Former senator Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) implied Thursday that her longtime colleague Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) should step aside because of age.
"If Sen. Feinstein were to call me today and asked my advice" on stepping aside, "I would say only you can decide this," Boxer said in a Los Angeles Times interview. "But from my perspective, I want you to know I've had very productive years away from the Senate doing good things. So put that into the equation."
Boxer, who was elected in 1992 to represent California alongside Feinstein, retired in January 2017. Feinstein, who is 88, remains in the Senate.
Many Democrats want Feinstein to retire in favor of a younger and more progressive candidate. Some fear that a Republican will end up representing deep-blue California if Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) loses Tuesday's recall election and Feinstein is unable to finish her term.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) last year had to tell Feinstein twice to step down as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee because she forgot their first conversation. According to a New Yorker report at the time, Feinstein's "short-term memory has grown so poor that she often forgets she has been briefed on a topic."
One of the New Yorker's sources compared what Feinstein's staff has to do to taking "the car keys away from an elderly relative."
Feinstein has filed paperwork so that she can run for a sixth term in 2024. She will then be 91 years old.