Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona at the US Capitol on December 11, 2020.
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Sen. Sinema often says that she’s overqualified to be President, per a new report.
The Daily Beast also reported that Sen. Sinema is alienating long-time political allies.
“No one knows, to be honest, where she’s at,” one Democratic strategist said.
According to a new report in the Daily Beast, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona often tells friends that she’s “overqualified” to be President of the United States, according to a “former friend” of the senator.
That stock answer she gives to friends – which the Daily Beast describes as “quick and witty but also self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating” – was relayed by one of a about a dozen people that the outlet spoke to as part of a report about Sinema’s increasing political isolation.
Sinema, along with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, is currently frustrating Democrats’ ambitions to pass a $3.5 trillion social welfare spending bill that’s central to President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. In recent days, Sen. Bernie Sanders has trained his criticism on the two senators, accusing them of opposing a prescription-drug overhaul provision in the sprawling bill due to political contributions from pharmaceutical companies.
“Take a hard look at those people who are opposed to strong legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs, and take a look at their campaign-finance reports,” Sanders said during a briefing with reporters. “See where they get their money, how many of them get their money from the pharmaceutical industry, and the executives there. And I think there will be a direct correlation.”
The Daily Beast reports that Sinema has alienated long-time friends and political allies during her nearly 3 years in the Senate, failing to return calls and frustrating activists who worked to get her elected.
“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, who was once the 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,” another Democratic strategist anonymously told the Daily Beast. “A lot of her longtime friends and confidants are no longer there. No one knows, to be honest, where she’s at.”
Other former confidantes of the senator said that she hasn’t maintained a strong enough “coalition” the way that most other prominent elected in officials in Washington do.
“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.”
“My hunch is she has given up on her previous network because she doesn’t think she needs it,” said Chris Herstam, a former political ally of Sinema’s. “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.”
“She’s burned so many bridges with the allies she used to have,” another anonymous source told the Daily Beast.
Sen. Sinema’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.