Feinstein, Dianne: How political power works


Dianne Feinstein: Power to the people. You’d have power; you’d be able to do things. People didn’t perceive that the power that rested in an entirely different way on individuals. Power is really figuring out how you’re going to do something, having the capability to figure it out, knowing when to compromise, knowing when not to compromise, knowing that you don’t go to the wall all the time. Concentrating on those things that build the confidence of people over time so that people come to believe that you can take care of whatever their issues are. That doesn’t happen initially. And the districts here are so small that one thinks they have all of this when they really don’t, and they can’t handle the big stresses. That I think is the life of Dan White. I don’t think he was ready for it. He wasn’t able to handle it. He couldn’t earn a living. He had a child. He and his wife couldn’t support themselves on a hot-potato stand, and we made very little at the time. That’s not true today, but the pressure was so enormous.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

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