….She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is departing her job as White House press secretary at the end of the month and returning to Arkansas, where Donald Trump said in a departing Tweet that he hopes she runs for governor.
She was a fierce Trump defender but hadn’t done much press of late — no briefings in 94 days. She was not beloved among the media (no dishonor with Trump, of course). CNBC noted:
Sanders was on the 2016 Trump campaign’s communications team before succeeding Sean Spicer as press secretary in July 2017. She had an often adversarial relationship with the press.
Sanders faced criticism for giving answers from the White House podium that were misleading or contradicted what the president said. In one notable episode, she claimed after former FBI Director James Comey’s firing that “countless” agents within the bureau had lost confidence in him. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his Russia investigation released in May contradicted her characterization.
As yet, no comments from her have surfaced. She reportedly told her staff about an hour before Trump’s Tweet.
UPDATE: This just posted by a Politico writer:
Sarah Sanders just spoke to a small group of reporters. Asked whether she’s considering a run for governor of Arkansas, she said: “I learned a long time ago never to rule anything out.”
— Andrew Restuccia (@AndrewRestuccia) June 13, 2019
Sanders herself Tweeted:
I am blessed and forever grateful to @realDonaldTrump for the opportunity to serve and proud of everything he’s accomplished. I love the President and my job. The most important job I’ll ever have is being a mom to my kids and it’s time for us to go home. Thank you Mr. President! https://t.co/wHNnq06AMg
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 13, 2019
The notion of a Sanders run for office has floated around Arkansas recently. She’s never run for public office but has been a political consultant to others and campaigned for her father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, in his failed 2016 run for president. If she should decide to run for governor in 2022, she’ll find other wannabe candidates to contend with in the Republican primary. Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Sen. Jim Hendren have all been mention on the GOP side.
Huckabee might have to defend herself as unlike her father, who fled Arkansas for income tax-free Florida after his tenure. Ernie Dumas has described Mike Huckabee in his recent book as a liberal for his support for government health insurance for children, school consolidation, higher taxes for education and policies that comforted so-called illegal aliens.
Sanders graduated from Central High School and Ouachita Baptist University, where she hooked up with the ACLU to fight local politicians attempting to purge OBU and Henderson students from Arkadelphia voter rolls. Suppression of the college vote is now favored by the Republican Party and Donald Trump.
The Guardian has helpfully compiled some lowlights of her tenure as a liar for Trump. “Go lie for free,” says The Nation.
Arkansas Times Facebook followers are NOT enthused.
Commented David Gardner on Twitter: “I won’t believe Sarah Sanders is really leaving till she denies it.”
Kaitlan Collins of CNN said on Twitter that Sanders herself has floated a run for Arkansas governor as a good move. The response on her Twitter comment are not what you’d call a Sanders groundswell.
Speaking of the 2022 campaign for governor: Tim Griffin will speak Friday at a Glenwood Chamber of Commerce flag dedication and at a motel ribbon cutting in Fairfield Bay. Leslie Rutledge put out two news releases today. Sanders better get a move on.