feinstein-commonwealth-club

It may just be the formaldehyde talking but Diane Feinstein showed a great degree of rationality and reasonableness today at a “conversation” at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club.

Feinstein received a standing ovation from the 850 people at the sold-out Herbst Theater when she walked onto the stage for an hour-long “conversation” with former East Bay Rep. Ellen Tauscher. But near the end of the political lovefest, the senator shocked the crowd when she declined to say that Trump should be impeached, and warned the audience that they should expect to deal with the developer-turned politician for all four years of his term.

“The question is whether he can learn and change,” Feinstein told the crowd at the Commonwealth Club event. “If so, I believe he can be a good president.”

That’s pretty much where I am. Trump wasn’t my candidate. I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t like him when he was a candidate and I’m not a fan now. Having said that, he is the president and you can either join forces with the Democrats in opposition to his administration or you can try to get something accomplished.

On the negative side of the balance sheet, Trump is 72. He got where he is either because or in spite of his behavior. Regardless, the lesson he’s learned is that his behavior doesn’t matter and he may feel obligated to maintain that persona if he is to retain support of the thirty-something percent of the electorate that approve of him. That behavior is baked in and so everyone should just get used to it.

The insightful question Feinstein poses is whether he can be convinced to actually listen to his advisers. The jury is out on that. Mike Pompeo says he comes to the PDB presentations prepared and full of interest and questions. He has shown the ability to back off some hardline positions in deference to people he respects. That is offset by impulsiveness and an insistence that every action is Frank Sinatra singing “I Did It My Way.”

But, as Feinstein says, he’s going to be president, barring some deus ex machina, for four years. We should all pray that he does learn to listen.