CNN honors Feinstein, Chao as ‘badass women of Washington’

CNN honors Feinstein, Chao as ‘badass women of Washington’

CNN is celebrating Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats in murky legal water with Whitaker lawsuits Pavlich: Where is Brett Kavanaugh’s apology? Feinstein requests Senate hearings with Whitaker, Sessions MORE (D-Calif.) and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao as "badass woman of Washington.”

The pair are the first women in a series that was originally conceived earlier this year after CNN’s Dana Bash, Abigail Crutchfield and Rachel Smolkin "wondered what Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February What midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 MORE's loss meant for women" over lunch. 


"Our answer: Women are already breaking barriers in a man's town, muscling their way into power and staying there. Their stories show there are Badass Women all around Washington,” the story reads. 

Feinstein's profile tracks her life story through her rise in politics to eventually becoming a mayor of San Francisco and a U.S. senator in 1992. 

Bash asked Feinstein why she never ran for president. 

"I don't know. I felt I'd never be elected. See, look how hard it is, look at Hillary [Clinton]. I mean, look at what she's gone through," Feinstein responded "wistfully," as Bash described it. 

Bash also talked about Feinstein's birthday coming up. 

“It is hard to believe that Feinstein is now the oldest member of the US Senate — she turns 84 on June 22," the story says. 

When I told her people would be shocked to learn this, she smiled with an uncharacteristic sheepish grin. 

"Don't rub it in," she joked. "It's what I'm meant to do, as long as the old bean holds up," she said, putting her finger on her temple.

In Bash's conversation with Chao, the Taiwan-born 64-year-old who also served in the Reagan and both Bush administrations says she felt more pressure to succeed given her Asian heritage. 

"I was really scared that I would not be able to catch on, latch on to mainstream America. I wouldn't be able to find a job. I couldn't — I couldn't make anything of myself. I'd be a disgrace to my family," Chao said.

Chao also reveals what's it's like to be married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham backs bill to protect Mueller Grassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Former staffers push Congress for action on sexual harassment measure MORE (R-Ky.). 

"I call him my low-maintenance husband. He does his own laundry and he cooks," she says. 

"He does mine too sometimes," she said, referring to the laundry. 

"He's really good," she added about his cooking. "And he's really considerate," she continued, "and he's really very thoughtful. So, life with him, you know, is very easy that way."

In addition to Feinstein and Chao, the series will profile Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenCongress should broaden legislation to curb medical price gouging Pro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems Democrat Chris Pappas wins New Hampshire House seat MORE (D-N.H.), Rep. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerHow Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms Election Day: An hour-by-hour viewer’s guide Election Countdown: One week from midterms, House battlefield expands MORE (R-Wash.) and Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Nadja West.