A Key Feinstein Helper: Nancy Pelosi's Daughter

Some see a political strategy behind it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2023 12:41 PM CDT
Pelosi Has a Connection to Feinstein's Recovery
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is assisted by staff as she returns to the Senate after a more than two-month absence at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

After 89-year-old Dianne Feinstein returned to the Senate earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle was the first to note that Nancy Pelosi's oldest daughter has been a regular presence by her side. Feinstein and Pelosi are longtime friends, and the appearance of Nancy Corinne Prowda, Pelosi's daughter, as a helper wasn't seen as especially newsworthy. Now, however, the Politico Playbook suggests some political intrigue is involved—that it's part of Pelosi's strategy to make sure Rep. Adam Schiff replaces Feinstein in the Senate. As Politico explains it, Pelosi has endorsed Schiff, and he seems to have a big advantage of others vying to replace Feinstein, who is not running for reelection. However, "if Feinstein were to bow to pressure and retire early, Schiff’s advantage could disappear," per Politico.

That's because California Gov. Gavin Newsom has promised to appoint a Black woman to fill the seat should Feinstein retire early, and whoever he picks would get a big advantage by running as the incumbent in the next election. The idea, then, is that Pelosi has sent her daughter to help make sure Feinstein is able to serve out her term. Spokespersons for both lawmakers deny it. The two lawmakers have "been friends since long before their service in Congress—and their friendship is personal, not political,” says Pelosi's spokesperson. “Nancy Corrine is a dear friend of Senator Feinstein’s going back more than 40 years,” says Feinstein’s spokesperson. “She has been spending time with the senator as she continues to recover from shingles.”

Meanwhile, concerns about whether Feinstein is still up to the job aren't going away. “We’re monitoring her medical condition almost on a daily basis," said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who replaced Feinstein as chair of the Judiciary Committee, per CNN. "Our staff is in touch with her staff.” He declined to say whether he has confidence in her ability to serve. “I can’t be the judge of that," he said, adding that "she has to make that decision for herself and her family as to going forward." (Reporters recounted a "concerning" exchange with Feinstein.)

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