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What Are The Questions Arising About Dianne Feinstein Mental Acuity?

President Bill Clinton apparently encouraged Dianne Feinstein to run for governor of California. Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale considered her as a running mate.

Now the scenario has changed. Capitol Hill, Dianne Feinstein’s mental capacity has become an “open secret.” But Dianne Feinstein still declines it.

Ms. Feinstein struggles to remember the names of coworkers, has very little memory of gatherings or phone conversations, and at times walks around confounded.

Ms. Feinstein suffers from extreme short-term memory difficulties, which are well-acknowledged on Capitol Hill — though always quietly — on certain days are undetected, but arouse suspicion among those who contact her on other days.

Ms. Feinstein is very attentive during conferences and phone calls, and she always comes prepped and takes notes. The persons familiar with the incident insisted on secrecy since they did not want to be cited criticizing a person they respect.

Even if she refuses to engage in conversation about retiring, some of them indicated they did not expect her to carry out her term, which ends in 2024. Some Democrats feel that she needs a constant caregiver while some feel there’s nothing out of ordinary about her.

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Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York and the majority leader, was questioned last week about Ms. Feinstein’s potential to serve, but neither defended her nor attempted to ignore the problem.

Dianne Feinstein was already facing accusations about her age and mental acuity when she chose to run for her sixth term in parliament in 2018. But she said there were no problems and Mr. Schumer and the Democratic Senate campaign team backed her re-election attempt.

But family members are the only ones who can convince a senator when it’s time to resign. Yet, Ms. Feinstein’s husband, billionaire and Democratic megadonor Richard C. Blum, who died in February, shared his wife’s obstinacy and refusal to consider leaving the Senate. He also told friends last year that she could run in 2024.

Dianne Feinstein was under a lot of stress when her husband died, and there were even rumors among her friends about her leaving the Senate. However, she has been adamant about continuing her work in the months since.

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People connected to Ms. Feinstein believe that she is significantly more self-reliant and that she is subjected to a sexist double standard. Ms. Feinstein ascended from a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors to the apex of Democratic power over the course of a half-century career in politics. She established Joshua Tree National Park, drafted the 1994 assault weapons prohibition, and produced the 6,700-page torture report on the war on terrorism as the Intelligence Committee’s detail-oriented, hard-charging chairperson.

She has become a victim of progressive wrath in recent years for giving Republicans, even former President Donald J. Trump. Some of her supporters reject the accusations about her cognitive acuity as political attacks by Democrats who dislike Ms. Feinstein’s conservative manner.

The questions regarding Ms. Feinstein’s fitness are perplexing and hurtful to her. She becomes enraged when the idea of stepping down is mentioned, saying that she still succeeds at collecting cash for California, voting, attending meetings, and heading the spending panel that oversees energy and water programs.

Despite these negative experiences, Ms. Feinstein’s former colleagues believe it might be difficult to finish a long career in the Senate. Former Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, said he went through “a lot of soul-searching” before deciding not to run for re-election in 2013 after serving in the Senate for three decades. People close to Ms. Feinstein said she has little interest in retiring. She intends to continue her job.

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