'Old dudes eating Jell-O': Sinema is 'belittling her Dem colleagues' in fundraising pitches to GOP donors

'Old dudes eating Jell-O': Sinema is 'belittling her Dem colleagues' in fundraising pitches to GOP donors

It remains to be seen whether or not centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a former Democrat turned independent, will run for reelection in 2024. If she does, Arizona could see a three-way race consisting of Sinema, liberal Rep. Ruben Gallego — who has been aggressively fundraising since announcing his Senate run — and a Republican nominee. MAGA Republicans are hoping that Kari Lake, the far-right conspiracy theorist who Democratic now-Gov. Katie Hobbs defeated in 2022, will run.

More traditional conservatives would much rather see someone like former Gov. Doug Ducey, a non-MAGA Republican, taking on the Democratic nominee. But Ducey has said that he has no plans to run.

Sinema has more than her share of critics in the liberal/progressive wing of the Democratic Party, including Gallego — who, in his fundraising pitches, has attacked Lake as an extremist while slamming Sinema as a disappointment. Sinema, meanwhile, isn't shy about criticizing her former party — a fact that Politico's Jonathan Martin emphasizes in a column published on March 23.

READ MORE: Why Kyrsten Sinema's critics are 'blaming' her for SVB's collapse: journalist

"As she races to stockpile campaign money and post an impressive, statement-making first-quarter fundraising number," Martin observes, "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 Biden's White House. And that's before an audience. 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."

The Politico columnist continues, "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. McConnell praises Sinema as the 'most effective first-term senator' he's ever seen."

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told Martin that he "could very easily endorse Sen. Sinema" if she runs for reelection in 2024 and described her as "one of the senators that is able to pull people together and actually get legislation passed." The columnist notes, however, that "some of Sinema's friends believe she'll retire rather than risk losing."

Martin cites some examples of the type of snarky comments Sinema has made about Democrats in front of Republican donors at recent events. She referred to veteran senators as "old dudes eating Jell-O," and she said she has "better tax policy ideas" than Sen. Joe Manchin — the Democratic West Virginia centrist she is often compared to. When a Republican donor told Sinema, "Without you, our taxes would've gone through the roof," she responded, "They would have."

READ MORE: 'Excellent': Progressives praise Ruben Gallego's Senate primary challenge to Kyrsten Sinema

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