U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) had long been a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party before she officially left the party last year.
State party leaders voted to censure her early last year over her opposition to a change to filibuster rules that would have allowed Democratic lawmakers to advance a slate of leftist voter reform measures.
In December, she registered as an independent but reached an agreement with her former party to retain the committee memberships she had secured in the Democratic-led chamber. As she wrote in an op-ed announcing her decision, she seemed to be more opposed to the two-party system itself than the party she was leaving.
“Americans are more united than the national parties would have us believe,” she wrote. “Arizonans — including many registered as Democrats or Republicans — are eager for leaders who focus on common-sense solutions rather than party doctrine.”
Since then, however, many Democrats engaged in name-calling aimed at the Arizona senator — and in return, she has become more outspoken regarding her true feelings about the party’s leadership.
She has reportedly appeared before a number of GOP audiences to express disdain for the current crop of leftists in charge of the Democratic Party and, according to Politico, she “quite literally [gave] the middle finger to President Joe Biden’s White House” during one such address.
In more private situations, Sinema has reportedly been even more outspoken. Insiders say she gathered with a group of Republican Party officials recently to dish on the inner workings of the Democratic machine.
At one point, sources say she denounced the “ridiculous” party luncheons that she is glad to have left behind.
“Old dudes are eating Jell-O, everyone is talking about how great they are,” she reportedly said to the amusement of her small audience. “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.”
— New York Post (@nypost) March 23, 2023
Sinema also reportedly sought to clear up any confusion about her partisan allegiances.
“I’m not caucusing with the Democrats,” she said, according to sources. “I’m formally aligned with the Democrats for committee purposes. But apart from that I am not part of the caucus.”