Arizona Supporters Of Kyrsten Sinema Abandon Her En Masse


Who would have imagined that President Joe Biden’s biggest hurdle to a political agenda that prioritizes a more progressive direction for the country would be members of his own party? Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have made Biden’s first year in office difficult, but in Sinema’s case, no one can understand why.

In Manchin’s case, he was elected in a state in which almost no other Democrat can, and Sinema had a tough road, as well. But people in her state largely support President Biden’s infrastructure bill at more than 60 percent, yet she continues to stonewall it. Former friends and allies of Sinema who helped her win in earlier campaigns and in her race for the Senate say she doesn’t answer their calls and they have no idea where she is on policy these days.

‘Many former supporters are not just perplexed by her political maneuvering but also her policy stands and are having a hard time imagining themselves backing her going forward. But there are personal reasons, too. Some believe Sinema has decided she simply no longer needs some people, including those who were once close or worked hard to get her where she is today…With seemingly all of Washington anxious to learn anything at all about where she stands on the centerpiece of her party’s agenda, however, some former Sinema associates claim to have no idea who is guiding her now. Even those who strongly disagree with what she’s doing still said they wondered about how she is handling this moment.’

Arizona voters favored Biden over Trump in 2020 by only around 11,000 votes, but the trend has extended to other seats, with Democrats Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema beating both of their Senate challengers. Her decision to do the exact opposite of what the voters appear to support is baffling unless you’re a Republican, in which case, Sinema is a valuable asset.

‘One D.C. lobbyist told The Daily Beast that on K Street, Sinema is often thought of as something of an enigma. But the lobbyist added a qualifier: “If you’re a Republican downtown,” they said, “you think she’s the greatest person ever.”’

Friends and allies that Sinema has cultivated for years, those she leaned on and looked to for advice and support both emotional and financial support, say the senator is acting on her own these days, not returning calls and no longer staying in contact with the people who helped to get her where she is today. It’s an interesting dynamic that will play out in public in 2024.

‘One Phoenix-based group, the Children’s Action Alliance—which is run by David Lujan, a Sinema ally from the statehouse—has been unable to get a meeting with the senator, according to Calli Jones, the group’s federal engagement director. And while she said they’d had helpful conversations with the senator’s staff, they’ve also asked for a direct conversation with Sinema to no avail.

‘The senator’s inaccessibility to advocates like these has many former associates scratching their heads not only at the political rationale behind it—but wondering what responsibilities of the office appeal to Sinema at all.’