California Sen. [crscore]Dianne Feinstein[/crscore] had to turn to Google during an interview earlier this week when asked to name her former colleague Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments in the Senate.
Feinstein, who met with The San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board on Tuesday, ultimately said that Clinton was not in the Senate “long enough…to do more.”
Clinton was elected to the Senate from New York in 2000. She left in January 2009 to serve as secretary of state.
“As someone who worked with Hillary Clinton for nearly a decade in the Senate, what in your view was her signature accomplishment as a senator?” The Chronicle’s editorial board asked Feinstein.
“Golly, I forget what bills she’s been part of or authored. I didn’t really come prepared to discuss this,” said Feinstein, who had planned to pitch a new water plan.
Clinton has been dogged by her flimsy senate record. She authored only three laws during her Senate stint. The legislation designated a highway, post office and government building in New York. She co-sponsored another 74 bills that ultimately passed.
“But she’s been a good senator,” said the 82-year-old, who has endorsed Clinton. “There are things outside of bills that you can do, and I know that she’s done them for her state.”
Feinstein was able to name one Clinton accomplishment. But that came after she was prompted by an aide, and it pertained to Clinton’s work as first lady to get the Child Health Insurance Program off the ground.
“I should have a list,” said Feinstein, who The Chronicle described as “famously well-prepared.”
“Get on Google,” she told an aide.
Feinstein told the editorial board that it is difficult for senators without seniority to make a name for themselves in the upper chamber.
“I couldn’t have done that as a freshman (senator) or even as a sophomore,” she said. “[Clinton] was never there long enough to achieve the degree of seniority that affords her the ability to do more.”
But as The Chronicle notes, Feinstein pushed through significant legislation early in her career. Elected in 1992, Feinstein authored the 1994 federal assault weapons ban.
It is unclear what the Feinstein aide’s Google search returned.