The senate race in Arizona has become one of the hottest of the cycle and could decide control of the Senate in November. Republican Blake Masters is facing off against incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly, with the latest poll showing it just a two-point race.
For his part, Kelly has run a fairly low-key re-election campaign. His attacks on Masters have been boilerplate, but most of all, he’s done his best to distance himself from Washington, DC. As an example of that, here he is tripping all over himself when asked about Joe Biden’s job performance.
Q: “Has [Biden] done a good job?”
Democrat Mark Kelly: “Hey, I th-, you know, I, uh, you know, I, eh, it, first of all” pic.twitter.com/BrPApCqYvY
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 14, 2022
I’ve watched the clip and I can attest that the transcription above is correct. Kelly is essentially left speechless, fumbling for his words, when asked about Biden as president before he finally settles on the silly idea that “it’s not my job to give him a report card.”
Actually, as a senator who votes with Biden 94 percent of the time, that is his job. In fact, the only votes he’s gone against Biden on were a couple of votes about mandating masks and a vote to impose sanctions on Russia before the Ukraine war started. When a senator is that tied to the president of his own party, he doesn’t get to run away from the consequences and pretend like he’s an innocent bystander.
Kelly could have stood firm on some of the more controversial issues. For example, he could have voted against the Inflation Reduction Act. Instead, he rubber-stamped it like he does all big Democrat bills. There is nothing moderate about Kelly. He is a party-line politician that serves as a useful idiot for Chuck Schumer and the White House. While Kyrsten Sinema has a legitimate moderate streak, Kelly’s “moderation” is an act he puts on during election season before quickly disappearing back to Washington afterward. No one should be fooled.
Being an astronaut is cool and all, but it does not override Kelly’s record. He voted for the disastrous American Rescue Plan that helped drive inflation to the moon, and he’s been there every other time Biden needs him. Masters should continue to make that a centerpiece of his campaign. The last thing Arizona needs to do is to re-elect a senator who puts Washington’s needs above those of his constituents. Heck, Kelly can’t even be counted on to help secure the border, an easy breakaway issue for a senator from a border state.
This race is close, and Masters is the underdog. But if enough Republicans get motivated and show up to vote, they can overcome the advantages Democrats have built over the last few cycles. Turnout will be key, and if you live in Arizona, nothing should stop you from voting against Mark Kelly.