SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/CNN) — A day after a San Francisco Chronicle article questioned her leadership abilities, Sen. Dianne Feinstein issued a strong statement Friday, proclaiming that she is “an effective representative for 40 million Californians, and the record shows that I am.”
Her statement comes after the Chronicle reported that four unnamed senators, including three Democrats, as well as three former Feinstein aides and a California Democratic member of Congress spoke with the newspaper saying Feinstein’s mental health has gotten worse recently.
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“The real question is whether I’m still an effective representative for 40 million Californians, and the record shows that I am,” the 88-year-old, longstanding member of the Senate said in her Friday statement.
“I remain committed to do what I said I would when I was reelected in 2018: fight for Californians, especially on the economy and the key issues for California of water and fire,” she continued. “While I have focused for much of the past year on my husband’s health and ultimate passing, I have remained committed to achieving results and I’d put my record up against anyone’s.”
The newspaper noted that the comments came before Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, died in February following “a long battle with cancer.”
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After the report, Feinstein called the newspaper’s editorial board and defended her capacity as senator.
“I meet regularly with leaders,” Feinstein said in the Thursday call. “I’m not isolated. I see people. My attendance is good. I put in the hours. We represent a huge state. And so I’m rather puzzled by all of this.”
Feinstein, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, faced questions about her ability to serve for a few years.
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CNN reported in 2021 she faced growing questions about her ability to do her job, losing her post as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee after her Democratic colleagues privately complained about her performance during the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court .