SENATE

'She just got here': Feinstein offers subdued response about Harris' 2020 potential

There are rumblings that freshman Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., may be a challenge to President Trump in 2020, but it appears some within her own party are not convinced.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the senior senator in Harris’ state, told The New York Times Thursday that Harris still needs to prove herself at her current job.

“She just got here,” Feinstein said, when asked about Harris’ future on a national stage. She continued, “What she should do is concentrate on being a good, and possibly a great, United States senator. The rest will either happen or not happen.

Harris was elected in California in 2016, becoming the state’s first new senator in two decades. She is also the first black politician to represent the state. She was also the first woman elected the state’s attorney general. Former President Obama was once criticized by calling her “by far, the best looking attorney general in the country.” The crowd laughed, and he responded, “It’s true!”

Harris’ fame grew during the questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in June. The exchange was tense, with Harris interrupting Rosenstein as he started to say there wasn’t enough time to explain the answer.

Republican Sen. John McCain first interjected, out of turn, with a plea to the committee chairman, Sen. Richard Burr: “Mr. Chairman, they should be allowed to answer the question.”

As the exchange between Harris and Rosenstein continued, Burr interjected and asked Harris to suspend.

“The chair is going to exercise the right to allow the witnesses to answer the question, and the committee is on notice to provide the witnesses the courtesy — which has not been extended all the way across — extend the courtesy for questions to get answered.”

Rosenstein then went on to answer the question, saying he believes Mueller has adequate authority.

The exchange comes months after Republicans voted to cut off Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren while she was reading a letter by Martin Luther King Jr’s widow, Coretta Scott King, critical of then-Senate colleague and attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions.

After the intelligence hearing, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a senior Democrat on the panel, tweeted: “@SenKamalaHarris was getting facts onto the record. I was not interrupted by @senatorburr when I asked tough questions. She was.”

Politico blared the headline, “Trump hearings launch Kamala Harris.”

Wade Randlett, a longtime Democratic fundraiser in Silicon Valley, told the magazine, “The dominant trend in Democratic Party politics is fresh, new and interesting — that’s what people are looking for — not old, steady and establishment. And Kamala is the trifecta on that.’’

Feinstein, 84, for her part, did tell the paper she is “on the way to becoming” a good friend of Harris.