Former Sen. Barbara Boxer has hinted that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, her former California Democratic colleague, might want to consider retirement.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Boxer said: ”If Sen. Feinstein were to call me today and asked my advice, I would say: ‘Only you can decide this. But from my perspective, I want you to know I’ve had very productive years away from the Senate doing good things. So put that into the equation.”’
Democrats Boxer, 80, and Feinstein, 88, made history in 1992 when California became the first state to send two female senators to Congress.
Feinstein’s potential retirement has been a topic of conversation following an article in The New Yorker that said many of the senator’s colleagues have been concerned about her memory and ability to focus.
In response, Feinstein said: ”I work hard. I have good staff. I think I am productive. And I represent the people of California as well as I possibly can.”
Feinstein is up for reelection in 2024. Politico quoted the senator in March telling reporters she would not retire. ”I’ve not discussed that with anybody. Nobody has asked me questions about it.”
Feinstein’s possible retirement has also become a factor in the Sept. 14 California recall election. Leading Republican challenger Larry Elder has said that should he prevail in the election, he would name a Republican to replace Feinstein should she choose to step down.
Elder spoke with radio host Mark Levin and said: “I’m told she has a worse mental condition than even Joe Biden. They’re afraid I would replace her with a Republican — which I most certainly would do and that would be an earthquake in Washington, D.C.”
An additional Republican senator would allow the GOP to regain a majority in the Senate.
Boxer’s retirement talk also included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the longest-tenured left-leaning member on the court. ”He’s had a wonderful career,” she said of the 83-year-old Breyer. ”Look, I had a wonderful career and people said, ‘How could you walk away?’ There’s a time to do it. There’s a season for everything.”
The possible retirement of Breyer would give President Joe Biden an opportunity to nominate his successor while the Democrats have control of the Senate.