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Cahiers Du Sinema


This is an impressive number of “hypotheticals with no chance of happening” to put in a couple of paragraphs:

Sinema’s sniping spree has delighted the Republican lawmakers, lobbyists and donors who’ve taken in the show, giving some of them hope that she can be convinced to caucus with the GOP, either in this Congress or in the case she’s reelected as an independent.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who Sinema has assiduously courted, remains skeptical, however. Believing she remains a Democrat at heart, McConnell has focused on trying to recruit a non-controversial Arizona Republican into the race, somebody who could attract the moderate GOP voters and independents Sinema would need to win the purple state as an independent.

Sinema being elected as an independent LOL. And ROFL to McConnell’s efforts to recruit a non-lunatic Republican who can win a Republican primary in Arizona:

It’s entirely possible, however, that such a Republican doesn’t run or can’t clear a primary in Arizona’s MAGA-fied state party. Former Gov. Doug Ducey has made clear he’s not interested, first-term Rep. Juan Ciscomani is likely to accrue more House seniority, and the most attainable option, Karrin Taylor Robson, just lost the gubernatorial primary to Kari Lake. With near-total name identification among Arizona Republicans and the affection of one Donald J. Trump, Lake would enter the Senate race as the odds-on favorite to be the GOP nominee.

The rest of the article is also striking, because generally Sinema’s positioning — as a Fiscally Conservative but Socially Moderate Maverick Who Works Both Sides of the Aisle But Especially Likes to Criticize Democrats — is a political cheat code that guarantees fawning coverage. But Sinema is apparently just too ridiculous to get puff pieces:

Some of Sinema’s friends believe she’ll retire rather than risk losing. To borrow the old line about the Clintons, after her taste of high finance on the fundraising circuit, she’s become like the Episcopal priest in the humble rectory who was surrounded by money in his pews and wanted a cut. (Her appetites for luxury hotels, car services and charter flights, as laid out in her campaign finance reports, are ample.)


It was the sort of comment that reminded me of what one of her Democratic colleagues, a confirmed moderate, told me in private earlier this year about Sinema: “She’s the biggest egomaniac in the Senate.”


And when a Republican donor told the Arizona senator that it was not Manchin but Sinema who “carried the water for us in this last Congress,” she responded: “You’re hired.”

When the donor said, “Without you our taxes would’ve gone through the roof,” she concurred: “They would have.”

On Manchin, Sinema complained that “people often assume that we’re the same person” but then twice noted to the corporate crowd that she has “better tax policy ideas” than the West Virginian, who remains a traditional Democrat when it comes to taxing the wealthy.

It’s hard to overstate Sinema’s closeness with private equity, in particular. She spent part of her 2020 summer recess interning at a Sonoma winery owned by an executive in the industry; she single-handedly ensured taxing carried interest on private equity earnings was kept out of the IRA legislation, as Schumer memorably blurted out. And one senior administration official told me they’ve concluded the way to win Sinema’s vote on a crucial agency nominee is to have private equity executives weigh in with her.

After raising large sums from the finance industry in New York and a range of corporate lobbyists in Washington this year, Sinema’s Republican donor tour took her to the resort community of Sea Island, Georgia, earlier this month for the American Enterprise Institute’s annual forum there.


Among those in the room who actually work in politics, and weren’t just hearing from Sinema for the first time, the reception was far more restrained. Which is to say if they had let their eyes roll collectively it may have caused tidal activity in the Atlantic.

It’s not easy to get almost everyone to hate you, but “don’t compare me to Joe Manchin — I’m a much more slavish lickspittle for corporate interests” is a great start.

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