The PJ Tatler

Sen. Michelle Obama? Feinstein Doesn't Think the Challenge Rumors are True

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she doesn’t believe the rumors that first lady Michelle Obama will run for her Senate seat after the White House changes hands.

Orb magazine ran a story last week saying that Southern California is a “leading contender” for the Obamas’ new home come moving day, and Michelle is being urged to run for the upper chamber.

Feinstein’s seat is up for re-election in 2018. She’s been serving in Congress since 1992, and is currently 81 years old.

The magazine reported:

“Barack could golf year-round and Michelle could emerge from his shadow after 20 years and retake control of her own life,” says a person familiar with their thinking. “Remember, Michelle is a Harvard-educated lawyer whose career was more robust than Barack’s was when they met.”

California is the most appealing destination for the Obamas, says the source, for several reasons. Hawaii is too remote; Illinois is a cesspool of political corruption which they prefer to avoid; and New York, which they love, is too dense with Clintons and Clinton acolytes. They have many friends in Los Angeles, dating back to Barack’s student days at Occidental College, when he first left Hawaii.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that real estate brokers are claiming that emissaries of President Obama have inspected houses in the Palm Springs area, apparently on his behalf.

To lure her to the Senate race, supporters have been reminding Michelle that California is solidly Democratic and there is no apparent frontrunner to succeed Feinstein– certainly no one with the stature, broad appeal and fundraising connections Michelle has.

Mrs. Obama is said to have felt shackled for the past six years, regarded as an appendage to the head of state and unable to express her own views. “Michelle has strong opinions, but she was told by the President’s staff to stay ‘on message’ and on the few occasions she went ‘off message’ she upset West Wing officials and was excoriated in the press,” said our source.

On Sunday, CNN asked Feinstein about the report of a potential Obama run for her seat.

“I have no idea what I’m going to be doing in 2018. That’s four years from now, and that’s one of the nice things of a six-year term,” the senator said. “I’ve served two years of my term and you know, I’ll make a decision in due time.”

“I’m flattered, if that should be true,” Feinstein added. “Somehow I do not believe it is true, but I would be flattered if it were.”

Feinstein is currently the oldest senator in Congress. She’s been the powerful chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee since 2009.

She used to be mayor of San Francisco and made an unsuccessful gubernatorial run in 1990.