Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema made a bold move in declaring herself an independent, caucusing with Democrats, because that gets her out of facing an opponent in the Democratic primary as she runs for re-election. Some argue that private equity now has its own political party.
If progressives want to make more progressive on legislation, they want more Senators like Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, not fewer. That’s because those are candidates who can win in swing states (Manchin is the best Democrats could ever conceivably do in West Virginia!). And with more of them, they’d have a bigger majority, and Manchin and Sinema themselves wouldn’t hold as many cards.
Nonetheless it’s become popular to dunk on Sinema, and she’s taking a lot of heat over a 37 page memo for staffers to meet her preferences.
She likes room temperature bottled water available at all times (honestly, so do I). She likes a weekly hour-long massage. She wants to avoid flying Southwest though they’re a huge carrier in her home state. She starts work at 8:45 a.m. (reasonable) and doesn’t let staffers schedule activities past 8 p.m. without her express approval (also non-crazy!). She doesn’t like weekend work events before 1 p.m.
And her travel preferences turn out to be just like everyone else’s. She “does not like to fly” and asks staffers to pick her preferred seats when she does.
“KS has Executive Platinum status on AMERICAN AIRLINES and sometimes receives an automatic upgrade to first class. Do not rely on this; in the event that she does not get upgraded, it is important that she have a seat she is comfortable with.
First choice: KS prefers an aisle seat as close to the front of the plane as possible, except that she DOES NOT want the bulkhead row. Those seats are smaller than regular seats and are crowded. She also doesn’t want the seat next to/directly in front of the bathroom on planes where there’s a bathroom in the middle of the plane. Look at the seat map for every flight you book, or ask the booking agent about the flight map if you’re reserving over the phone.
KS generally prefers to be closer to the front in a window seat, than further back in an aisle. It saves her time getting off the plane earlier.
Next choice: if you can’t get an aisle seat, get a window seat using the same guidelines as above. This shouldn’t happen often, since you’re booking most flights six weeks in advance.
Last resort: Do everything in your power not put her in a middle seat. If the circumstances are such that a middle seat is the ONLY option, make sure you email KS to let her know and also provide some information about other flights she might be able to take instead that have better seating options. Don’t book so late that middle seats are all that’s left.”
Much criticism focuses on staffers accommodating her personal needs but if you’re going to have Senators, and they’re supposed to be important, then you want their time to be protected. They shouldn’t spend their own time getting Verizon to fix their home internet or doing grocery shopping, they should be reading through 4,155 page bills dropped mere hours before the Senate is expected to vote.