Bill Clinton is coming to Arizona Wednesday to try to make the state's voters forget that Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi now run the Democratic Party. Playing on the American people's nostalgia - and short memories - Clinton is coming to Arizona hoping to boost Richard Carmona with a joint visit to Tempe, where the Tucson Democrat and Obama Mini-me is particularly weak.
But Tempe happens to be part of Arizona's Ninth Congressional District, where extreme liberal Democrat and criminal defense lawyer Kyrsten Sinema is running against Vernon Parker, a mainstream candidate with a track record of working across party lines.
The problem is Bill Clinton and Kyrsten Sinema have an extremely rocky history, which will make for ONE AWKWARD EVENING IN ARIZONA.
Top Eight AWKWARD differences between Bill Clinton and Kyrsten Sinema
1. Just a few months ago, Bill Clinton assessed Sinema's record, then decided to endorse a less extreme candidate in her Democratic Primary. But even with his endorsement, the candidate he backed lost. (Don't tell Rubberstamp Rich Carmona.)
2. In 2008, Sinema endorsed not one, but TWO candidates against Hillary Clinton, Bill's wife, in the Democratic Primaries for President. Sinema's Anybody But Clinton strategy succeeded.
3. In 2000, Sinema backed radical Ralph Nader over liberal Al Gore, Clinton’s Vice President, and ran for office (unsuccessfully) against the Democrats in both 2001 and 2002 because she believed the Democrats “had moved too far to the center.” That's the first time before or since anyone ever called Al Gore too moderate.
4. In her 2009 book, a how-to guide for left-wing community organizers to sound more reasonable, Sinema took a shot at Hillary Clinton, writing: "Letting go of outcomes is really hard to do at first. Some people liken their great solutions to their firstborn children and treat them as such. (Think Hillary Clinton and health care, circa 1993.)" Ouch. ["Unite and Conquer: How to build coalitions that win - and last," by Kyrsten Sinema (2009) Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, page 89.]
5. Clinton put the Democratic Leadership Council on the map, to move the Democratic Party away from the Fringe Left. Sinema is a big-wig at the Center for Progressive Leadership . . . yup, the very definition of Fringe Left.
6. Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act and created Don't Ask Don't Tell. Sinema made her name fighting those Clinton policies.
7. Clinton signed GOP welfare reform that added time limits to and work requirements for welfare checks. Sinema sponsored legislation to lift time caps on welfare and weaken work requirements for it.
8. Sinema has a law license. Clinton gave his up to avoid a perjury indictment.
Despite these awkward differences, Sinema and Clinton do have some things in common. They both support:
• Dramatically higher taxes on working families
• Government takeovers of our health care
• Big Government programs at every turn
• Weak policies on national defense and the fight against terrorism
Plus, Sinema is a criminal defense lawyer, and Clinton hired many of them when he admitted lying under oath in a court-ordered deposition.
So perhaps they'll be able to stand on the same stage Wednesday after all.