(FreedomBeacon.com)- California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein announced this week that she would be retiring after her current term ends in 2024, yet she didn’t seem to remember that she said it.
A news release that came out on Tuesday said the senator, who is 89 years old, wouldn’t seek a sixth term in Congress, instead deciding to step aside. That will leave an empty Senate seat in California, which is likely to be hotly contested in the Democratic primary.
In the statement announcing this decision, Feinstein said:
“I am announcing today I will not run for re-election in 2024 but intent to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends.
“I campaigned in 2018 on several priorities for California and the nation: preventing and combating wildfires, mitigating the effects of record-setting drought, responding to the homelessness crisis, and ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, high-quality health care.
“Congress has enacted legislation on all of these topics over the past several years, but more needs to be done – and I will continue these efforts.”
This announcement wasn’t a surprise to many people, as she was widely expected to step aside when her current term ends. Yet, one person who did seem to be surprised by the announcement was Feinstein herself.
According to a story by media outlet The Hill, reporters questioned Feinstein about why she decided to step down instead of run for re-election. She responded:
“Well, I haven’t made that decision. I haven’t released anything.”
It was at that point that one of her staffers interrupted her, saying:
“Senator, we put out your statement.”
The Hill reported that Feinstein seemed actually shocked when that information was given to her. She responded:
“You put out the statement? I didn’t know they put it out.”
Sounds like there was some genuine confusion – and complete lack of communication – there between the senator and her staffers.
Since this whole debacle, some people have been questioning Feinstein’s mental capacity to continue serving in Congress. It’s nothing to poke fun at, of course, if Feinstein is indeed becoming forgetful in her old age. It is, however, concerning if that’s the case, as she still sits on very powerful Senate panels – the Judiciary, Appropriations and Intelligence committees.
It’s actually not the first time a gaffe like this has happened with Feinstein recently, either. In November, reporters questioned Feinstein about whether she’d take the position of president pro tempore of the Senate. It’s a ceremonial position that’s typically given to the member of the majority party who’s served the longest.
It does put her third in line to the presidency, though, following the vice president and Speaker of the House. Her response:
“Well, I haven’t thought about it, but I’ll let you know when I do. I just got back. I’ve had a lot of issues.”
The problem there was that Feinstein had issued a statement saying she would not be seeking the position.
Some people are asking whether Feinstein should serve out the remainder of her term or just step down now … and maybe they’re onto something.