Arizona will be at the top of the country’s political radar in November. It’s a key state as Republicans try to hang on to as many congressional seats as possible in hopes of fighting off a potential blue wave by Democrats.
We learn a lot about our candidates during election years and Republican senate candidate Martha McSally wants to make sure we know as much as we can about her Democratic rival, Kyrsten Sinema.
In the final days before Tuesday’s Arizona primary, McSally wasted no time in drawing contrasts between her and her Democrat opponent by launching a television ad featuring Sinema in a bright pink tutu protesting the military.
McSally outlines that she was a fighter pilot in the middle east during the war immediately after 9/11, leading “air strikes abasing the Taliban,” adding that she was the first woman to fly a fighter jet in combat.
“While we were in harm’s way in uniform, Kyrsten Sinema was protesting us in a pink tutu and denigrating our service,” McSally says.
“The world is a dangerous place. We need strong leaders who understand the threat and respect our troops. Kyrsten Sinema fails the test,” she says in the ad.
During 9/11 “Sinema was working as a social worker and waging an ultimately unsuccessful campaign for Phoenix city council,” as reported by Politico.
Both McSally and Sinema are leaving their House seats to run for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake.
McSally handily won her Republican primary bid against two other challengers. She advanced to the top position with 53 percent of the vote, easily defeating Kelli Ward with 28 percent and Joe Arpaio with 19 percent.
Sinema had only a single challenger, Deedra Abboud. Sinema easily beat Abboud, 80 percent to 20 percent.
Sinema is consistent in her anti-war politics.
In September of 2015, The Huffington Post reported she voted against the Iran nuclear deal. “Of the 25 House Democrats who voted against approving the Iran nuclear deal last week, the most unexpected name in the mix was Rep. Kyrsten Sinema,” HuffPo reported. “The Arizona Democrat is a moderate in her party, but her roots are firmly in the anti-war movement. In the early 2000s, she was an active organizer against the Iraq War.”
The Hill reported in 2012 on Sinema’s views of the military as a state lawmaker running in a three-way primary: “She points to both strategic and moral imperatives for military action,” the report said. “She speaks of the need to leave all options on the table with regard to Iran — and even calls for military intervention in Sudan and Somalia.”
“You should never take military intervention off the table,” Sinema was quoted as saying in the interview. “When you do so, you give an out to a rogue nation or rogue actors.”
In the days and weeks after 9/11, as talk of retaliation reached a fever pitch, Sinema and others in Phoenix began organizing what would eventually become the Arizona Alliance for Peaceful Justice. The group’s mission statement at the time called military action “an inappropriate response to terrorism” and advocated for using the legal system — not violence — to bring Osama bin Laden and others to justice.” It was at an AAPJ event where Sinema was photographed in the pink tutu.
I’m not sure how the folks in Arizona are going to respond to the stark differences between the two candidates, but if we continue to see similar campaign ads from McSally, we all may suffer from that flamboyant pink tutu burned into our brains.
You just can’t unsee something like that — and that’s exactly what Arizona Republicans are hoping for.
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