Democrats are cutting an infrastructure deal with Sen. Manchin and isolating Sen. Sinema because she thinks she’s John McCain.
Top Democrats seem to want to recalibrate by cutting a deal with one — Manchin — and leaving Sinema alone on an island. Can she withstand that pressure? Sinema’s office declined to comment for this report.
Those who have spoken to Sinema frequently throughout the reconciliation process say that the first-term senator views herself as an heir to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) legacy — a self-styled “maverick” who bucks their party.
Yet some Democrats in the Biden administration and on Capitol Hill believe if they can get a deal with Manchin and progressives, Sinema will have no choice but to come along.
Sen. Sinema thinks that she can insulate herself from any future red waves by being a maverick, but here is the thing about John McCain, he was politically savvy and knew when to defy his party.
Even under Trump, McCain voted with a Republican president that he clearly disagreed with 83% of the time, which was more than 20 points higher than 538’s expected score.
When McCain broke with his party, he did so on politically popular issues. For example, Obamacare was popular with a majority of Americans when he stopped the GOP from killing it.
Sinema is opposing an infrastructure plan that is very popular with large numbers of Americans. The major items in the Biden plan have an 80% approval rating.
John McCain was a national war hero who knew when to defy his party for maximum political benefit. Sinema is shooting herself in the foot and likely getting primaried by opposing popular policies.
Democrats are reading this right. Sinema won’t be able to take the heat of being the only person holding up the deal. Joe Manchin wants a deal, so Democrats are going to make a deal with him and force Sinema to come along or commit career suicide.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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