If California Sen. Dianne Feinstein leaves Congress earlier than her time period is over, she received’t get replaced by Oprah Winfrey.
The media mogul’s spokeswoman on Thursday threw chilly water on the concept that Winfrey might make a foray into politics, saying she “just isn’t contemplating the seat ought to it grow to be 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 hundreds of thousands of People to strive new diets and turning books into bestsellers in a single day.
The Montecito resident’s identify had been floated in a number of media retailers as a potential 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 attributable to Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a aspect impact of shingles that’s often momentary.
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 signify 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 might appoint a caretaker to serve out the rest of the time period. He can be beneath intense stress 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 girl 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.
Occasions columnist George Skelton in April mentioned it could be troublesome for Newsom to fill a Senate opening, ought to one come up, and tossed out Winfrey’s identify as a chance — nearly in jest. Since then, the concept of Newsom appointing Winfrey has been mentioned by a couple of information retailers, together with a Gail Collins column within the New York Occasions.
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 character Dr. Mehmet Oz, soared to stardom as “America’s Physician” on her each day speak present.