Former Democrat and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema aren’t exactly on good terms with her former party. If you know much about Sinema, this isn’t probably a very shocking fact. Since the time she was elected into office, she’s made quite a name for herself, bucking the system and party that she caucused with.
Last year, she fought rather bitterly against the party on things like the Democrats’ massive spending bill and their proposal to abolish the filibuster. Then, as proof that she no longer agrees with the party agenda and ideas, she quit the party altogether in December, officially registering as an independent lawmaker.
And now, there is talk that she may eventually transfer her alliance to the GOP, as she’s made a series of rather stinging comments about her former party to Republican allies.
As Jonathan Martin from Politico recently reported, she’s been fundraising quite a bit as of late, which isn’t unexpected. But what is rather surprising is some of the comments she’s made while in attendance at GOP-led retreats, receptions, etc., in recent days.
During one instance, she “quite literally” gave the Biden White House the middle finger, Martin reported.
On another occasion, she gave a rather entertaining explanation of the twice-a-week caucus luncheons she used to attend for the Democratic Party.
According to her, “Old dudes are eating Jell-O, everyone is talking about how great they are.” She continued, adding, “I don’t really need to be there for that. That’s an hour and a half a week that I can get back.”
Later she remarked that “Northerners and Westerners put cool whip on their Jell-O, and the Southerners put cottage cheese.”
Naturally, the comments generated a great deal of laughter from the Republican lobbyists in the audience.
So did the story of her literally flipping off Biden’s former chief of staff, Ron Klein, when he called her to ensure that all 50 Dem senators would be there to confirm a federal judge last summer. She tried to tell him that given who the judge was, there would be plenty of support on both sides of the aisle, making a full house of 50 for the Dems unnecessary. Klein was still apparently adamant about it, so Sinema flipped him off.
As I mentioned earlier, these instances have given more than a few on the right side of the aisle reason to believe she could be flipped to their cause. Or, as the Washington Examiner noted, she might “at least back some of their proposed legislation in the split Senate.”
But whether she does or not, or whether she even seeks re-election, doesn’t really matter to Democrats, at least not right now.
As of now, the Democratic Party still very much needs her to be on their side. And so they, as well as Biden’s White House and administration, are walking on eggshells, so to speak, when it comes to Sinema.
As Martin so very honestly pointed out, they aren’t at all in favor of her right now. But seeing as how the split between the parties is so close, they will need her support on any and all proposed legislation.
And so, they must be careful not to “alienate” her too much. If they do, they could not only lose her support but also be blamed for why the Republican Party might give another seat and be one step closer to retaking the majority in the US Senate.
Of course, there’s no guarantee of the latter ever happening. She’s had more than a few instances in the past where not-so-flattering remarks were made about GOP members.
In any case, she’s a rather important figure in the Senate right now. And both sides will need to continue to woo her should they hope to gain her trust and support.