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US Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Pragmatic Lawmaker, Passes at 90

Saturday, September 30, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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Centrist Democrat and trailblazer for liberal causes, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, has died at age 90. Her office announced her death in her home in Washington, D.C. Tributes flowed towards Feinstein, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling her a giant in the Senate.

President Joe Biden, who worked side by side with Feinstein for years in the Senate, was praised as a pioneering American, a trailblazer in every sense of the word, and also a cherished friend. California Governor Gavin Newsom will appoint an interim replacement, sparking an impending war over her succession.

Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate, was a leading voice for California's liberal priorities, such as environmental protection, reproductive rights, and gun control. She was also known for an approach that reflected Democratic pragmatism more than progressive fire.

Earlier this year, Feinstein was out of action due to shingles for over two months, which has prompted criticism from liberals and even sparked speculation in some quarters that she might retire or not seek reelection. When she came back in May, she was frail and using a wheelchair, voting only occasionally.

White roses graced Feinstein's desk in the Senate chamber, and tearful tributes came from senators, with members of the California House delegation present as well as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, among others, praised the Democratic icon as a trailblazer and a friend who, he said, never let her relatively diminutive stature keep her from towering over others in gentle forcefulness to make sure she got what she wanted.

Dianne Feinstein's legacy over the past three decades, from national security to environmental protection and civil liberties, is imprinted indelibly on the nation. Her long-standing career began in 1969 when she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, eventually becoming its first female board president in 1978. She played a substantial part during a turbulent time in San Francisco's history when Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were tragically assassinated at City Hall by Dan White, a former supervisor. Feinstein found Harvey Milk's body.

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