Kyrsten Sinema doesn't care one bit if she wins re-election, according to a new book.
"I can go on any board I want to. I can be a college president. I can do anything," she said.
Sinema told Romney said she saved the filibuster and the Senate and that's "good enough for me."
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will face an exceedingly difficult re-election race in Arizona next year, if she chooses to run. But the Democrat-turned-independent may not be sweating it all that much.
According to reporter McKay Coppins's new book, "Romney: A Reckoning," Sinema once told Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah that she could "do anything" once she's out of office and feels that what she's done in the Senate is "good enough."
"I don't care. I can go on any board I want to. I can be a college president. I can do anything," she told Romney, according to the book. "I saved the Senate filibuster by myself. I saved the Senate by myself. That's good enough for me."
Hannah Hurley, a Sinema aide, disputed the characterization of the senator's remarks as presented in the book.
"Private conversations are easily misconstrued and mistaken during the game of telephone," Hurley said in a statement to Insider. "When asked about whether she was concerned that her stance on the filibuster could endanger her reelection changes, Kyrsten stated what she has stated for years now; she is not worried about winning the next election, and instead she is laser-focused on her ability and the Senate's ability to deliver lasting results for our country."
It's not unusual for former lawmakers to cash in on their service by joining corporate or philanthropic boards — or becoming college presidents — after leaving office. Former Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska resigned last year to become the president of the University of Florida.
Additionally, Sinema wasn't the only Democrat who opposed weakening the filibuster — the Senate rule that requires 60 votes to advance most legislation — last year; Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia also opposed the move.
Since her election to the Senate in 2018, Sinema has cut an unusual path, styling herself as a bipartisan dealmaker even as she has steadily alienated long-time Democratic allies. Romney, according to the book, admired how Sinema held firm as top Democrats pressured her to relent.
"The two senators bonded over their parallel descents into pariah status in their respective parties, and together they relished their self-perceptions as truth tellers and rebels," Coppins wrote. "Sinema affectionately nicknamed Romney 'trouble.'"
During the first two years of President Joe Biden's presidency, she has been involved in some of the most consequential bipartisan initiatives to emerge from the Senate, including the bipartisan infrastructure law, gun violence legislation, and the Respect for Marriage Act.
At the same time, she and Manchin prevented the passage of more ambitious policies pursued by Democrats, including refusing to support the weakening of the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation in January 2022 and killing the original "Build Back Better" social spending and climate bill.
Those moves earned her plaudits from senior Republicans, but ultimately cost her support within the Democratic Party. In December 2022, she left the Democratic party, and Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego launched a campaign for her seat the following month.
If she decides to run in 2024, she's likely to face Gallego and the former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake in the general election. Polling suggests that Sinema would trail both candidates, but her campaign argues that she can build a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and independents to power her to victory.
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