Senator Dianne Feinstein had a Commonwealth Club stage conversation Tuesday night at the Herbst Theater in which she discussed various topics including NAFTA, President Trump's proposed border wall, and Trump's pardoning of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, which she called a "stupid thing to do." Ever the frowning pragmatist, though, Feinstein urged "patience" when it comes to dealing with the president, and the crowd really wasn't having that.
As KQED reports, Feinstein said, "I think we have to have some patience, I do. It’s eight months into the tenure of the presidency We’ll have to see if he can forget himself and his feelings about himself enough to be able to have the empathy and direction that this country needs.”
The sold-out crowd of about 850 people booed and hissed at this, and Feinstein went on to say, "This man is going to be president most likely for the rest of this term. I just hope he has the ability to learn and change. If he does he can be a good president."
You'll note via the tweet above that Fox News jumped all over this.
Feinstein was "in conversation" with former East Bay congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, and Tauscher said on stage that it's "a little late by my watch" for Republicans in Congress to publicly denounce many of Trump's decisions and statements but she said she might have to be a little more cautious in her statements if she were still in Congress, as the Chronicle reports.
Feinstein further made a cagey comment about how "there are things that could happen" to remove Trump from office, but added, "I don’t think it would be responsible for me to talk about here."
Democratic consultant Garry South tells KQED that Feinstein sounded a bit tone-deaf when it comes to speaking to members of her own party in such a setting, perhaps ignoring the fact that the party has moved well to the left since she first took office 25 years ago. "I think it’s gonna raise some eyebrows among the base," he said of her comments.
Feinstein, as you may know, is 84 and up for reelection next year. When asked by Tauscher whether she was definitely running for another six-year term, she said, "Next question."
With regard to the border wall, Feinstein said, perhaps hopefully, that Hurricane Harvey may end up shifting the public's, and politicians' focus. "I think Texas takes the place of the wall," Feinstein said, per NBC Bay Area. "I think Americans would much rather contribute their money to the rehabilitation of Texas... rather than another wall on our border."
Previously: Dianne Feinstein Rocks Seersucker At Comey Hearing, Is Cheered