Some have begun to speculate that yes, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema might be able to pull off a reelection win in Arizona if she runs, using her new "independent" status to siphon off independent voters and moderate Republican voters from her opponents. It looks like those are the voters she might be in the best graces with at the moment, especially after a new profile in Politico that says the first-term senator has been making the rounds putting her former Democratic colleagues on blast. Although Fox News notes that Sinema "has a history of ridiculing the GOP"—she called the antics of Republican colleagues who heckled President Biden during his State of the Union address "disturbing and sad," for example—the Politico piece frames her more recent comments against her once-fellow Dems as the more eyebrow-raising ones.
One thing the outlet notes Sinema has wanted to make clear of late: that she's "not caucusing with the Democrats," per a source who says she told GOP lobbyists just that at a DC reception earlier this year. Sinema added, "I'm formally aligned with the Democrats for committee purposes. But apart from that I am not a part of the caucus." At that same event, Sinema also let loose on that caucus' luncheons on Capitol Hill, which she called "ridiculous." "Old dudes are eating Jell-O, everyone is talking about how great they are," she noted at the time. "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." The 46-year-old senator even broke down how said "old dudes" enjoyed their alleged Jell-O. "The Northerners and the Westerners put Cool Whip on their Jell-O, and the Southerners put cottage cheese," she said.
Senior GOP officials tell Politico that, in private and in smaller groups, Sinema has also derided Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in "harshly critical terms," and offered up her middle finger during a reference to ex-White House chief of staff Ron Klain—all of which "has delighted the Republican lawmakers, lobbyists, and donors who've taken in the show." Dems, with a single-seat Senate majority, have been forced to tiptoe around her as they vie for her support. Just how delicate that all is was made clear by a scrapped vote Wednesday to confirm Phil Washington, President Biden's pick as FAA chief. Republicans have called Washington "unqualified," but it's Sinema's "last-minute questions" that are blocking the nominee from being pushed through by the Dems, per Axios. The outlet adds that if she isn't satisfied with the answers, the chances of Washington being confirmed "are close to zero." (Read more Kyrsten Sinema stories.)