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Politics Kyrsten Sinema Is Unfriending Her Network Into Oblivion

13:06  14 october  2021
13:06  14 october  2021 Source:   thedailybeast.com

Who is Kyrsten Sinema? Friends and foes ponder an Arizona Senate enigma

  Who is Kyrsten Sinema? Friends and foes ponder an Arizona Senate enigma Paul Gigot interviews Dr. Marty Makary. Photo: Associated Press

Kyrsten Lea Sinema (/ˈkɪərstən ˈsɪnəmə/ KEER-stən SIN-ə-mə; born July 12, 1976) is an American politician, attorney, and social worker serving as the senior United States Senator from Arizona since

Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz) — who they worry could single-handedly sink President Biden’s agenda. “We’re committed to birddogging Kyrsten Sinema with her constituents until the very end,” Our Revolution Executive Director Joseph Geevarghese said in an interview. “What we want to show is Last week, the in-your-face tactic came to head when protesters followed Sinema into a bathroom and filmed her . On Monday, they followed her to Boston where she was to compete in the marathon before a foot injury kept her from participating. Currently, activists on the ground in Arizona describe

When people ask Kyrsten Sinema if she wants to run for president someday, the Arizona senator usually has a stock answer: “I’m overqualified.”

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

That response, relayed to The Daily Beast by a former friend, is vintage Sinema. It’s quick and witty but also self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating all at the same time. The quip also sheds a rare bit of light on a political figure on center stage in Washington who is, all the while, paradoxically guarded and enigmatic.

For many people both inside and outside the Beltway—who are hanging on her every maneuver around President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda—Sinema is a mystery. And for people who once considered themselves her allies, friends, and confidants, the senator is now mostly a black box to them, too.

Audio Reveals Kyrsten Sinema Saying She Wants to Hear from Constituents. She Got Her Wish

  Audio Reveals Kyrsten Sinema Saying She Wants to Hear from Constituents. She Got Her Wish Listen to Senator Sinema tell lobbyists how important it is for constituents to weigh in "early and often." That was before the bathroom ambush.Months before Arizonans started filming Sen. Kyrsten Sinema repeatedly refusing to answer their questions about her political positions, she told restaurant lobbyists about how important it is for senators to hear what their constituents have to say and for lawmakers to share their positions on issues and their reasoning.

Ask her what her retirement plans are, cause she ’s young enough to be alive for when climate change turns Arizona into one giant frying pan. joined by Senator Kyrsten Sinema , who preposterously warn that, if the bipartisan infrastructure bill does not pass the House next week, they will refuse to back any new domestic legislation.

Everyone knew she was going to do this. Republicans hate passing any laws that do not DIRECTLY benefit the ultra rich. And Sinema IS a Republican. Republicans love to promise to work on infrastructure, but they never deliver. Best that can be done is that the Democrats in Arizona elect an actual left leaning centrist (instead of what ever the fuck Sinema is ) in the primary who can attract enough independent and fence sitting voters to keep the seat in the general.

Chris Herstam is among them. A former Republican lawmaker in Arizona turned Democratic commentator, he appeared on local news panels with Sinema back when she served in the statehouse and grew impressed with the voluble, sharp, and unabashedly liberal lawmaker.

When Sinema decided to run for Congress in 2012, Herstam cut her a $500 check and would donate a total of nearly $3,500 to her subsequent campaigns over the next six years.

Sinema was a “fundraising machine,” Herstam told The Daily Beast, but took meticulous care of her network of supporters in Arizona. “She’d call and ask for money,” he said, “but you could pick her brain and listen to her views about issues.”

Things are different now. Herstam says he and Sinema do not talk anymore—in his telling, Sinema felt he had violated her confidence with some political analysis he had posted to Twitter.

Kyrsten Sinema Ambushed at Airport by Activist in Viral Video

  Kyrsten Sinema Ambushed at Airport by Activist in Viral Video The Arizona senator was confronted while on the phone at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.Video of the incident, which has been viewed over 200,000 times on Twitter, shows the Arizona senator confronted by the activist as she walked through the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on her return to the capital on Monday.

Kyrsten Sinema blasted fellow Democrats for not passing a bipartisan infrastructure proposal Saturday afternoon after the House of Representatives failed to vote on the act. A key obstacle to those attempting to pass a massive spending package, Sinema said the House's failure to vote on the bill was "inexcusable and deeply disappointing for communities across our country." The delay, aimed at mollifying progressives who refuse to back the proposal without reaching an agreement on a companion bill that would provide trillions of dollars for social services, cost the United States "millions of good

Kyrsten Sinema smiles as she returns to the Capitol after a meeting with Joe Biden at the White House in Washington in June. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP. Democrat’s commitment to bipartisanship and reluctance to explain position on Biden spending plans contribute to mounting frustrations – and a possible primary challenge. A protester outside Sinema ’s office in Phoenix. Photograph: Alexandra Buxbaum/REX/Shutterstock. Activists with a grassroots organization, Lucha, disrupted a class Sinema was teaching at Arizona State University and followed her into a bathroom, demanding she support

Sen. Sinema speaks briefly to reporters as she boards an elevator following votes on Sept. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images © Provided by The Daily Beast Sen. Sinema speaks briefly to reporters as she boards an elevator following votes on Sept. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Amid that silence, Herstam has grown increasingly baffled by Sinema’s activity in office, particularly in the last few months, as she has emerged as one of the two most pivotal Democratic objectors to the multi-trillion dollar social and economic package the party is trying to push through Congress. These days, on Twitter and in his appearances on local TV and radio, Herstam forcefully criticizes the politician he once admired.

It is not unusual for allies to have a falling-out amid perceived slights and political differences. But, Herstam says, “when I talk to other individuals that consider themselves friends of hers, they told me they haven’t spoken to her in over a year, and when they’ve contacted her to inquire why she’s doing what she’s doing politically, they don’t get callbacks,” he said. “She’s clearly gone in a different direction.”

Democrats: Push to pressure Sinema won’t distract from Kelly’s 2022 Senate race

  Democrats: Push to pressure Sinema won’t distract from Kelly’s 2022 Senate race Liberal activists in Arizona are gearing up to take on Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, but Democrats’ control of Congress may actually depend on the fate of the state’s other senator. Democrat Mark Kelly is a top Republican target in 2022, but progressive grassroots groups have been focused on Sinema lately. A handful of efforts have […] The post Democrats: Push to pressure Sinema won’t distract from Kelly’s 2022 Senate race appeared first on Roll Call.

The video is striking: Protesters angry about Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema 's opposition to the .5 trillion social safety net package currently being considered by Congress follow her into a bathroom to make their point -- filming Sinema as she enters a stall.

Kyrsten Sinema in a tweet on Saturday as progressives and moderates struggle to agree on key pieces of legislation. "There really isn't anything maverick, innovative, or renegade about being a politician that works with corporate lobbyists to protect the rich, short-shrift working families, and preserve the She didn't mention the Arizona senator by name, but the tweet was posted hours after a report suggested Sinema wanted to be remembered as a "maverick," like the late Arizona Sen. John McCain. "I think she definitely would like for her legacy to be 'the maverick' like him," Grant Woods, a

That claim was corroborated by five other sources. In total, more than a dozen people spoke to The Daily Beast about Sinema’s political orbit, some of whom requested anonymity because they were not authorized to candidly speak about the dynamics at play, or feared professional repercussions for doing so. A spokesperson for Sinema declined to comment after being sent a list of questions for this story.

Sen. Sinema attends a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meeting on Oct. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images © Provided by The Daily Beast Sen. Sinema attends a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meeting on Oct. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Sinema retains a small kitchen cabinet of advisers outside of her Senate office and has developed good working ties with officials around the state—including with many Republicans. But the network of allies and supporters who fueled her rise over the last decade, sources said, has largely fallen apart.

The senator’s politics may help explain why. 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.

Sinema and Cheney Are America’s Best and Bravest Politicians

  Sinema and Cheney Are America’s Best and Bravest Politicians What does the conservative daughter of Darth Vader have in common with a “bisexual, wig-wearing triathlete” who was “was widely considered the manic pixie dream girl of Arizona progressive politics”? Plenty, if you admire people who stubbornly march to the beat of their own drum and fight the power like Liz Cheney and Krysten Sinema—two of the toughest (and bravest) members of Congress right now. They’re also driving people crazy. You can’t lobby or intimidate them because it’s impossible to push or mock someone with that level of confidence. Indifference is the ultimate form of power.Let’s start with Sinema.

“A lot of people who have considered her a friend, or confidant, or someone she’d go to for donor support or political support, she won’t talk to those people anymore,” said Matt Grodsky, a former communications director for the Democratic Party of Arizona.

“She had a big network of people who liked her—establishment Democrats, progressives—everyone marveled at her ability to win in Arizona,” said one Democratic strategist in the state. “A lot of her longtime friends and confidants are no longer there. No one knows, to be honest, where she’s at.”

Another Democratic source in Arizona said her allies in the party “don’t exist anymore.”

“She’s burned so many bridges with the allies she used to have,” this source added.

Now, however, Sinema may need all the support she can get. In an evenly split Senate, her willingness to brandish veto power over the Democratic agenda has made her persona non grata to liberals nationwide—and fodder for parody on Saturday Night Live.

Back home, progressive groups are blanketing Arizona with ad campaigns trashing the senator, or outright calling for her to be replaced with a different Democrat when she is up for re-election in 2024. Left-wing demonstrators have begun to follow her everywhere—even, recently, to a lecture hall bathroom—to barrage her with questions about her stances, which she rarely answers. Fresh polling has shown her standing among Arizona Democrats cratering over the last nine months.

Activists Harass Sinema aboard Flight over Opposition to Reconciliation Package

  Activists Harass Sinema aboard Flight over Opposition to Reconciliation Package After she was harassed aboard her flight, Sinema was followed through the airport by activists.“Can you explain to the American people what you plan on cutting from Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan? Do you want to cut climate priorities? Is it elder care that you want to cut or is it child care?,” Green New Deal Network chief of staff Kunoor Ojha said while chasing Sinema through the airport.

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.

“She’s a talented, special person, but has always been in sort of survival mode,” said someone who has worked with Sinema. “She’s really put herself in a tough position.”

That sentiment is shared by others who were once close to her. The former friend of Sinema’s told The Daily Beast that several of Sinema’s close personal friendships have ended abruptly and, to them, under confusing circumstances.

Still, the former friend, who was granted anonymity to detail their experience, worried about how the senator was faring with the immense amount of scrutiny she’s under. “I don’t harbor any ill will toward her, but I do feel bad for her,” this person said. “She’s put herself in a tight little spot, and I’m not sure how she’s going to get out of it.”

Typically, politicians are supported by networks of former staffers who have moved on but still remain loyal to their former boss. That is less the case with Sinema who, according to a former aide, was a “tough boss.”

“Unfortunately, many of the problems with the working environment in her office are fairly common on Capitol Hill,” added this former aide, who noted that some staffers found success and happiness in the office if they got along with the senator, but others “could not get out fast enough.”

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema once wrote in her blog that Legally Blonde 2 is 'how politics should be'

  Sen. Kyrsten Sinema once wrote in her blog that Legally Blonde 2 is 'how politics should be' "No, I don't just mean that D.C. should all revamp their wardrobes to be more befitting of Elle Woods," Sinema wrote on in a 2009 blog post."No, I don't just mean that D.C. should all revamp their wardrobes to be more befitting of Elle Woods," Sinema wrote on her Blogspot. "But that they should all take notes from the Delta Nu Alumnae.

The dynamic seems to have harmed Sinema’s broader ability to cultivate a strong network. “Former staffers stay in touch, but it’s not a traditional Capitol Hill alumni network built around loyalty to the boss,” said the former aide.

An Arizona Democrat concurred, saying the senator “has not built this network of people who are ‘Sinema people.’”

Increasingly, former denizens of Sinema-world believe she is convinced that she alone can maneuver herself through any situation, including this one, the most high-stakes of her career. One prominent Arizona Democrat mused that they did not know who her advisers were but that Sinema would probably find them unhelpful—no matter what.

“She is her own political strategist,” the Arizona-based strategist said. “It’s her.”

Others who know Sinema well agree that’s the case—and believe that arrangement will work out just fine for her.

Marcus Dell’Artino, an Arizona political strategist who formerly worked for the late GOP Sen. John McCain, has half-joked that Sinema is the biggest threat to the Republican Party in Arizona. He called her a “rational, thoughtful political leader” who is acting the way her purple-state constituents want—even if her former allies were upset about it.

Sen. Sinema speaks to the media after a procedural vote for the infrastructure framework on July 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images © Provided by The Daily Beast Sen. Sinema speaks to the media after a procedural vote for the infrastructure framework on July 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

“Is she her own boss? Yeah, because she does her homework, and has a long-term vision,” Dell’Artino said. “She’s seen the inner workings of the state Democratic Party, and she sees, for her, she probably has a better way or a smarter strategy—which, clearly, has worked.”

It was not always like this, as several sources said, but Herstam recalls past conversations with Sinema that seemed to predict her current estrangement with Democratic allies. A few years ago, he became convinced that Sinema no longer felt that the Democratic Party, either nationally or in Arizona, could really help her anymore.

Far-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema. It won't work

  Far-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema. It won't work Kyrsten Sinema is the Tonya Harding of the political scene, according to those to the left of her.In fact, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is receiving the opposite kind of coverage, all for having the audacity to be one of two Democratic senators to object to the far-left elements of their party in opposing its $3.5 trillion spending bill (really, $5.5 trillion, after stripping away the budget-accounting gimmicks) that would result in the largest expansion of U.S. government in history.

“She didn’t have much use for them, and didn't think they were going to be that helpful in a campaign. And she felt here in Arizona that most Democrats would lose and she would do her own thing,” he said. “And that has just blossomed.”

In 2018, Sinema flipped her Senate seat—held by the GOP for decades—after an expensive and brutal campaign in which she often avoided mentioning that she was a Democrat.

Sinema’s track record of electoral success in Arizona, said the former aide to the senator, has come in spite of scores of people privately urging her toward one strategy or another. “You get the sense that there aren’t many people whose opinions she trusts,” the former aide said. “Arizona voters and the local press have pretty consistently rewarded her for ignoring those voices and doing things her way.”

In a rare interview earlier this year, Sinema made her philosophy clear, when asked by POLITICO to comment on her critics.

“It’s not effective to pressure me on anything,” she said. “Because I am a thoughtful person who takes a lot of time, deliberatively, to make decisions, once I’ve made a decision, I feel very comfortable with it. And it doesn’t matter what other people think.”

Perhaps that explains why Sinema has been so reluctant to speak directly with some interest groups about the multi trillion-dollar social welfare package before Congress.

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.

“Part of the job is managing a coalition,” said someone who previously worked with Sinema. “What about the people who not only voted for you, but sweated their balls off in 100 degree heat knocking doors for you? You can’t talk to them? It’s profoundly disrespectful.”

Some Democrats also feel that Sinema increasingly favors corporate interests these days, with some pointing to her reluctance to back a measure to lower prescription drugs through Medicare.

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.”

This dynamic has some in Arizona wondering what it all means for Sinema’s political future, a few years away from a potentially tough 2024 re-election fight.

“My hunch is she has given up on her previous network because she doesn't think she needs it,” Herstam said. “I think she envisions herself as an independent that raises an enormous amount of money, puts most of that money into outstanding political television commercials, and she can get elected on her own.”

At only 45 years old, Sinema could be a major player in politics for decades. Her wry answer to questions about her future ambitions notably does not foreclose the possibility of her running for higher office someday.

Admirers like Dell’Artino believe it is not something she really thinks about. “Right now, she enjoys this job, and is trying to do what she thinks is the right thing for her constituents,” he said. “Anybody putting more thought into it than that probably doesn’t know Kyrsten very well.”

But Sinema’s onetime staunch supporters in Arizona are left to wonder how the network that helped get her where she is will factor into her future.

“It’ll be interesting to see how she’s going to fix this,” said Grodsky, the former Arizona Democratic Party spokesman. “If she even wants to do that.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Far-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema. It won't work .
Kyrsten Sinema is the Tonya Harding of the political scene, according to those to the left of her.In fact, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is receiving the opposite kind of coverage, all for having the audacity to be one of two Democratic senators to object to the far-left elements of their party in opposing its $3.5 trillion spending bill (really, $5.5 trillion, after stripping away the budget-accounting gimmicks) that would result in the largest expansion of U.S. government in history.

usr: 1
This is interesting!