly individual is too proud to step down and is holding up the whole process.

    • Nicole says:

      It’s actually not quite the same as RBG. We have a Dem governor. If she retired today, we could have a Dem place holder. In addition, Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee are working to replace her. The seat will remain Blue. The problem is however, that if she steps down, Dems need a Republican help to seat her replacement on the Judiciary committee. Something they will not do.

      At the end of the day, Dems will use her confused rubber stamp to continue to push through judges. So in that sense, her return is doing exactly what you say we need.

      • Jais says:

        Huh. Okay, I didn’t realize this. The best may have been for her to resign before the last election cycle but clearly that’s not what happened. So make do or lose the ability to push through judges. I can see why they’re keeping her on at this point.

  3. Eowyn says:

    When you’re more invested in holding the status quo than meaningful change, this is what you get. What a shame.

  4. Diamond Rottweiler says:

    I haven’t done the deepest dive here, so someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the issue is McConnell has made it clear that the Republicans are eager to submarine all of Dems’ choices for judgeships if they replace her on Judiciary. And given how McConnell packed the courts with the most egregiously unqualified MAGA lunatics during Grandpa Racist’s term, and what the minority-rule right wing judges have already wrought, it’s just a desperate situation of needing her to remain. And it doesn’t just affect the Judiciary Committee. Lots of moving parts for Dems that could go very badly with the thinnest majority and Repubs looking to rat f*ck them in every possible way. I feel bad for her and bad for her state. But I think this needs to be pointed at the Republicans and their usual lack of even basic humanity. Is how it appears from my reading.

    • Ameerah M says:

      This is exactly it. People aren’t understanding what’s at stake if Feinstein isn’t in that seat. Biden won’t be able to confirm ANY Judges. Which considering what we are facing in this country in regards to women’s rights, voting rights, etc. Is a non-starter.

  5. Lionel says:

    I’m continually baffled as to why anyone thinks Oprah Winfrey is qualified to be a Senator (or, even more absurdly, the President.)

    • Nicole says:

      Californian here. No serious Democrats in the party are mentioning Oprah. We have a pretty deep bench. This is a fanciful notion of people who do not know our state or the CA State Dem Party.

    • lucy2 says:

      Or why she would want to do it.
      She’s almost 70, she’s had the best career anyone could ask for, and now she’s just living her best life, doing whatever she wants to do and enjoying her successes. Why would she want to go work in DC?

    • PrincessOfWaffles says:

      Im baffled anyone would think that Oprah, currently living her best of best of bestest of life would trade her freedom/happiness for a political life. Who would be that crazy?

  6. HeyKay says:

    I’m sort of joking but there are folks who would love Oprah to run for Senate or President.
    There are also folks who constantly say that Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs tv show should run for POTUS.
    And they are serious.
    Well, I still say Keanu Reeves for POTUS. 💕

    Politics in US are just a hot mess.
    We truly need qualified, educated, well spoken, candidates with diplomatic skills who are willing and able to work together not follow party sides.
    I am not seeing anybody I like yet coming to the front, it’s gonna be a long pre-election season.
    Life long Dem myself and I am worried about Biden getting re-elected. We are so fractured.
    JMO, No Trump. No Ron D. Ron seems to be pushing hard, I hope something pulls him down before he gains more traction.

  7. Grandma Susan says:

    Keeping Diane Feinstein to preserve a “D” vote is just as ridiculous as keeping George Santos to preserve an “R” vote. *Neither* of them belong in the government.

    • MsIam says:

      George Santos lied to get elected and has been indicted. Senator Feinstein is old. I’m sure she has good days as well as bad. If on her good days she can help us avoid having more Cavanaughs and Barretts on the bench then I say let her stay until the next election.

      • Grandma Susan says:

        It’s not just that she is old. She has clearly lost all her mental facilities. She was insisting to reporters that she had been present the whole time, even though the whole country knows she was out for three months. She’s that lost in 2023 and her term doesn’t end until 2025. How bad will it get? She was quoted as asking “Why is she here?” when V.P. Harris presided over the Senate. I feel sorry for her but she does NOT belong in the government at this point.

    • TheVolvesSeidr says:

      You want dem appointed judges or do you want MAGA appointed judges @Grandma Susan? It is truly that simple. Feinstein needs to stay.

  8. L4Frimaire says:

    Feinstein should have resigned by now but they’ll continue with the status quo. The only reason anyone is arguing to keep Feinstein in the Senate is because of the judiciary committee. Without her judges won’t be confirmed. They’ll Weekend at Bernie’s her until Republicans agree to seat another Democratic. It’s pure cynical politics.

  9. Mrs. Smith says:

    Diamond Rottweiler is correct: Dems are in a no-win position in the Feinstein situation. They’ve already been shot down by the Rs when they asked if they would allow a temp replacement for Diane’s seat. She can’t resign because that, too, would require a floor vote. She is the deciding vote on the judiciary committee (the committee that appoints the federal judges – a critical issue in which Dems need to cram as many new judges as possible to counter all of the disastrous Trump appointees). She already missed dozens of votes because of her illness and so no new fed judges have been appointed. It’s a nightmare.

    The lesson here is that Dems should never have reinstated her to the judiciary THIS PAST January. They all knew her mental abilities had declined and now we’re between a rock and a hard place. Unless we want total gridlock for judge appointments (I.e. zero dem-approved fed judges selected until 2024), then Diane has to stay out. It’s tragic, but what else can be done? There is no other solution than Diane has to stay and rubber stamp her way through the next 18 months. If Biden wins, we’ll be able to course correct. Until then, we have to rely on a 90 year old dementia patient to keep our federal judiciary from collapsing into the hands of McConnell and his ilk.

  10. Mrs. Smith says:

    *Diane has to stay put (not out).

  11. TheVolvesSeidr says:

    What needs to happen is what IS happening. Feinstein needs to stay where she is on the judiciary committee and judges need to keep being appointed by Biden. Period. We are in danger people. Repubs have been stacking courts, state govts, down to county clerks and school boards. Democracy is at risk. We need the judges.

  12. Banga says:

    I’m a voter in San Francisco. The situation is far from ideal, but the Democrats DO NOT HAVE THE VOTES to make changes to the membership of the judiciary committee. DiFi needs to be there as long as she can do it, and until her term is up.

    I voted for her in the last election because even though I thought she was too old THE SENATE REWARDS seniority. DiFi is on the key committees because of her longevity and the state of California needs that representation.

    Am really sick of the calls for her to retire without some basic understanding of civics.

  13. Ana170 says:

    I don’t understand why anyone would want Oprah doing anything, especially in politics. She’s completely unqualified. We really need to stop thinking that billionaire=smart. Anyway, IIRC, Ms. Feinstein was originally asked not to run her last election because she was showing signs of dementia. What’s new is that she can no longer hide it. HRC has the right take unfortunately. She can’t retire now because if she does we won’t get another democratic judge confirmed for the foreseeable future. Republicans won’t let another Dem senator on the judiciary committee. We’re just going to be stuck with her for a while longer.