ver since Sen. Kyrsten Sinema became an independent in December, her Democratic colleagues have been restrained about the shift, careful not to alienate the Arizona lawmaker when they only have a single-seat majority and need her support on legislation and nominees.
Hoping to get through this year, and then gain clarity about whether Sinema will even seek reelection in 2024 let alone continue to caucus with her old party, Senate Democrats have dodged questions about the mercurial marathoner who’s still barely in their ranks.
“It’s really early,” Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate Democratic campaign arm, told me. “I don’t know what she’s planning on doing.”
But Sinema may be making the Democrats’ deliberations easier.
As she races to stockpile campaign money and post an impressive, statement-making first-quarter fundraising number, Sinema has used a series of Republican-dominated receptions and retreats this year to belittle her Democratic colleagues, shower her GOP allies with praise and, in one case, quite literally give the middle finger to President Joe Biden’s White House.
And that’s before an audience.
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