Sen., Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) passed away overnight in Washington, DC at the age of 90 and tributes are pouring in from Democrats.
President Biden said in a statement:
In San Francisco, she showed enormous poise and courage in the wake of tragedy, and became a powerful voice for American values. Serving in the Senate together for more than 15 years, I had a front row seat to what Dianne was able to accomplish. It’s why I recruited her to serve on the Judiciary Committee when I was Chairman – I knew what she was made of, and I wanted her on our team. There’s no better example of her skillful legislating and sheer force of will than when she turned passion into purpose, and led the fight to ban assault weapons. Dianne made her mark on everything from national security to the environment to protecting civil liberties. She’s made history in so many ways, and our country will benefit from her legacy for generations.
Often the only woman in the room, Dianne was a role model for so many Americans – a job she took seriously by mentoring countless public servants, many of whom now serve in my Administration. She had an immense impact on younger female leaders for whom she generously opened doors. Dianne was tough, sharp, always prepared, and never pulled a punch, but she was also a kind and loyal friend, and that’s what Jill and I will miss the most.
Former House SpeakerRep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said:
Personally, it was a great honor to serve alongside Dianne for decades – from the hilly streets of San Francisco to the hallowed halls of Congress. We were not only colleagues, but neighbors and friends. My daughter, Nancy Corinne, has long been an admirer and devoted friend of Senator Feinstein, and we were all close friends with her and her late husband, Richard.
Dianne’s extraordinary career will continue to inspire countless young women and girls to pursue public service for generations to come. May it be a comfort to her daughter Katherine and her husband Rick, her granddaughter Eileen, and the entire Feinstein family that all Americans joins them in mourning at this sad time.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) said, “Senator Feinstein was a true trailblazer in American politics who led on issues like gun violence prevention and LGBTQ rights.”
Sen. Fetterman brings up an outstanding point. Even as Sen. Feinstein’s health deteriorated, she continued to team up with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) to be the conscience of the Senate on gun violence and mass shootings.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said of Feinstein on the Senate floor:
Maybe the trait that stood out most of all was her amazing integrity. Her integrity was a diamond. Her integrity shone like a beacon across the Senate and across the country for all to see and hopefully emulate.
Dianne Feinstein would typically say, when you asked her how she was voting on something, “let me study this issue” before taking a position.
“Let me go home and read on it” and when she came back, if she believed the cause or the vote was right — and vital to many issues she cared about — she not only voted for it, there was no stopping her from getting it done.
She would take on any force, any special interest, any opponent with relentless integrity and would wear those opponents down until she succeeded. Again, her integrity just shone through them and she won, and she won, and she won, and each time she made the country a better place.
I saw this up close when she passed the assault weapons ban, a passion of hers after what had happened to her in California.
With each loss of a legendary senator, like Dianne Feinstein, the Senate loses a bit more of its institutional memory. Feinstein was from a different era in the Senate that wasn’t defined by partisan divide. Even though the calls had grown louder in the last few years for her to resign as her health failed, there is something lost that can never be recovered when senators like McCain, Kennedy, and Feinstein pass away.
American politics is going through a generational change. One only has to look at Thursday’s Biden impeachment House hearing to see young Democratic representatives leading the hearing. The next generation of leaders is already here, but it is important to honor and learn from the legacy of legends like Dianne Feinstein who will leave a void that in many ways will never be filled.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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