Sarah Huckabee Sanders Running for Governor of Arkansas
While opinion pieces are being written en masse about the future prospects of former Trump Administration staffers and officials, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has announced a long-rumored run for the statehouse in Little Rock.
I'm in —> https://t.co/8bmfl3ZPgp
Watch ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/khDPEk0orU
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) January 25, 2021
This move to pursued the job once held by her father is not surprising:
When President Donald Trump announced that Sarah Sanders would be departing her job as White House press secretary in June 2019, he urged her to run for governor of Arkansas. “She would be fantastic,” Trump tweeted at the time.
Now, less than a week after Trump himself left the White House under the cloud of a second impeachment, Sanders announced in a nearly eight-minute video Monday that she’s following his suggestion. Sanders, who endeared herself to Trump’s base while combatively — and sometimes misleadingly — sparring with the press, is seen by many as an early favorite in the race to lead a heavily GOP state where Trump’s role in the U.S. Capitol riot may not hurt her appeal.
“I took on the media, the radical left and their ‘cancel culture,’ and I won. As governor, I will be your voice, and never let them silence you,” Sanders said in the announcement.
Sanders, a 38-year-old Arkansas native and daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R), managed her father’s unsuccessful presidential run in 2016 before joining Trump’s campaign as senior communications adviser. She also served as a spokeswoman during Trump’s first presidential campaign.
At the White House, she first worked as the top deputy to Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary, until he resigned in July 2017, when she assumed his role. She was the first working mother and only the third woman to serve as White House press secretary, as reported by the Associated Press.
During her early days, some praised her calm demeanor in then-daily briefings with the press — a stark contrast to Spicer. But Sanders soon clashed with reporters, passionately defending Trump while confronting the press — even when the information she provided was, at times, false.
Current Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson is term-limited, having won 64% of the vote in his last re-election in the increasingly red state.
She’s spent her entire career in campaigns, not government, until she became Trump’s press secretary, and has no qualifications to be governor other than her right-wing credentials. Isn’t that what they call identity politics?Report
A good exhibit in how the Flight 93 type discourse of violence has become the new normal for Republicans at all levels.
From her announcement: “Everything we love about America is at stake. And with the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defense.”
In Huckabee’s view, we Democrats are not fellow Americans, but enemies to be destroyed. Our policies are not just unwise, or will lead to bad outcomes, but literally will destroy America and everything they love about it.
In previous years someone could laugh this off as wildly exaggerated but empty rhetoric.
But coming on the heels of an insurrection in which the heads of Congress were attacked by a murderous Republican mob, its hard to see her words as anything but endorsement of political violence.Report
Like many white conservative Southern politicians, she’s perfectly willing to trade advancing her political power for disenfranchising her own constituents -only 46% of Arkansans identify as Republicans (https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/state/arkansas/party-affiliation/). And while 62.4% of voters in Arkansas supported Mr. Trump, nearly 35% didn’t.
Again, she doesn’t really care (neither did her father) but she mis-reads her state if she believed Democrats don’t exist among her own citizens.Report