The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

January 10, 2009
Don't defy Di-Fi
Part calculation, part circumstance, U.S. Dianne Feinstein is all over the news in the early days of 2009.

One day she's questioning Barack Obama's choice to head the C.I.A., the next day she's getting an apology from the president elect. One day she's defying Majority Leader Harry Reid and saying that Roland Burris should be seated in the Senate, the next day Reid and other Democrats are playing buddy-buddy with Burris.

Meanwhile, she's heading the inaugural ceremonies for the guy who just apologized to her. You can also see historical footage of Feinstein in the opening scenes of "Milk," the critically acclaimed film by Sean Penn about the slain San Francisco supervisor.

All this attention can't hurt but help Feinstein as she decides whether to run for governor or stay in Congress, where she will be the first woman to head the Senate Intelligence Committee. It's a tough choice -- as the Associated Press's Erica Werner notes in a feature about Feinstein that has just hit the wires.

Feinstein said she hasn't yet decided, but she's always wanted the (governor's) job, which she came close to winning in 1990. She passed up the chance to run in the 2003 gubernatorial recall, when she was viewed as the only Democrat who could have beaten Schwarzenegger. Now, her new chairmanship provides powerful incentive to stay in Washington -- even as the prospect of being in a position to tame her unruly home state tugs her in the opposite direction, according to advisers.

This is terrific political theater. Nearly every major politician in California -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leon Panetta, Gavin Newsom, John Garamendi and other possible gubernatorial candidates -- is waiting to see what Feinstein will decide. And Di-Fi seems to be in no hurry to provide them with further clarity. This is her moment. She's relishing it.

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Stuart Leavenworth on Twitter

Follow "SacBeeEditBoard" on Twitter