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Sen. Dianne Feinstein appeared on MSNBC's Hardball program last night with Chris Matthews.

At the end of the interview, Matthews broached the subject of the 2010 governor's race.

"I have to ask you the question," Matthews said. "Are you thinking about running for governor of California?"

Her answer:

Feinstein: Well, as you know and I've said this, I take my new duty as chairman of the (Intelligence) Committee seriously. I want to see how it goes. You know, I'm one of those people that never says never. That's just about the situation. It would be hard for me to do, no question, because I've got a 16-year commitment here.


On the other hand, I am really concerned about the state. You know, we're now furloughing employees. We stopped all capital improvement projects. The state has a $42 billion deficit. There's a structural deficit now built in. And I think whoever runs for the post of governor had better do so with a plan so that, if elected, that plan becomes their mandate to carry out.

Matthews followed up: "When will you decide, you think?"

"Oh, later this year," Feinstein said, before adding, "most likely."

The question about the governor's race comes at about the 8-minute mark in the following clip:



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