California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the oldest, is experiencing memory problems that have begun to err on her.
People close to the senator spoke with the newspaper, confirming rumors that Feinstein's health was on the decline, and that her "rapidly deteriorated" memory was hindering her from performing the simplest of tasks, according to the Chronicle. Other episodes of memory lapses include a painful encounter with a fellow Democrat who Feinstein has known for 15 years. When the two discussed recently, Feinstein's colleagues had to introduce themselves more often.
I have worked with her for a long time and long enough to know what she was like a few years ago: always in charge, on top of the facts, basically couldn't resist a conversation where she was driving some measure or some idea. All of that is gone, the congressperson told the Chronicle. She was not an intellectual and political force that long ago, and that's why my encounter with her was so jarring. Because there was just no trace of that.
While Feinstein's colleagues say her lapses aren't constant, they appear to be jarring, something other Democrats have vehemently denied. Pelosi and Alex Padilla, the junior senator from California, have also discussed these reports, admitting that she had struggled over the last year due to her husband's loss, but that has not affected her mental health or ability to perform her duties.
"The last year has been incredibly painful and challenging for me, and I'll continue to serve and deliver for California residents," said the president. "There's no doubt I'm still serving and delivering for the people of California, and I'll set my record up against anyone's."
Feinstein will soon become the longest-serving female senator in history, and although her term will only be open until 2024, at which time she will be 91-years-old, staffers and co-workers, hoping that someone will intervene soon to establish whether she will serve her remaining years in office.
It shouldn't end this way for her, one lawmaker said. She deserves better. Those who consider that they are pledging her or honoring her by doing all of this under the rug do her an enormous disservice.