Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein held an hour long “conversation” at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco hosted by a group called the Commonwealth Club. Toward the end of the event, she was asked how long she thought it would take before Republicans were on board with impeaching President Trump.
Feinstein did not make this far left question into a Sister Souljah moment but, to her credit, she also didn’t show any enthusiasm for the prospect. “Kinda been there, done that,” she replied, adding, “It’s not the greatest thing in the world, that’s for sure.”
Feinstein then went a step beyond pouring cold water on impeachment by pointing out she still hoped he would change. “This man is going to be president most likely for the rest of this term,” Feinstein said. She continued, “I just hope he has the ability to learn and to change and, if he does, he can be a good president.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the crowd of 850 was stunned:
That sort of talk is never heard in Democratic circles, where California Congress members already are talking about what they see as the need to impeach Trump or remove him from office via the 25th Amendment.
The crowd reacted with stunned silence, broken only with scattered “No’s” and a few hisses and some nervous laughter.
Today, Feinstein’s office put out a statement which doesn’t quite retreat from what she said last night, but she does add several paragraphs bashing Trump beforehand:
During this tumultuous time, I’m working to protect the progress we’ve made and find a way to get things done for Californians during a period of total Republican control of Washington. I’ve been strongly critical of President Trump when I disagree on policy and with his behavior.
Most recently, I was appalled by his comments in response to Charlottesville and the pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. President Trump said that there were ‘very fine people’ in a crowd chanting ‘Jews will not replace us.’ There’s nothing ‘fine’ about white supremacists, Nazis or the KKK…
While I’m under no illusion that it’s likely to happen and will continue to oppose his policies, I want President Trump to change for the good of the country.
Democrats spent years making hay out of the idea that Republicans wanted Obama to fail rather than the country to succeed. It appears Feinstein remembers that even if her San Francisco audience does not.