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Feinstein Now Claims Not to Want Democratic Party Endorsement

After trouncing de León, Senator cites need for unity

By Evan Gahr

California’s ‘best known politician’ doesn’t want her party’s endorsement.

Profoundly embarrassed earlier this year when she didn’t get the state Democratic party endorsement, Senator Dianne Feinstein now says she doesn’t want it anyway.

Kind of like the fox saying he didn’t really want the grapes because they are sour?

In a letter to the party executive committee, which meets next weekend in Oakland, Feinstein, who walloped challenger Kevin de León in the June 5 primary, said it was best for party unity if they endorsed nobody.

“Republicans would like nothing more than to see Democrats fighting each other, and a formal endorsement in our race will divide our party at the exact time we need to come together and focus on the general election,” she told the roughly 360  committee members.

But University of California at San Diego political science professor Thad Kousser tells CaliforniaGlobe.com that Feinstein is just trying to stave off an “embarrassing” defeat at the hands of De Leon, who has been running to the left of her on a number of issues.

That might be a peculiar thing to fear given that she beat de León by such huge margins in the primary, garnering 44.2% of the vote compared to his 11.5%.

But the problem for Feinstein with the state executive committee, says Kousser, is that “party activists are always a bit more on the political extreme.”

Republican activists are more right-wing than general voters and Democratic activists in California are more left-wing than the average voters. “Kevin De Leon is the most appealing to the most progressive wing of Democratic” voters who dominate the party executive committee, he explained.

At the February convention, de León got 54% of the votes and Feinstein got 37%.  Even though he didn’t meet the actual 60% mark required to get the endorsement it was widely considered a humiliating outcome for the veteran senator.

Seems like Feinstein now fears that this time around de León might succeed in getting the coveted endorsement.

And Feinstein holding up the white flag had at least one de León supporter licking his chops.

RL Miller, head of the state Party’s environmental caucus and a De Leon supporter, told the Los Angeles Times that getting an endorsement would be “earth shattering” and show an “amazing lack of confidence in California’s best-known political figure.”

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