The health and well-being of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has been a significant issue for much of the year, particularly in light of her substantially weakened condition upon returning to the Senate following a months-long absence while she dealt with complications from shingles.
The health of the 90-year-old senator is apparently still an issue as it is being cited as the reason why the California Democrat missed a major event in her hometown of San Francisco that she had been scheduled to attend, according to the Daily Wire.
On Wednesday, Sen. Feinstein was supposed to be in attendance at the 150th anniversary celebration of San Francisco's iconic cable cars, but was notably absent from the event.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a spokesperson for the senator said that it was her poor health that kept the city's former mayor from being there.
Feinstein spokesman Ron Eckstein told the outlet, "She is not feeling well and has a cough. She decided it was best to stay at home."
The Chronicle noted that San Francisco's own former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was in attendance at the event and said that her longtime friend and legislative colleague was "good … she’s doing her job" -- even though that hasn't exactly been the case.
"Even though she had the diagnosis of shingles, she went back there and she was there for every vote so that the judges could be confirmed even though the other side would not cooperate," Pelosi said of Feinstein's return to the Senate. "It’s a tribute to her that we wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t made that strong step when she was mayor in San Francisco to save the cable cars. She’s present in so many ways."
The Daily Wire noted that while Sen. Feinstein announced in February that she would not seek re-election to another term in the 2024 election, she has been highly resistant to mounting calls that she resign and retire prior to the conclusion of her current term, given her increasingly obvious inability to do her job as a U.S. senator.
Those calls will likely grow even louder and more strident following the recent revelation that the elderly senator's adult daughter, former San Francisco judge turned fire commissioner Katherine Feinstein, recently obtained power-of-attorney over her mother's affairs, according to Business Insider.
That development appears to stem from a lawsuit that Feinstein's daughter filed last month against the trust of the senator's late husband, Richard Blum, in which she listed herself as the "attorney in fact" on behalf of her mother in claiming that the trustees of Blum's estate have not been forthcoming in providing money to cover Feinstein's "significant medical expenses" this year.
According to a report from the Associated Press in July, however, the claims in Feinstein's lawsuit are disputed by an attorney, Steven P. Braccini, who represents the two trustees charged with managing Blum's estate, Mark R. Klein and Marc Scholvinck.
"My clients are perplexed by this filing. Richard Blum’s trust has never denied any disbursement to Sen. Feinstein, let alone for medical expenses," Braccini said. "While my clients are deeply concerned, we all remain hopeful that this is simply a misunderstanding that can be quickly resolved."
"We have not been presented with any evidence showing that Katherine Feinstein has power of attorney for her mother," he added at that time, "nor has Katherine made it clear, either in this filing or directly to my clients, why a sitting United States senator would require someone to have power of attorney over her."
That right there -- why somebody has power of attorney over a sitting U.S. senator -- is a legitimate question that deserves a swift and transparent answer, as it casts serious doubt over whether Sen. Feinstein is still capable of performing the duties of the job that she was elected by California voters to do.