Dianne Feinstein, a Jewish politician who broke through barriers

After holding on to her seat despite continued failing health, the California senator is remembered by US President Joe Biden and congressional leaders

Tzippy Shmilovitz, New York|
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein a Democrat from California, passed away at 90 following months of deteriorating health conditions
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Feinstein was considered a Jewish, liberal, and feminist icon, as well as one of the prominent figures in Washington during the last three decades. However, her recent refusal to vacate her position due to her deteriorating mental health has been a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party and a symbol of the challenges facing the American government, which relies too much on aging politicians and struggles to replace them.
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Dianne Feinstein
(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite)
In the past year, Feinstein's physical and cognitive health visibly declined. She struggled to remember the names of colleagues, meetings, or phone calls, and at times seemed disoriented. The fact her health was beginning to affect her position was well-known around Capitol Hill for several years, but Feinstein insisted she could continue in her role and resisted any attempts to make her retire.
Long before age began to take its toll on her, Dianne Feinstein became one of the most important women in American political history. She served as the mayor of San Francisco and, in 1992, became the first woman from California to be elected to the Senate. By the time she was elected for her sixth term in 2018, she was already the longest-serving woman in the U.S. Senate.
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Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Joe Biden
(Photo: AP)
Feinstein was a stalwart politician, very liberal on certain issues, but also unafraid to adopt conservative ideas and maintain good relationships with Republicans in the Senate. She supported Israel but didn’t hesitate to criticize the Israeli government’s decisions.
U.S. President Joe Biden mourned her passing, saying, “Senator Dianne Feinstein was a pioneering American. A true trailblazer. And for Jill and me, a cherished friend. She’s made history in so many ways, and our country will benefit from her legacy for generations.”
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