Photo edit of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Credit: Alexander J. Williams/Popacta.
California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein, now 89 years old, has served in the U.S. Senate since 1992, having been first elected at age 59.
Yesterday, Feinstein announced Tuesday that she will not seek re-election in 2024, confirming that she will be leaving the U.S. Senate in 2025, at age 91.
Today, Feinstein seemed unaware of her own retirement announcement, not even 24 hours later.
Sen. Feinstein, when speaking to her staffers about questions surrounding her retirement, said:
Feinstein: Well, I haven’t made that decision, I haven’t released anything.
Unnamed Feinstein staffer: Senator, we put out a statement.
Feinstein: You put out the statement? I didn’t know they put it out. So… it is what it is. I think the time has come.
A spokesperson for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, following the confusion following her retirement, saying:
“The senator approved it going out today, just confusion on timing. The senator was out of the office for votes, a meeting, lunch and more votes when the announcement was sent.”
Many took to social media following the confused 89-year-old Senators remarks, pushing for age limits for elected officials. Many also cited President Joe Biden when making these remarks, commenting that politicians of an age this advanced would be watched more carefully, making sure they are still mentally able to handle the job they were elected to fill.
Her initial retirement statement, released yesterday, read, “I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends.” At 89, Feinstein is the longest-serving female senator ever, is also the oldest serving senator at age 89.
“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,” she added. “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.”
Feinstein said she remains “focused on passing commonsense legislation to fight the epidemic of gun violence, preserving our pristine lands and promoting economic growth – especially to position California for what I believe will be the century of the Pacific.”
“I’m confident we can achieve these goals because we’ve done it before,” she said. “From the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban to the 2014 CIA torture report, from preserving Lake Tahoe and the Mojave Desert to passing the first significant global warming legislation, from protecting student-athletes from abuse to protecting consumers from harmful chemicals, and more recently improving our efforts to combat wildfire and drought, we have improved the lives of millions.”