Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Remembering Dianne Feinstein

Presented by bp: POLITICO's must-read briefing on what's driving the afternoon in Washington.
Sep 29, 2023 View in browser

By Eli Okun and Bethany Irvine

Presented by

HAPPENING SOON — With less than 35 hours till a government shutdown, the House is expected to start voting within the hour on a conservative spending stopgap. While Speaker KEVIN McCARTHY secured a minor victory this morning by keeping Republicans together for a procedural vote, his hard-line critics say they have enough votes to kill the CR itself. (It would be dead on arrival in the Senate even if it passes.) Follow all the latest with Inside Congress Live

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was widely hailed as a trailblazer for women in politics. | Andrew Harnik, File/AP Photo

IN MEMORIAM — Sen. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-Calif.) died at 90 last night at her home in D.C., bringing an end to the storied political career of the longest-serving woman in Senate history.

Widely hailed as a trailblazer for women in politics, Feinstein rose from serving as the first female mayor of San Francisco to becoming chair of the Senate Intelligence and Rules committees and ranking member of Senate Judiciary, as Punchbowl reports. Like her early life in an abusive family, her presence on the national political stage was born out of tragedy. But her star rose quickly: Before even going to Washington, she had already been considered as a VP pick in 1984 and run for governor in 1990.

In Congress, she played a leading role on various criminal justice, national security and civil rights matters. Often a member of the Democratic Party’s centrist wing, she played the lead role in passing the 1994 assault weapons ban and took on the CIA and White House to expose the U.S.’ torture methods in the War on Terror. In recent years, she also became the face of American gerontocracy, as various news reports raised questions about her cognitive acuity and decline.

“She was smart. She was strong. She was brave. She was compassionate,” Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER said on the Senate floor, as laudatory tributes poured in from President JOE BIDEN, Senate Minority Leader MITCH McCONNELL, Rep. NANCY PELOSI (D-Calif.) and more. “But maybe the trait that stood out most of all,” Schumer said, “was her amazing integrity.” S.F. Chronicle obituary

Feinstein’s death temporarily shrinks Democrats’ majority in the Senate to a single seat, keeping the numbers perilously tight as the Senate tries to keep the government open (and with two other absences due to Covid).

It also raises a big question for California Gov. GAVIN NEWSOM, who will now have to appoint an interim replacement. Newsom has said he would choose a Black woman for the spot, and that it wouldn’t be Rep. BARBARA LEE, one of multiple high-profile Dems already running to replace Feinstein. The shutdown pressure means Newsom may need to move very quickly, Jeremy White, Melanie Mason and Chris Cadelago report.

Among the many names bandied about already today are California Secretary of State SHIRLEY WEBER, Bay Area Transit Board Member LATEEFAH SIMON, LA County Supervisor HOLLY MITCHELL, civil rights attorney ANGELA GLOVER BLACKWELL and even OPRAH WINFREY. Seen as more unlikely picks are the state’s two most prominent Black elected officials not named KAMALA HARRIS: LA Mayor KAREN BASS and San Francisco Mayor LONDON BREED.

Good Friday afternoon. Thanks for reading Playbook PM. Drop us a line at [email protected] and [email protected].

DISPATCH FROM THE ATLANTIC FESTIVAL — Playbook was on the ground at the Atlantic Festival’s second day of programming at Arena Stage this morning, featuring conversations with Utah Gov. SPENCER COX on political polarization and its effect on democracy, moderated by The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins, and a discussion with HILLARY CLINTON on the technology era and loneliness, moderated by Jeffrey Goldberg.

Cox on the new era of political polarization: “If you think that the other side is willing to violate democratic norms, if you think the other side is willing to engage in political violence, if you think the other side is wanting to do all these crazy things, then you get permission from your side to do the same thing. That’s what’s dangerous, because we start trying to one-up each other.”

On alternatives to DONALD TRUMP as the GOP nominee: “I would love someone else. I’m a big fan of governors. I think governors make good presidents, and we have lots of wonderful governors that are running for office. So I would love to see someone else.”

Clinton on Feinstein: “She was an extraordinary public servant and political leader … She was brave. She was honorable, she was honest. And she was willing to hold anybody to account.”

On technology and the rise of Trumpism: “I don’t think we can say tech changed human nature. But tech went right to human nature — well, played to that part of human nature that is most subject to fear and anger and hate. Because it was good business.”


A message from bp:

bp added more than $70 billion to the US economy last year. We did it by making investments from coast to coast – like updating turbines at one of our Indiana wind farms AND bringing a new Gulf of Mexico platform online. See how else bp is investing in America.



LINE OF THE DAY — AEI’s MICHAEL STRAIN memorably coins this “the first-ever shutdown about nothing,” as WaPo’s Jeff Stein reports.

MORE SHUTDOWN DEVELOPMENTS — Notably, despite his Truth Social posts, Trump “has not been calling lawmakers to try to push a shutdown,” NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Swan report. … Meanwhile, Rep. MATT GAETZ (R-Fla.) is hobnobbing with progressives about whether they’d support his efforts to oust McCarthy — and getting at least some signals that they wouldn’t save the speaker, Olivia Beavers, Sarah Ferris and Daniella Diaz report.

IMMEDIATE IMPACTS — The Biden administration continues to warn that within just a few days of a shutdown, up to 7 million women and children who rely on the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program for benefits would lose their aid to buy food, The New Republic’s Grace Segers reports. Hard-right Republicans readying for a shutdown tell her that either they outright don’t believe the administration or they think the long-term effects of excess federal spending are worse.

— Most of the national parks across the country will be closed immediately when the shutdown begins, the Interior Department said today, which Ben Lefebvre notes will be “one of the most visible impacts.” But at least a few states say they’re planning to pay to keep parks open, Bill Mahoney reports.

— Airline passengers might benefit in one unexpected way from a simultaneous shutdown and failure to pass FAA reauthorization: Ticket prices could drop because the government won’t be able to collect taxes on them, Oriana Pawlyk and Alex Daugherty report. Or … the airlines could just pocket the extra dough.

ANOTHER LEGISLATIVE COLLAPSE — Without a new farm bill passed, multiple related programs will lapse as soon as this weekend, though Congress has until the end of the year to prevent most of them from expiring, Meredith Lee Hill reports. This time, it’s dysfunction in the Senate that threatens the farm bill, as the parties are clashing intensely over which climate and farm programs to cut or include. The prospect of having to do a one- or two-year extension instead of the usual five-year farm bill is growing. “The Senate’s acrimony escalated so quickly that [Senate Agriculture Chair DEBBIE STABENOW (D-Mich.)] and [ranking member JOHN BOOZMAN (R-Ark.)] met late last week in an effort to tamp down tensions.”


INFLATION NATION — The measure of inflation most closely watched by the Fed slowed down more than expected last month, a positive sign for the central bank’s campaign to cool price increases, per CNN’s Alicia Wallace. The core Personal Consumption Expenditures index increased 0.1% month over month and 3.9% year over year in August, its smallest jump in two years. On the flip side, the overall PCE index rose 3.5% annually and 0.4% monthly, an acceleration from July, thanks to rising gas prices.

STRIKE WATCH — The United Auto Workers today announced they’re expanding their strike to include a General Motors plant in Lansing, Mich., and a Ford plant in Chicago, The Detroit News’ Kalea Hall and Breana Noble report. That could add another roughly 8,500 workers to the picket lines. UAW President SHAWN FAIN said the expansion exempted Stellantis because those negotiations are moving forward.


GROWING IN THE GOLDEN STATE: POLITICO California is growing, reinforcing our role as the indispensable insider source for reporting on politics, policy and power. From the corridors of power in Sacramento and Los Angeles to the players and innovation hubs in Silicon Valley, we're your go-to for navigating the political landscape across the state. Exclusive scoops, essential daily newsletters, unmatched policy reporting and insights — POLITICO California is your key to unlocking Golden State politics. LEARN MORE.



SCOTUS WATCH — The Supreme Court today added several big new cases to its upcoming term, including a review of Texas and Florida laws to prevent social media platforms from taking down certain posts, WaPo’s Ann Marimow and Cat Zakrzewski report. It’ll be the court’s “highest-profile examination to date of allegations that Silicon Valley companies are illegally censoring conservative viewpoints,” with potentially wide-ranging ramifications for the internet. Also newly on the docket: cases about the FBI’s “no-fly” list for terrorism suspects and “the right of property owners to sue the government for compensation when private land is taken for public use.”

AFTERNOON READ — “The Lawyer Trying to Hold Gunmakers Responsible for Mass Shootings,” by Michael Steinberger in the NYT Magazine: “JOSH KOSKOFF’s legal victory against Remington has raised the possibility of a new form of gun control: lawsuits against the companies that make assault rifles.”


DLCC GOES POST-POST — Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee head JESSICA POST will step down from her role after eight years following this fall’s elections, she tells The 19th’s Grace Panetta. The group will search for its next president while she focuses on one last battle: November’s Virginia state legislative campaigns. Under Post’s leadership, the DLCC has more than tripled in budget and staffing, while Democrats have finally stepped up their efforts to compete in statehouses across the country.

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE — The half-dozen swing-district House Republicans from California are staying away from the party’s state convention in Anaheim this weekend, Melanie Mason reports from LA. It’s an illustration of their tricky tightrope: Though the GOP performed well in the Golden State in last year’s midterms, the party’s base there remains very Trumpy — and moderate front-liners want to keep their distance as Trump delivers a speech at the convention today.

2028 WATCH — Though the country’s top Democratic rising stars are all passing on a primary challenge to Biden, they’re nonetheless staying visible on the campaign trail on his behalf — burnishing their images ahead of potential presidential bids next time, AP’s Steve Peoples and Will Weissert report. From Pennsylvania Gov. JOSH SHAPIRO to Michigan Gov. GRETCHEN WHITMER to California Gov. GAVIN NEWSOM to Rep. RO KHANNA (D-Calif.), they’re also “giving the party something of an insurance policy in case they are suddenly needed next year.”


DRILLING DOWN — “Biden Interior pushes pared down offshore drilling plan,” by Ben Lefebvre: “The Biden administration is planning to hold three offshore oil lease sales through 2029, the lowest number of auctions in the program’s history in a move that’s likely to anger both Republicans who back the industry and environmental advocates seeking an end to drilling on federal land and water.”

LABOR PAINS — With the labor market still tight and some employers struggling to fill jobs, the Biden administration today is releasing an eight-page playbook (hey, that’s our word!) for how best to train workers, AP’s Josh Boak reports. “The document encourages [state and local governments] to use registered apprenticeship programs … Money also is going to supportive services for child care and transportation, which are two of the big reasons why people are unable to complete training or stay on the job.”

IMMIGRATION FILES — “A green card processing change means U.S. could lose thousands of faith leaders from abroad,” by AP’s Giovanna Dell’Orto in Columbia Heights, Minn.

2024 WATCH

SISYPHEAN — “Major GOP donors eye Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis as the top Trump alternatives,” by NBC’s Allan Smith, Jonathan Allen, Matt Dixon and Dasha Burns: “A collective of major Republican donors, known as the American Opportunity Alliance, is summoning representatives from both the [RON] DeSANTIS and [NIKKI] HALEY campaigns to Dallas.”


DOWNLOAD THE POLITICO APP: Stay in the know with the POLITICO mobile app, featuring timely political news, insights and analysis from the best journalists in the business. The sleek and navigable design offers a convenient way to access POLITICO's scoops and groundbreaking reporting. Don’t miss out on the app you can rely on for the news you need. DOWNLOAD FOR iOS – DOWNLOAD FOR ANDROID.



OUT AND ABOUT — SPOTTED at Democracy Forward’s showing of The Art in Embassies’ “A More Perfect Union: American Artists and the Currents of Our Time” exhibit, featuring keynote speaker Dolores Huerta: Marc Elias, Mindy Myers, Anthea Hartig, Jess O’Connell, Skye Perryman, Olivia Julianna, Tania Faransso, Heather Sawyer, Andrew Feldman, Emma Thomas, Darcy Hirsh, Josh Protas, Carrie Flaxman and Sunu Chandy.

— Rokk Solutions held its second annual “ROKKtoberfest,” featuring the Edelweiss Band, on its roof deck Wednesday night. SPOTTED: Heather Wingate, Skiffington Holderness, Lisa Hanna, Emily Howard, Kelly Metsker, Olivia Fahrmann, Meredith Owen, Jeremy Wilson-Simerman, Kathryn Stack, Kasper Zeuthen, Patrick Uzcategui and Paul Kane.

— SPOTTED last night at the National Clean Energy Week’s gala dinner at the Hamilton Hotel: Reps. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Sean Casten (D-Ill.), John Curtis (R-Utah) and Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Sam Erickson, Eli Mansour, Karalee Geis, Grace White, Ashley Nichols, George David Banks, Chrissy Harbin, Chris Marklund, Evan Dixon, Wesley Harkins, Nikki Roy, Shawn Affolter, Tom Erb, Adam Cloch, Noah Yantis, Emily Carlin, Maddie Mitchell, Spenser Horton, Sean Murphy, Josie McLaurin, Ashley Higgins, Katie Devlin, Stacey Daniels, Tom Brandt and Mike Marinella.

— SPOTTED last night at Synopsys’ D.C. office opening party tonight at PJ Clarkes: Dustin Todd, Stewart Barber, Deirdre Hanford, Emile Monette, David Isaacs, Alex Gordon, Jennifer Meng, Jason Oxman, Vince Jesaitis, Stephen Ozoigbo, Patrick Thompson, Meg Hardon, Gene Irisari, Holly Pataki, Stephanie Holland, Stephen Bonner, Devi Keller, Jon Cardinal, Bryan Doyle, Claire Sanderson, Peter Cleveland, Nick Montella, Eric Breckenfeld, Jon Hoganson, Grant Gardner, Matt Krupnick, Jay Lewis, Brad Koenig, Andrea Riccio, Jim Bodner, Siobhan Sheils, Tino Giovanni, Mario Palacios, David Shahoulian, Shannon Taylor and Greg Allen.

WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE LOUNGE — Elvir Klempic is now an adviser in USAID’s Office of the Administrator. He previously was senior associate director in the White House’s Office of Presidential Personnel and is a Biden campaign alum.

TRANSITIONS — The Niskanen Center is adding David Jimenez as government affairs manager for social policy and Zachary Norris as senior staff attorney. … Roy Loewenstein is now a director at Bryson Gillette. He most recently was press secretary at the Education Department and is a Jon Tester alum. … Nick Crocker is now senior adviser and director of coalitions for the House Energy and Commerce GOP. He most recently was deputy staff director for the House Administration GOP. …

… Shannon Geison will be campaign manager for Mondaire Jones’ New York congressional bid. She previously was chief of staff for Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Ore.). … Daniel Dela Cruz is now a confidential assistant in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the Department of Education. He most recently was finance assistant for Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D-Ariz.) reelect.

Did someone forward this email to you? Sign up here.

Send Playbookers tips to [email protected] or text us at 202-556-3307. Playbook couldn’t happen without our editor Mike DeBonis and deputy editor Zack Stanton.


A message from bp:

Developing more lower carbon energy AND keeping oil & gas flowing with fewer emissions. And, not or. That’s how bp is investing in America.


Follow us on Twitter

Rachael Bade @rachaelmbade

Eugene Daniels @EugeneDaniels2

Ryan Lizza @RyanLizza

Eli Okun @eliokun

Garrett Ross @garrett_ross


Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook family

Playbook  |  Playbook PM  |  California Playbook  |  Florida Playbook  |  Illinois Playbook  |  Massachusetts Playbook  |  New Jersey Playbook  |  New York Playbook  |  Ottawa Playbook  |  Brussels Playbook  |  London Playbook

View all our politics and policy newsletters

Follow us


To change your alert settings, please log in at

This email was sent to [email protected] by: POLITICO, LLC 1000 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA, 22209, USA

Please click here and follow the steps to unsubscribe.

This post first appeared on Test Sandbox Updates, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Remembering Dianne Feinstein


Subscribe to Test Sandbox Updates

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription