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() — Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently returned to Washington, D.C. after being absent due to complications from shingles. Although she’s resumed her role, some are still questioning if she is fit to serve.
The 89-year-old has reportedly been relying on her staff and, according to the New York Times, has been confused by basic Senate procedures. Several members of her own party have called on Feinstein to resign, but she has been adamant that she will serve her full term through January 2025.
Political analyst Chris Hahn said it isn’t unusual for senators to rely on staff, and that alone isn’t an indication Feinstein should resign.
“We don’t know exactly what she’s relying on them for,” he said. “But if she cannot function, she needs to step aside.”
Hahn said it isn’t Feinstein’s physical condition that should concern people but her mental state.
“Over the last 240 years, senators have been wheeled into the Senate on hospital beds to vote,” he said.
Feinstein isn’t the only octogenarian in the Senate, and Hahn pointed out voters knew her age when they went to the polls.
“Senate races tend to have a lot of high-profile candidates. People know who they’re voting for. They know how old they are,” he said.
However, Hahn said, if it becomes clear Feinstein isn’t mentally capable of fulfilling her role, she should step aside and allow California Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint a replacement.