Democratic Party Snubs Senator Feinstein

President George W. Bush shakes hands with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as he talks with the media after touring the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007, with Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and FEMA Director David Paulison.

The senior Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, failed to receive the necessary 60% of her party’s votes to get an uncontested endorsement, an embarrassing, if expected outcome of her re-election bid.

Her more progressive rival, Kevin de León received 37% while Feinstein, who has been a California senator since 1992, only got a lukewarm 54%. The vote revealed a rivalry between centrist Democrats like Feinstein versus a more progressive position within the walls of the party.

De León, the state Senate leader, declared his receipt of 37% of the votes a victory for his difficult race for the support of his party.

“The outcome of today’s endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual, and it boosts our campaign’s momentum as we all stand shoulder-to-shoulder against a complacent status quo,” de León said. “California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines.”

Despite her less than overwhelming support from her own party, Feinstein is doing well among voters in California, outpolling de León 46% to 17%. Feinstein also has the financial backing needed to retain her seat in the Congress with $10 million cash on hand compared to de León’s $500,000.

While addressing the convention music began to play to signal that her time to speak had run out. Feinstein noted that “I guess my time is up.”

Supporters of her rival did not miss the opportunity to chant back at the 84 year old grand dame of California politics: “Time’s Up! Time’s Up!”

Gail Nussbaum

Gail Nussbaum has been involved in politics and diplomacy for over 15 years. Her interest in foreign relations, economics and budget policy has led her to her position as fiscal policy writer at Left Justified. Gail can be contacted at gailnussbaum(at)

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