Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) weighed in on the upcoming presidential election on Thursday, expressing hope that former Vice President Joe Biden would enter the race.
“Joe was chairman of the Judiciary when he came to this place,” Feinstein told Politico on Thursday. “I’ve watched him as vice president, I’ve seen him operate, I’ve seen him perform,”
“He brings a level of experience and seniority which I think is really important,” she added.
Biden opted against a run in 2016 following the death of his oldest son, Beau. Speaking at the White House in October of 2015, Biden acknowledged that the window for “mounting a realistic campaign for president” had closed while he was mourning with his family.
“The process doesn’t respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses,” he said at the time.
Biden seems to be increasingly flirting with the idea of a run in 2020, and he’s shown a lead in some early polls. Though he’s yet to take any official steps towards declaring candidacy, Biden has briefly discussed the election.
In a December speech, Biden spoke openly about his qualifications for the job. “I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” he said while speaking on his book tour. “The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that I’ve worked on my whole life – the plight of the middle class and foreign policy.”
But even while openly flirting with the idea, Biden maintained that he wouldn’t make the decision until he knew his family was ready.
Feinstein told Politico on Thursday that her view on Biden was hers alone and that she had not had not discussed it with Biden, but her eagerness to see Biden enter the race could make things awkward with her fellow Senator from California, Kamala Harris. The junior senator from California has been the subject of extensive 2020 speculation.