The dean of the US Senate Dianne Feinstein, a historic figure in the Democratic Party, died at the age of 90 on Thursday. The first female mayor of San Francisco, she was a pioneer in the entry of women into politics.
Published on : Modified :
A titan of American legislation is leaving. The dean of the Senate and historic figure of the Democratic Party Dianne Feinstein died on Thursday, September 28, at the age of 90, her team announced on Friday. A pioneer in the entry of women into politics, the Californian elected official left her mark with numerous battles but was also criticized in the debates on the old age of many American elected officials.
The first female mayor of San Francisco before serving as a senator from California for more than thirty years, Dianne Feinstein was recognized as a tenacious politician and an influential pillar of the upper house of Congress. But she had been criticized by the left of the Democratic Party for several months after a journalistic investigation, which highlighted her cognitive decline. She voted again in Congress Thursday morning.
She announced her political retirement in February, indicating that she would not run again in the 2024 elections.
US President Joe Biden, who worked in the Senate alongside her, praised the memory of a “friend”. “I had a front-row seat to see what Dianne was able to accomplish,” said the Democratic leader, applauding her fights for “protection of the environment and individual freedoms.”
His death does not call into question the Democratic majority in the Senate.
Author of a report denouncing torture practiced by the CIA
Dianne Feinstein was mayor of San Francisco for ten years, after the assassination in 1978 of her predecessor George Moscone and of the politician Harvey Milk, a figure of the gay movement, a tragedy during which this woman was able to show her determination.
In the Senate, she notably passed the ban on assault rifles in 1994, for ten years. “Senator Dianne Feinstein was a great activist for the prevention of armed violence, overcoming obstacles at all levels of the state,” applauded Maxwell Frost, the youngest elected official in Congress, also very involved in this issue.
In the Senate, where she played a leading role in the examination of hundreds of laws, she called with Republican John McCain for the closure of Guantanamo prison, where 30 people still remain detained. This after supporting George W. Bush’s war in Iraq and establishing herself as an influential member of the Intelligence Committee.
The elected official with the crystalline gaze is above all the author of a huge investigative report on torture at the CIA with 20 damning conclusions on the inefficiency and brutality of the agency’s interrogations after September 11, which will remain in the annals.
“She was a great servant of the State, I will miss her very much,” greeted Republican Chuck Grassley, who worked more than 30 years alongside her in Congress, and is now the new dean of the Senate, at 90 years.
Direction of San Francisco after the tumult of the assassination of Harvey Milk
But it was in her home state, California, and in her hometown, San Francisco, that she first made her mark. Dianne Feinstein led the city through the tumult following the 1978 assassinations of Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay city councilman, and Mayor George Moscone by a former colleague.
“I found Harvey on his stomach. I tried to find his pulse, and my finger stuck in the bullet hole,” she told the San Francisco Gate in 2008.
At the head of the city for 10 years, she was elected “the most effective mayor in the country” by City and State Magazine.
Debate on the aging of the political class
In recent years, however, the elected official has eroded her political capital due to persistent doubts about her coherence, often expressed by her own camp.
Former parliamentary aides repeatedly described episodes of mental confusion to the media. And the images of the elected official, curled up in a wheelchair in the corridors of the Capitol, have reignited debates on the aging of the American political class.
President Joe Biden, who is running again at age 80, is now measured on his physical condition every time he travels. His possible rival in 2024, former Republican President Donald Trump, celebrated his 77th birthday.
The leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has experienced two long periods of absence close together in recent weeks, having failed to speak despite questions. The episodes were broadcast on televisions across the country. The 81-year-old senator has so far ruled out the possibility of resigning.