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- United States Senator from Arizona
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has been described as an 'enigma' because she rarely talks to reporters at the Senate.
"I don't even know what enigma means, really. No one really does," Sinema told an AZ television station.
Sinema also touted the passage of the infrastructure bill as a vindication of her brand of politics.
Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who has at times been described as an "enigma" due to her relative silence on Capitol Hill, told an Arizona television station that she doesn't know what that word means, nor does anybody else.
Her remarks are almost certain to be in jest — Sinema holds a PhD in justice studies, a law degree, and a master's degree in social work — but they illustrate the gulf between how the senator and the rest of the public understand her own brand of politics.
Sinema, in contrast to the vast majority of other senators, typically does not speak to press in the halls of the Capitol, and has been notably silent when confronted by progressive activists for her continued efforts to trim down the Build Back Better social spending bill that Democrats have been trying to pass for months.
In an interview with the Washington Post last week, Sinema remarked on the label — defined by Merriam Webster as "an inscrutable or mysterious person" — that multiple people and outlets have ascribed to her.
"I'm always surprised when people say, 'Oh, she's an enigma,'" Sinema told The Post. "I'm, like, not at all, actually. I'm very straightforward about what I believe in and why I'm doing what I do."
At the end of a 9-minute interview with Phoenix-based ABC 15, reporter Mark Phillips asked the Arizona Democrat about the term, as well as recent media coverage of her.
"Like most Arizonans, I don't pay any attention to what they're talking about in the national media," she said. "I mean, wha— I don't even know what enigma means, really. No one really does."
She continued, re-iterating her belief that Arizonans do, in fact, know who she is.
"What I do know is this: I'm a straight-shooter, folks know who I am, it's the same person I've always been, and they know that I'm gonna go to work every day, work hard, and bring home the results for Arizona families," she said. "I'll just keep doing that."
Phillips also asked Sinema about her relative silence, noting to the senator that "you didn't talk a whole lot" as the infrastructure bill was being negotiated and awaited passage by the House of Representatives.
"I promised to be a workhorse, not a show horse," she said. "In the 3 years that I've served in the United States Senate, I've been known for just putting my head down, and doing the work." She went on to say that she prefers to work one-on-one with other senators, not getting distracted by "the noise outside."
"I guess I would just say the proof is in the pudding," she added. "Here we are today, the bill has become law, and we move on to the next topic, which is to implement it for the benefit of everyday Arizonans."
Watch the full interview here:
Sinema's office did not respond to Insider's request for comment for this article.
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