Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) is on tour blasting her former Democratic colleagues as she works towards a potential 2024 reelection bid.
According to Politico’s Jonathan Martin, one of her quips targeted the drudgery of the caucus’s weekly luncheons. “Old dudes are eating Jell-O, everyone is talking about how great they are,” she said.
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Sinema reportedly added, “That’s an hour and a half twice a week that I can get back.” The senator explained to that particular gathering that she is still aligned with Democrats for committee assignments, but that’s as much caucusing as she does with her former party.
She also took a shot at President Joe Biden’s former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. According to Martin, Sinema was at the same event discussing a conversation with a White House advisor over a confirmation vote.
The senator revealed to the audience that Klain was the advisor and raised her middle finger in the air. As symbols go, this represented a sharp disdain for the former White House mainstay.
Politico reported that Sinema has been barnstorming through GOP circles, raising campaign cash in an “impressive, statement-making” way. She addressed numerous Republican retreats and poured out the accolades to her audiences.
In private, Sinema is said to be even more pointed.
Senior Republican officials say that she attacked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in one-on-one and small-group encounters. This led some in the GOP to believe she is courting a change to caucusing with them in the future, possibly in this Congress or as an independent if reelected.
Mixed signals came from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Though they apparently have a strong relationship and he once called her the “most effective first-term senator” he ever worked with, he reportedly believes Sinema is still a Democrat in her heart.
Some, however, insist on speculating that the establishment wing of the GOP may cut a deal with Sinema to avoid having a Trump-backed populist on the ticket in 2024.
McConnell is said to be recruiting a moderate Republican candidate for Arizona’s next senate race. However, there is the matter of Trump-favorite Kari Lake waiting in the wings, and prevailing wisdom is that she would be the odds-on favorite if she runs.