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Providence and America

Here's the Mental Hiccup That Occurred During Feinstein's Retirement Announcement

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool

Nearly 90 years-old, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has finally called it a career. The longtime fixture of the US Senate is retiring after serving over 30 years in the upper chamber. While personable, and probably one of the last liberals who could get along with others who hold differing views, her mental health has degraded immensely. It’s an open secret that her exceptional staff keeps things moving within her office. In private, many congressional Democrats have noted Feinstein’s slippage in cognition. One staffer for a California Democrat once said, “there’s a joke on the Hill, we’ve got a great junior senator in Alex Padilla and an experienced staff in Feinstein’s office.” 


When it came time to decide who would be the president pro tempore of the US Senate, Feinstein was slated to assume that title as she had become the longest-serving Democrat this session. After the 2022 midterms, which ended with Democrats maintaining control of the Senate, Feinstein was caught telling the press that she hadn’t thought about the pro tempore position. These remarks led to Feinstein’s aide interrupting her, informing the aging California Democrat that it’s already gone to the press that she had no intention of assuming the role.

 It seemed like the retirement announcement was something of a sequel because Ms. Feinstein was again caught unaware that her staff had already released a statement speaking about her departure from Congress:

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) should notice when mental facilities are not firing off on all cylinders. You must be able to do the job, and Ms. Feinstein’s mental state probably significantly contributed to her decision to retire. Mr. Fetterman comprehends others speaking to him like the teachers in the “Peanuts” cartoons. It’s also been reported that the rudimentary duties of his role as a US Senator are pushing his brain capacity to the limit; he can’t do them. And the former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor is looking down the barrel of permanent brain damage. Fetterman suffered a severe stroke that almost killed him during the 2022 primary season, where he could have withdrawn but stayed in the race. His mental impairments from that medical episode have been explicitly shown.



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