California congressman Adam Schiff has emerged as a national political figure since the House Intelligence Committee – on which he’s the ranking Democrat – took up its investigation of ties between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign.
All the press conferences and cable appearances might add up to a promotion: longtime California Senator Dianne Feinstein may retire next year, and Schiff’s newfound exposure could help him succeed her in a state with more than 50 members of Congress and eight major media markets.
“There’s no question, as happens from time to time, the spotlight swung around and lit him up and he really rose to the occasion,” Democratic colleague Rep. Jim Himes told Politico. “What he wants to do with that, I do not know.”
Schiff has said that he hopes Feinstein will seek reelection, but that announcement hasn’t tapped down speculation about seeing him in the upper chamber – or even the White House.
“President Schiff?” Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst at the University of Southern California, ruminated to Politico. “Who knows what the possibilities are — remember Donald Trump?”