Reporting on California policy and politics nowadays seems to be rooted in what happens in Washington, D.C. California, which sets itself up as the exception and trendsetter is spending much time reacting to what is coming out of the theater playing out in Washington.

CALmatters, the non-profit journalistic site, has gone as far as creating a scorecard on the bout between Sacramento and Washington. The scorecard covers battles on issues of the economy, education, the environment, health, immigration and justice.

While CALmatters gives a complete rundown of the CA-DC differences, let’s comment on two items dealing with the most senior of California’s politicians that arise out of the stare-down between the state and national governments: Jerry Brown’s delicate dance with the Washington powers and Dianne Feinstein’s re-election.

Brown has spoken up for “California values” in confronting the changes that are coming from the Trump administration. He probably best summed up the California approach in a joking manner when he suggested building a wall around the state to keep the administration’s ideas away. Numerous reports called Brown’s defiant State of the State speech a “fiery” denunciation of Trump’s agenda.

But Brown also understands that California must cooperate with the administration to achieve a number of the state’s goals. And, for that, the governor must be more circumspect when dealing with the administration.

It was noted by reporters, for instance, that while other California politicians reacted negatively to President Trump’s first address to Congress, Brown was silent.

Recently, Brown sought and received from the Trump administration disaster assistance for January flooding and the Oroville Dam crisis. Brown has reached out to the administration to reverse its decision to withhold funds for the CalTrain electrification project and asked for expedited environmental review on 10 state infrastructure projects.

Perhaps, Brown is thinking about the advice offered by Congressional Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. If the state expects cooperation with Washington tone down the negative rhetoric.

Yet, in a state that has shown such a hostile reaction to Trump that approach must be handled delicately.

Even venerable U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has been caught in the crossfire between California protestors and administration policies. She has had to deal with protestors confronting her on not being resistant enough to Trump.

Feinstein hasn’t stated her intentions about running for re-election in 2018, but my crystal ball says that if she runs, the senator, who will be 85 next election, will have a Democratic challenger from the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party.

How far California has veered left would be measured on how a progressive challenger to Feinstein, long California’s most respected politician, does. The politics of the moment probably will inspire a challenger to take on the California political icon and test Feinstein’s centrist politics.