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 Feinstein Ban on new offshore drilling must stay in the Build Back Better Act Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Jane Fonda to push for end to offshore oil drilling in California 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 ClintonMeghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Trump defends indicted GOP congressman 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 McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats 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 ShaheenProgressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (D-N.H.), Rep. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerThe 9 Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-Wash.) and Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Nadja West.