So much for California love. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has officially endorsed Joe Biden for president, snubbing her fellow Golden State senator, Kamala Harris.
“I’ve worked closely with Vice President Biden and I’ve seen firsthand his legislative ability, his statesmanship, and most importantly his moral fortitude,” Feinstein said in a statement on Tuesday on her pick for the Democratic nomination. “During his time in Congress and in the White House, Joe Biden has been a tireless fighter for hard working American families.”
She said Biden would be the best Democratic candidate to bridge political polarization and said the Trump administration “has not only exacerbated the existing divisions in Congress, but it has divided the nation with hateful rhetoric and harmful policies.” The endorsement was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Feinstein’s statement made no mention of Harris, with whom she shares a political home base in the Bay Area. In January, Feinstein said she was a “big fan” of Harris, who was elected to the Senate in 2016, but added “she’s brand-new here, so it takes a little bit of time to get to know somebody.”
Feinstein made clear at the time that she preferred Biden, who had not yet jumped into the 2020 fray. She further signaled her allegiance to Biden last week when she and her husband hosted a fundraiser for the former vice president at their San Francisco home. Her husband, Richard C. Blum, also circulated invitations for a Biden fundraiser in Los Angeles on Thursday at the home of Jim Gianopulos, the chief executive of Paramount Pictures.
Harris’ campaign declined to comment on the endorsement. She racked up a number of prominent California supporters early in the campaign, including the backing of Gov. Gavin Newsom. But the former state attorney general has struggled to break through in the crowded primary field, lagging both in national polls and in California behind Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Feinstein’s endorsement stands out not just for the home-state slight, but that she has picked sides at all. With five current senators still in the race, many of their colleagues have declined to endorse at all, citing wariness of choosing favorites among their political friends.