Following an announcement earlier this month that she would indeed seek a fifth term in the US Senate, former SF Mayor Dianne Feinstein appears to be undaunted by the challengers that may rise to oppose her.
As previously reported, the 84-year-old Senator waited until Monday October 9 to confirm her pursuit of a fifth Senate term, writing on Facebook that "...there’s still so much work left to do, from ending gun violence, to combating climate change, to ensuring proper and affordable access to healthcare, and to giving DREAMers the chance to stay in the United States."
Since the announcement, Democrat and California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León is said to be preparing to enter the race, LAist reported, even though ousting a current sitting Senator from his own party is a seemingly impossible task.
But it's not just de León that Feinstein might have to worry about, as fellow former SF Mayor turned Chron columnist Willie Brown writes that she might face "a posse of challengers getting into the race and making her the target," with some of the unnamed posse "wealthy enough to mount a sustained negative campaign."
However, speaking with Brown's Chron colleagues Matier and Ross, Feinstein doesn't seem that concerned about de León, Brown's rich mystery posse, or anyone else.
“I’ve been challenged before. That doesn’t bother me,” she told M&R.
“Michael Huffington spent something like $33 million to try to unseat me in 1994, so I pretty much assume that it comes with the territory.”
Regarding the muttering regarding a need for "new blood" in the seat, Feinstein says that she's open to change, but also a realist.
“Let’s see what the new ideas are,” she says.
“I want to change things as much as anyone out there, but you don’t just jump up and down to solve problems. You need to be in a position to get things done and be ready to do the work.”
She also addressed that much-quoted San Francisco appearance in August, the one where she urged patience with President Donald Trump, saying that "I just hope he has the ability to learn and change. If he does he can be a good president."
Those remarks are reportedly what spurred de León to run, but Feinstein warns that "if there is an impeachment, we in the Senate will sit as a jury. So I feel I have to be somewhat careful.”
That said, “I said that I hoped he could change and become a good president, and for that I was bombarded with criticism. But I also said that we are going to see if he is going to change. And it looks like he has not."
Matier and Ross also asked her if her 84-year-old body was up to the task, a question that I am sure is asked just as often of male candidates of a similar age. Feinstein responded patiently, saying "I listen to my body and pace myself. I have learned over the years that I can go the distance."
"I’ve left some things out of my personal side. I don’t go to many social events, and I can’t remember the last movie that I’ve seen,” she said — a statement likely anathema to 83-year-old Willie Brown, who this week recommends the Jackie Chan film The Foreigner to column readers.
But in between movies, Brown still found time to search for specific, named people willing to run against Feinstein...and came up empty. While at a local bar, Brown told a Feinstein critic to “go around and ask each one of these people who Dianne Feinstein’s opponent is."
"When you come back and you’ve got at least five of the people in this room who even know she is being challenged," Brown said, "I’ll buy the whole house a drink in your name.” Needless to say, Brown managed to keep his wallet intact, as the critic discovered that "There wasn’t one person who knew who of any possible challenger.”