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Sen. Dianne Feinstein
| Monday, Dec 16, 2013

The following commentary, originally published by POLITICO, is part of a series in which dozens of women will reveal what women they most admire. The series is part of “Women Rule,” a unique effort this fall by POLITICO, Google and The Tory Burch Foundation exploring how women are leading change in politics, policy and their communities. See more essays [here].

 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

In 2000, shortly after Hillary Clinton was elected to represent New York in the Senate, I was honored when she called seeking my advice.

When I first met Hillary in 1992 during Bill Clinton’s run for the White House, I was immediately impressed by her commitment to helping people and her grasp of complex policy issues. She is one of the most talented and impressive women I’ve ever known, so I had no doubt she possessed the ability, stamina and passion to make an outstanding senator.

Even though she came to the Senate as an international superstar, she immediately proved her mettle.

She did her homework. She worked across the aisle.

She didn’t get bogged down in party politics. She worked hard for her constituents.

As a senator, Hillary committed herself completely to the nuts and bolts of legislating that separates the show horses from the workhorses in today’s Senate.

She defied the skeptics by working not just with Democrats but by developing productive relationships with Republicans — many of the same senators who had been relentless critics of the Clinton administration.

And that hard work paid dividends.

Hillary mobilized resources and services to help the victims of Sept. 11 recover and rebuild. She worked closely with the families of those killed and insisted on compensation and health care for first responders.

She also met with our troops overseas and worked on behalf of veterans. She fought for women and children’s health, education, economic development and trade.

Hillary was deeply committed to democracy in Tibet and Burma.

And she fought in committees and on the Senate floor for every corner of New York.

In other words, she was a model senator.

Eight years later, after many months of a grueling and exhausting campaign, she and then-Sen. Barack Obama met privately at my home in Washington to put the primary behind them and set a course to win back the White House.

Cynics questioned Hillary’s commitment to that cause, but those of us who knew her well had no doubt: She would be an invaluable asset on the campaign trail and eventually a trusted adviser in the Obama administration’s Cabinet.

Hillary is a patriot who loves her country completely. Her deep commitment to public service and progressive causes runs through her veins.

At the State Department, she proved to be an outstanding diplomat.

She rolled up her sleeves and went to work repairing relationships with heads of state around the world. From the evolving conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq to the turbulent Arab Spring, Hillary was always a steady hand on the foreign policy rudder.

Over the years, Hillary and I have conferred on health care, international terrorism, foreign affairs, the environment and gun safety.

Inevitably, our conversations turn to our daughters. We both have a daughter, and I know Chelsea enriches Hillary’s life far and above any achievement in politics or government. That special relationship is one reason the well-being of women and girls has been central to her agenda, as far back as the United Nations Women’s Conference in Beijing nearly 20 years ago.

I was an early and enthusiastic supporter during Hillary’s run for the White House in 2008. I believed she would be a spectacular leader and a transformative president for our country.

I still believe that. Now more than ever.

 

Dianne Feinstein represents California in the U.S. Senate.

 

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16 Comments

  1. Susan Stroud says:

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Hillary should be president because she has a daughter. Lying, scandals, lack of accomplishments and the cover up of 4 dead Americans in Benghazi and her complicity must be overlooked.

    Dianne, your Alzheimer’s is showing.

  2. LONDONBACH says:

    Hillary Clinton? The oafish fat-ankled quasi-female political opportunist? That’s the BEST the Left can do for a Presidential candidate? Can’t the Left produce even one person who has enough grace & intelligence not to make people groan & cringe? Someone, for instance, like Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Mr. Moynihan was a lifelong New York Democrat who worked frist for his State and his Nation, not just his Party.

  3. Karen Grube says:

    “Over the years, Hillary and I have conferred on health care, international terrorism, foreign affairs, the environment and gun safety.” How scary is that? THAT is precisely why no one should even THINK about voting for her and why California voters need to stop voting stupid and get you out of office at the earliest possible time. Wish it weren’t so hard to recall a Senator.

  4. SkyLark says:

    Why, Ms. Feinstein, do you hate America so much as to want to drive this final nail of progressive corruption into its coffin?

  5. bob says:

    “At this point, what difference does it make?”. You yoyos saddled us with one moron, why buy another used liar from you?
    Both sides of the aisle should be arrested, tried for treason by the citizenry, then hung if guilty.

  6. Ruth says:

    This is really disturbing. I don’t see any accomplishments cited in this article so I’m guessing that we “need” her because she’s a woman. Um, no. Haven’t we learned anything yet? Voting for someone, merely because of race or sex is a losing proposition for this country. Hillary has no accomplishments and a whole lot of scandal. Wake up, people. Quit voting to “make history” and vote for someone who can lead, has legitimate credentials and doesn’t work to divide the nation. If you’re too young to know about Ms. Clinton..I suggest you begin boning up on history and save yourself from another wasted vote.

  7. Phil says:

    The scary part? Feinstein is our SMART senator!!

  8. Leadrunner says:

    Hillary is a power whore. Nothing more, nothing less.

  9. Benny says:

    We certainly do not need to transform the USA into anything other than the GREAT, beautiful nation we had. Our consitution had worked perfectly for many years. Now, this administration has tried to transform us into a socialist republic. We know what happened when Germany tried their National Socialist Republic. We do not need that in the USA.

  10. mj loehrer says:

    There’s nothing I can add to what has already been written. There are some brilliant people on the Left Coast.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Hillary has a never ending list of accomplishments, if you don’t relies this your not informed enough to comment on this issue. Try looking something up instead of just listening to angry republican talk. Hillary has greatly improved several of our foreign relationships, just for a start.
    “Over the years, Hillary and I have conferred on health care, international terrorism, foreign affairs, the environment and gun safety.” Karen, the only reason I can think you would be upset about this is if you don’t want everyone to have health care, want more terrorist attacks, want the rest of the world to hate America, you don’t go outside, and want mass shutting a to continue. If you think them discussing these things is stupid, I don’t think you understand politics.
    Ruth, again she is a very, I stress a very accomplished politician. We don’t want to vote for her because she’s a women, we will vote for her to CONTINUE bettering our country. The republicans on the other hand did want to vote for a female politician simply because she was a female, Sara Palin. Now that would have been scary.
    Bob… What are you quoting? …

    After one search I found…and form One paragraph about Hillary’s accomplishments….
    Clinton was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring, including advocating the military intervention in Libya. She introduced the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review process to the State Department, seeking to maximize departmental effectiveness and promote the empowerment of women worldwide, and used “smart power” as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values in the world. She is the most widely traveled secretary during her time in office and also championed the use of social media in getting the U.S. message out.
    P.S. I’m posting so late because I’ve been at work since 6am but I still took the time to do a little research.

  12. SukieTawdry says:

    So, Rebecca, how is that whole Arab Spring thing going? Things working out okay in Egypt? How about Syria (hey, remember back when Hillary haled Assad as a reformer)? How has the “liberation” of Libya worked out? Do you feel we have been given a satisfactory explanation of what occurred in Benghazi? Or why Hillary lied about it?? Do frequent flier miles add up to accomplishment? Can you point to any women around the world who have actually been empowered through Hillary’s efforts? Define “smart power” and explain how, when and where Hillary exercised it.

    What was Hillary’s greatest accomplishment as the junior senator from New York? As First Lady of the US? As First Lady of Arkansas? As a practicing attorney? Do you considering “conferring” with a fellow senator an accomplishment?

    For someone who claims Hillary’s list of accomplishments is “never ending,” you sure don’t seem to able to come up with much.

  13. ConradCA says:

    Her greatest accomplishment while SOC was racking up lots of miles in the air. Worked tirelessly to replace our friends with enemies in the Middle East. Betrayed our people in Benghazi by denying our Ambassador and the consulate any effective security in a country full of our enemies. Remembered for “It’s a vast right wing conspiracy.” and being under sniper fire. Would be the second worst president after Tyrant Obama if she wins/steals the presidency.

  14. ctmom says:

    Rebecca, did you cut and past directly from Hilary’s State Dept. bio?

  15. CLINTON DICKENS JR says:

    Republicans seem to have an intense hatred for President Bill Clinton & also for potential 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
    I am of the opinion that their irrational hatred of President Clinton stems from the fact that in his two successful campaigns, he was smart enough to utilize the Republicans’ own issues to defeat them and they just can’t live with the knowledge that he–even today–is the most popular political figure in our country.
    As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was one of the brightest stars in the Obama Administration, proving that she can hold her own & perform successfully on the national & international stages.
    She & her husband are head & shoulders above any other political figure in the United States today.
    In the 2016 Presidential election, the American people need to elect a President that is capable of dealing effectively with the many serious problems that threaten our Constitution & the freedoms it has guaranteed for over 200 years.
    The person that can take on that challenge successfully is Hillary Clinton.

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