Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, former Senator Claire McCaskill said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 90, was doing “real damage to her legacy” by continuing to stay in power, even as reports reveal that she no longer has power of attorney.
“This is doing some real damage to her legacy which is extraordinary as a United States senator,” McCaskill said.
McCaskill recalled watching late Sen. Robert Byrd become a “kind of caricature of what he formerly was,” with his staff eventually having to hold “his hand up” for votes in Congress due to his advanced age.
“This whole story makes me incredibly sad,” McCaskill said when asked about the legal battle swirling around Feinstein’s estate.
McCaskill also referenced reports that Feinstein’s daughter has the power of attorney over the ailing senator.
Katherine Feinstein, 66, has filed two lawsuits on her mother’s behalf in an effort to gain access to the estate of the senator’s late husband. The senator’s decision to delegate management of her affairs comes as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill argue whether Feinstein is no longer fit for office.
Feinstein has been hospitalized multiple times over the past year. In February, the senator confirmed that she was diagnosed for a case of shingles that she later received treatment for in the hospital. Shingles typically develops in older adults who had chicken pox, or the varicella-zoster virus, when younger. Its hallmark is a painful rash that clears up within a month in most cases, but can sometimes lead to nerve pain that can linger for longer.
In late July, a hot mic caught the senator appearing confused during a routine Senate committee proceeding, when she began reading from her prepared remarks instead of saying “aye” during a roll call vote.