It seems like American politicians get older and more fragile by the day. Dianne Feinstein’s recent decision to hand over legal control of her life to her daughter is only the latest nail in the coffin of Washington’s relevancy. Here is the full story.
‘Oldies’ in Power
As the 2024 political season ramps up in the United States, it’s becoming more and more clear that those in the highest offices are aging quickly.
There seem to be daily calls for Kamala Harris to invoke the 25th Amendment over concern that President Joe Biden is too feeble to carry out his duties.
And more than one pundit has pointed out that not only is Donald Trump standing on the doorstep of prison, he’s also 77 years old. That’s just a few years younger than Biden, who’s 80.
When Biden took office in 2021, he immediately overtook Ronald Reagan as the oldest president ever.
Over in Congress, the public is getting used to the frequent freeze-ups from Mitch McConnell.
And 83-year-old former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has to constantly field questions about her age.
Now, one of Pelosi’s fellow Californians has raised even more concern about her age by giving away some of her power.
In early September, 90-year-old senator Dianne Feinstein handed power of attorney powers over to her daughter.
According to a statement from Feinstein, the move gives Katherine Feinstein the authority to take over the Senator’s legal matters. Dianne Feinstein says that will free her up to focus on serving her constituents.
Retire and Make Room
A big part of those legal matters is a suit that Feinstein brought against the trustees for her late husband’s estate.
She claims they abused Richard C. Blum and withheld payments, including money Feinstein needed to pay for his healthcare.
But, of course, giving up that control has further fueled concern and outrage around not just Feinstein but the aging political base in general.
Many critics have been calling for Feinstein, Pelosi, Biden, McConnell, and any number of other politicians to step aside and let the younger generations have at it.
Shingles Caused a Three Month Absence
For her part, it seems Feinstein has had enough. She does not plan to run for re-election in 2024 when her term ends.
Considering she’s been in her position since 1992, though, Feinstein serves as Exhibit A for many critics in their call for term limits.
It’s not just outsiders, either, as some of Feinstein’s fellow senators have questioned whether she’s still mentally sharp enough to carry out her duties.
And then there was the case of shingles that put Feinstein out of commission for about three months early in 2023.
What Can Her Daughter Handle?
Feinstein also seems a bit undecided or maybe confused about what she expects from her daughter.
After initially telling the San Francisco Dispatch that she didn’t give her daughter permission to do anything, Feinstein backtracked and said the younger woman could “handle those things that I believe she can.”
Evidence of a faltering mind or a simple slip of the tongue?
The good news for Feinstein is there are plenty of other senior citizens around her in Washington. It’s only a matter of time before one of them does something to take the limelight off the California senator once again.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rob Crandall