Kyrsten Sinema goes independent, scrambles Senate• Axios
Why it matters: It's a political earthquake that will shake up the Senate — and a gut punch for Democrats just three days after they secured a 51-49 majority.
Our thought bubble, via Axios' Josh Kraushaar: Sinema views activists in the Arizona Democratic Party as extreme as the state Republican Party.
She's up in 2024, and risked a primary from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) on the left.
"Arizonans — including many registered as Democrats or Republicans — are eager for leaders who focus on common-sense solutions rather than party doctrine," Sinema says in an op-ed in The Arizona Republic, her state's largest paper.
"That's why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington."
Sinema — ever unpredictable and inscrutable — told Senate Majority Leader Schumer of her decision yesterday, a Democratic aide told Axios' Andrew Solender.
She's "expected to maintain her committees through Democrats," the aide said.
"I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this," Sinema told CNN's Jake Tapper. "But, actually, I think it makes a lot of sense. ... I've never fit neatly into any party box. I've never really tried. I don't want to."