Retiring In '18?

Last Term For Dianne Feinstein?

Veteran California Democrat Dianne Feinstein hinted that she might not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2018 on Thursday.

11.22.13 8:18 PM ET

Is this Dianne Feinstein’s last term in the U.S Senate?

The 80-year-old Feinstein, (D-CA), who is currently the oldest member of the Senate, hinted on Thursday that her current term may be her last on Capitol Hill.  While talking to reporters about her support for filibuster reform on Thursday, Feinstein said:

“Now I recognize I could be back in the minority again but that’s ok if that happens but I want for the remainder of my 5 plus years to be able to get something done to be able to get to get nominees approved, to be able to get bills moving, to be able to pass an intelligence authorization bill, a cyber bill whatever it is.”

In a statement, Tom Mentzer, press secretary for Feinstein insisted “The senator was speaking of the five years left on her current Senate term, nothing more.” However the elegiac tone of Feinstein’s statement does lend credence to the idea that the current Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is not likely to seek re-election in 2018 at the age of 85. 

Even the possibility of an open Senate seat from California is likely to set off a political scramble. The state has not had a vacancy in the U.S. Senate since 1992 and any candidate running statewide will need to build a massive organization and raise tens of millions of dollars to run a competitive campaign.