Wednesday, November 24, 2004

DiFi to run in '06

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, viewed as one of the few moderate Democrats in an increasingly polarized Senate, is running for re-election in two years, and even Republicans admit she's an overwhelming choice to keep the seat she first won in a 1992 special election.

"You can probably call the result of this ... two years in advance," said Kevin Spillane, a GOP consultant. "There would have to be an event of 9/11 proportions to make her vulnerable.''

"She's going to be heavily favored," agreed Allen Hoffenblum, a Republican consultant whose California Target Book analyzes political races in the state. "I doubt if you'll see any heavyweights running against her."

Feinstein is known as someone who is willing to work behind the scenes with politicians of both parties to get things done. Her ability to find common ground with the majority party will be more important beginning in January when the GOP increases its advantage over the Democrats to 55-44, with one independent. Feinstein's bipartisan reputation has eluded California's other senator, Barbara Boxer, who's seen as more liberal and more partisan.

"If you've got a serious problem, you go to Dianne Feinstein," said Hoffenblum. "If you want a rally in front of the Capitol steps, you go to Barbara Boxer."


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