A few days ago, a couple of journalists asked Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema if she would switch sides to the US Republican Party. “No, why would you do that?” reluctance to speak to the press and who has become a symbol of the friendly fire that has received President Joe Biden’s agenda. “Having disagreements is normal, it’s human. It is an opportunity for us to be mature beings and reach an agreement, ”Sinema told Politico.
The 45-year-old Sinema figure has risen to prominence in a Senate divided in half. The majority is in the hands of Democrats because Vice President Kamala Harris can break the 50-50 tie. The unanimity within the bloc that leader Chuck Shummer demands is put to the test by Sinema and Joe Manchin, from West Virginia, two moderates who have put several initiatives in trouble with their votes, including the increase of $ 15 in the minimum wage, the proposal to increase taxes on the richest and large corporations, the approval of measures to fight climate change and the White House social spending plan, estimated at 3.5 trillion dollars and whose rejection by these senators Rebels forced an adjustment.
Sinema came to the Senate in 2019 with the star of being the first woman to represent Arizona, a state that has been a Republican stronghold until Trump’s insults of veteran senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, a figure in the region, irritated the the conservative base. This allowed the first Democratic win in the upper house since 1988. His presence in Washington since then has been a breath of oxygen. She is the first senator in history to admit to being bisexual. She is an ironman athlete and agnostic who swore in office with one hand on a Constitution instead of the traditional bible and dressed in a pink coat. Social media has turned her into a fashion benchmark in the boring world of the Capitol. In October, she presided over a session in a denim vest, a fringed black dress, and slippers. It was a statement and a challenge to a House that does not have jeans in its permitted dress code.
Between 2013 and 2019 he was a congressman in Washington. His start in politics, however, was far from the traditional parties. One of his first assignments was to be a spokesperson in Arizona for the campaign of Ralph Nader, the Green Party presidential candidate. Back then, in the early 2000s, the activist criticized the system of financing through donations to politicians, which she equated with bribes. In 2004, when he first came to the lower house of the state, he began to be classified as moderate. Ironically, her centrist agenda in a highly polarized Washington has made her very attractive to lobbyists. OpenSecrets, a group that traces the routes from private money to politicians’ campaigns, claims it has raised $ 28 million from banks like Goldman Sachs.
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The senator will seek reelection in 2024. She will do so by asking for the vote of a party whose militancy is beginning to turn its back on her. A recent poll reveals that 72% of Democrats would prefer another candidate in the race. Sinema is more popular with Republicans, with 40% approval, than among voters in his own party, with only 26%.
The state’s youngest Democrats have made their repudiation known to him during several protests in recent weeks. In October, a group of Hispanic activists persecuted Sinema at the University of Arizona, where he teaches Social Work classes. They reproached him for blocking the reform that, if approved, would have granted roles to 11 million illegals, one of Biden’s first promises that has not materialized. The senator did not say a single word to them. “We knocked on people’s doors to get elected. Just as you won, we can get you out of the Senate if you don’t support what you promised us, ”the activists shouted at him. They say that the legislator has not responded to their calls or emails, nor has she organized the popular in years town halls, the temperature taking meetings with the voters.
Except for the interview with Politico, the senator dodges the press. She believes that she should not give explanations about her votes or about her behavior in the Senate, where she is frequently seen speaking with Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans. “He has a great sense of humor, very despised,” he says about it. Democrats in her state believe that the senator will need the push of the growing Latino community to be reelected. Sinema, on the other hand, calculates that he must stay in the ideological center to represent a traditionally conservative state if not radical in immigration policies. The senator is an avowed admirer of John McCain, a Vietnam War veteran and hero, who died in August 2018. She appears to be following the political path mapped out by the former presidential hopeful, a statesman who was always ready to negotiate and reach out the political enemy.
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