If California Sen. Dianne Feinstein leaves Congress earlier than her time period is over, she gained’t get replaced by Oprah Winfrey.
The media mogul’s spokeswoman on Thursday threw chilly water on the concept that Winfrey may make a foray into politics, saying she “will not be contemplating the seat ought to it turn into vacant.”
Winfrey, who has by no means held public workplace, has repeatedly turned down appeals to run for president. An endorsement from the speak present host strikes markets, pushing thousands and thousands of Individuals to attempt new diets and turning books into bestsellers in a single day.
The Montecito resident’s title had been floated in a number of media retailers as a doable alternative for Feinstein, who’s frail after being hospitalized with shingles.
Feinstein, who turns 90 subsequent month, was absent from Washington for 10 weeks and has been utilizing a wheelchair to get to committee hearings since returning to Capitol Hill. She is visibly thinner, with drooping in her face and eyelid that’s apparently brought on by Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a facet impact of shingles that’s normally short-term.
Feinstein has vowed to served out the remainder of her time period, which ends in January 2025. Three members of the Home of Representatives are competing for her seat on subsequent 12 months’s poll: Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland).
However her very public well being struggles have amplified issues about whether or not the oldest U.S. senator is match to characterize California’s 39 million residents. Her absence from the highly effective Judiciary Committee resulted in a delay in confirming a few of President Biden’s judicial nominees.
If Feinstein left Congress earlier than the November 2024 election, Gov. Gavin Newsom may appoint a caretaker to serve out the rest of the time period. He could be beneath intense strain to call a successor instantly, as a result of Democrats have a razor-thin majority within the Senate.
Newsom has mentioned that he would appoint a Black lady to a vacant Senate seat. When Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice chairman and vacated her Senate seat in 2020, Newsom appointed Alex Padilla, who was then California’s secretary of state and have become the state’s first Latino senator.
Instances columnist George Skelton in April mentioned it might be troublesome for Newsom to fill a Senate opening, ought to one come up, and tossed out Winfrey’s title as a risk — virtually in jest. Since then, the concept of Newsom appointing Winfrey has been mentioned by a number of information retailers, together with a Gail Collins column within the New York Instances.
Winfrey has dabbled in politics and is a dependable donor to Democrats.
Final fall, she made headlines by endorsing Democrat John Fetterman within the hotly contested Pennsylvania Senate race. His Republican opponent, tv persona Dr. Mehmet Oz, soared to stardom as “America’s Physician” on her every day speak present.