Wearing a deep blue dress, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., stood out in a sea of white at the 2020 State of the Union — a number of Democratic women had agreed to wear white in honor of the women’s suffrage movement.
Sinema would stand out even more when she gave a standing ovation after President Trump discussed “opportunity zones” created in the Republican tax reform bill, as the president praised Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., for his leadership here.
Opportunity zones, created in tandem with the 2017 bill, provide tax advantages for certain investments in lower-income areas.
“Jobs and investment are pouring into 9,000 previously-neglected neighborhoods thanks to Opportunity Zones, a plan spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott as part of our great Republican tax cuts,” Trump said, prompting a rousing ovation.
Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema gives a standing ovation after Trump commends GOP Sen. Tim Scott for work on opportunity zones. pic.twitter.com/CPjxbgfIIG
— Axios (@axios) February 5, 2020
The Arizona lawmaker appeared to be one of the only Senate Democrat standing, if not the only one.
Sandwiched between Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., her colleagues did not appear to be very pleased with her actions, as they sat there stone-faced.
🎶hello darkness, my old friend🎶 pic.twitter.com/vtCNSSwXUA
— Siraj Hashmi, fugitive from the Ern (@SirajAHashmi) February 5, 2020
The president would then introduce Army veteran Tony Rankins, a SOTU guest who has directly benefited from the program Democrats denounce as a corporate handout that doesn’t help the community.
“After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, his house, and his family. He was homeless,” Trump explained. “But then Tony found a construction company that invests in Opportunity Zones. He is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family, and he is here tonight. Tony, keep up the great work.”
Seen as a hard-left figure when elected to the U.S. Senate, Sinema is somewhat of an enigma. Her often-bold attire aside, Sinema has proven to be much more moderate in her politics than expected, and she is one of the few Democrats willing to work across the aisle with her GOP colleagues.
She even took to Twitter after the SOTU address to express solidarity with Sen. Scott in his efforts to benefit communities.
Couldn’t be prouder to support your work transforming communities, and lucky to call you a friend. https://t.co/wtLtKLwERH
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) February 5, 2020
The senator also released a statement on bipartisanship following the SOTU, saying, “There is much more that binds Americans, and Arizonans, together than what pulls us apart.”
Statement on the State of the Union address: pic.twitter.com/3a7ObsV0eg
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) February 5, 2020
But in a time where our politics are as polarizing as ever, this simple concept is cause to stick out in the crowd — and that’s something Sinema excels at.
As for the divisive times we find ourselves in, CNN’s Chris Cillizza made sure to draw attention to a Democrat daring to applaud the president.
That was Sen. Krysten Sinema, a D from Arizona, standing up to cheer Trump just now
— Chris Cillizza (@ChrisCillizza) February 5, 2020
Here’s a sampling of other responses that found her bipartisan posture a little more refreshing:
Arizona Senator and Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema, just stood up and clapped for President Trump as he spoke about tax cuts.
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) February 5, 2020
Kristen sinema is the only one who‘s not a hack apparently pic.twitter.com/PkWfJCw1d4
— Pardes Seleh (@PardesSeleh) February 5, 2020
She has been much less disappointing than I guess she would be when she was elected. She might be a Dem..but she isn’t stupid and doesn’t follow the crowd. Kudos to her…for acting like an American!
— MAGA CHICK (@MAGACHICK3) February 5, 2020
Kyrsten Sinema always intrigues me. She tends to applaud and cross to the other side when appropriate/warranted. Bravo. #SOTU
— Billy Hallowell (@BillyHallowell) February 5, 2020
SENATOR Sinema. My bad.
— Chicks On The Right (@chicksonright) February 5, 2020
Ya just gotta love Krysten Sinema. She marches to the beat of her own drummer. I love it.
— Vanessa Santos (@VanessaOblinger) February 5, 2020
Sinema standing and clapping!!!! pic.twitter.com/NFVcTCmBfj
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) February 5, 2020
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