Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced she's leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent.
The reactions were mixed, with many questioning her motivations and wondering how her defection would impact the Democrats newly won 51-49 majority, and others criticized her as self-serving -- but no one was especially surprised.
"Feels more like Sinema is announcing her Senate retirement early than a real change in party affiliation," tweeted Bulwark columnist Amanda Carptenter. "We shall see."
"Kyrsten Sinema, translated: Well this won't be any fun at all now so I need to find some other thing that will make Me Me Me seem important," wrote Kentucky-based columnist Teri Carter.
"Rather than risking a primary defeat, she’s created a scenario where if Democrats run a candidate in the 2024 general they risk throwing the race to the likes of Kari Lake," said Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow for Media Matters for America.
"Lots of ifs with Sinema, a big one: if she runs for re-election, that will make it a three-way race next year with a Democrat & a Republican on the ticket who very well could be Kari Lake," agreed NBC News correspondent Marc Caputo.
"Dems win a clear majority in the Senate and Sinema’s reaction is to leaves the party to continue taking hostages for big pharma," said communications specialist Michael Starr Hopkins. "Sinema isn’t just a fraud, she’s what stupid people think an 'independent looks like.' I stand by everything I’ve ever said about her."
"Don’t overthink Sen. Kyrsten Sinema switching from Democrat to Independent," said former New York congressional candidate Melanie D'Arrigo. "She’s not driven by ideology. She’s driven by which corporations and lobbyists are giving her the most money — which makes her an elected mercenary, not an elected representative of the people."
"Congratulations to Sen. Sinema, who can finally pursue her policy passions of and represent the vital interests she cares about, like [herself]," tweeted Ohio-based attorney Jesse Taylor.
"Sinema is blatantly power-hungry," said radio executive Chris Lavoie. "When I lived in Tempe, she ran as a Green. Now she wants to convince Arizonans and the rest of the country that she's a quirky maverick. She is none of that. Her vacillation shows that @SenatorSinema has no core values."
"We knew @SenatorSinema wasn't a Democrat a long time ago," said New York business executive Mark Elliott. "Especially with this thumbs down move on raising the minimum wage. She's up for election in 2024 (if she even runs)."
"Kyrsten Sinema is a predictable self-absorbed a-hole," said activist John Hunigan. "No one is surprised she's no longer a Dem. This has always been about self-promotion and $ for her."