Ex-Democrat Krysten Sinema belittles former colleagues in private as she courts reelection

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Ex-Democrat Krysten Sinema belittles former colleagues in private as she courts reelection

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Sen. Krysten Sinema (I-AZ) is hitting out against her former colleagues in the Democratic Party, belittling lawmakers on the Left as she courts GOP donors ahead of a possible reelection bid.

Sinema, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent late last year, has used her newly found freedom to distance herself from her former coworkers and praise her Republican allies as she mulls reelection in the Grand Canyon state. The Arizona senator has pushed to line her pockets with campaign cash by appearing at GOP-dominated receptions and retreats to criticize Democratic lawmakers.

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“I’m not caucusing with the Democrats, I’m formally aligned with the Democrats for committee purposes. But apart from that I am not a part of the caucus,” Sinema said, according to Politico. “Old dudes are eating Jell-O, everyone is talking about how great they are. I don’t really need to be there for that. That’s an hour and a half twice a week that I can get back.”

In private, Sinema becomes even more critical. When speaking one on one or in small groups with GOP allies, Sinema harshly criticizes Democratic leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for their policy stances, the outlet reported. 

That criticism has also extended to other party leaders, including President Joe Biden and top members of his Cabinet.

At one point during a fundraiser, Sinema recounted a moment in which former White House chief of staff Ron Klain called the Arizona senator last summer to ensure all 50 Senate Democrats were present for a confirmation vote for Roopali Desai to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Sinema told the aide that wasn’t necessary because the vote would be bipartisan, the senator said while flashing a middle finger to indicate her feelings of the conversation, according to Politico. 

The shift in attitude has sparked hope in some Republicans that Sinema can be convinced to caucus with the GOP, or at least back some of their proposed legislation in the split Senate. However, it may not be enough to keep Republican challengers at bay as she considers a second term in 2024.

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Sinema has emerged as one of the best fundraisers in the Senate, leading the pack alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in year-end campaign fundraising reports in 2022. Sinema raised more than $803,000 last year, ending 2022 with $8.2 million cash on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission.

However, the Arizona senator is considered to be a somewhat vulnerable incumbent heading into the next election cycle, especially after she left the Democratic Party and opened herself up to challenges from both sides of the aisle.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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