When asked if Biden still believes Feinstein, 88, is capable of doing her job in light of a San Francisco Chronicle report that detailed startling stories about her health, White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted that Biden is completely confident in Feinstein’s capabilities.
“Yes, she’s a longtime friend, a proud public servant and someone he has long enjoyed serving with and working with,” Psaki replied.
In the report, four U.S. senators, including three Democrats, and three former Feinstein staffers expressed concern that her memory is “rapidly deteriorating,” and that she relies entirely on her staff to do her job for her.
“It’s bad, and it’s getting worse,” one of the Democratic senators said.
Two of the senators who have served with Feinstein for years said they believe she does not always fully recognize them.
“I have worked with her for a long time and long enough to know what she was like just a few years ago: always in command, always in charge, on top of the details, basically couldn’t resist a conversation where she was driving some bill or some idea. All of that is gone,” a California lawmaker said.
The lawmaker argued that Democrats must begin demanding that Feinstein retire.
“She was an intellectual and political force not that long ago, and that’s why my encounter with her was so jarring. Because there was just no trace of that,” the lawmaker said.
Biden, whose mental fitness has also been a source for concern, is not the only geriatric Democrat to defend Feinstein. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who is nearly as old as Feinstein, also spoke out in her defense.
“Senator Feinstein is a workhorse for the people of California and a respected leader among her colleagues in the Senate,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“She is constantly traveling between California and the Capitol, working relentlessly to ensure Californians’ needs are met and voices are heard.”