Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Did Senator Dianne Feinstein hint at retirement?

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is the oldest sitting U.S. Senator.
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is the oldest sitting U.S. Senator.
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It was an odd turn of phrase.

California's senior Senator Dianne Feinstein had just voted with her Democratic colleagues Thursday to dump the filibuster for all presidential nominees except those for the U.S. Supreme Court. She was explaining her vote, telling reporters that the "frustration just overwhelms" Democrats like her who have watched numerous judicial nominees never get a floor vote.

Feinstein said she realized eliminating the filibuster could hurt Democrats should they end up back in the minority again. But she added she wants "for the remainder of my five-plus years to get something done."

The remainder of her five-plus years. Was California's first elected female Senator publicly admitting she had no plans to run for re-election in 2018?

Feinstein has served in the Senate since 1992 and, at age 80, she is currently the oldest serving U.S. Senator. Time Magazine just named her one of the country's most influential octogenarians. She serves as chair of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee and has served two decades on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She championed the Desert Protection Act, setting aside seven million acres of California desert. 

But Feinstein's press office says not so fast. The Senator was just talking about the remaining five-plus years of this particular Senate term.

If Feinstein does decide to run for another six-year term, she will be 85-years-old when the election takes place.

Of course, in Senate terms, that's comparatively young: South Carolina Republican Strom Thurmond served in the Senate past his 100th birthday.