Former colleagues, friends remember Dianne Feinstein as a career maker and matchmaker

Melanie Woodrow Image
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Fmr. colleagues remember Feinstein as a career maker, matchmaker
People who worked alongside Senator Dianne Feinstein are remembering her as a career maker and matchmaker.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- People who worked alongside Senator Dianne Feinstein are remembering her as a colleague and friend.

"Diane and I made history together," said former Senator Barbara Boxer.

In 1992, Former Senator Barbara Boxer says the number of women in the Senate tripled but only went from two to six.

"I was unknown literally in the state so she could have easily said, you know what Barbara you go your way I'll go mine, but she grabbed my hand and she held it all the way through," said Boxer.

The duo, sometimes referred to as the "Thelma and Louise" of the Senate, served together for 24 years.

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Boxer isn't the only one who in part credits Senator Diane Feinstein for their career.

"She's such an important part of the fabric of me," said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council.

Wunderman was Feinstein's special assistant from 1983 to 1988. He recalls interning for her in the mayor's office.

"Mayor Feinstein said well, you know I think when Jim graduates, because I was now in my last year at San Francisco State she said well, maybe we'll hire him, she sort of put that out there," said Wunderman.

Senator Feinstein wasn't just a career maker, Boxer says she was also a matchmaker.

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"She also loved to fix people up on dates and took great credit for a few marriages that happened. She was always searching around if there was someone in the Senate who was single; well I have a great guy for you, I have a great gal for you," said Boxer.

But her greatest legacy perhaps will be her work in the Senate.

"Certainly her work on the violence against women act. I don't know that that would have passed into law except for her tremendous efforts," said Representative Zoe Lofgren.

"One of her favorite phrases well I'm going to have to read more about that, I'm going to have to learn more about that," Lofgren continued.

Her life's work was a life calling.

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"She was going to do it until the last second and that's what she did," said Boxer.

"She expected a lot, she gave a lot," said Wunderman.

"But she left on her own terms and we certainly admire and respect her," said Lofgren.

With those who knew her best now remembering her with love.

"Rest in peace Dianne, rest in peace, she had a hard year and she never stopped fulfilling her responsibilities, so she deserves to rest in peace," said Boxer.

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