“I want to be remembered as honest and transparent”, she once tweeted, to which whip-smart singer-songwriter Jann Arden replied “I want to be remembered as tall and thin”.
It wasn’t just that everything that passed between her curled lips was either pointless propaganda or outright lies. It was the hateful, spiteful, stinging contempt. She’d stand there, obviously weary and reluctant, looking put-upon, like she’d pulled the short straw and it was her turn to throw chum to the sharks, then roll her eyes while she took the first question. Sarah Huckabee Sanders despised the press, and you might have thought that’s a hell of an attitude in a Press Secretary, disqualifying even, but only if you weren’t keeping up. Sanders wasn’t tapped to take over the briefing room because poor, hapless Sean Spicer was at loggerheads with the press corps. She was there because Spicy hadn’t put the boots to the reporters with sufficient gusto (a failing that would probably have characterized Scaramucci’s tenure as well, but we’d best just forget about the Mooch, methinks). Those jabbering jackals out there needed to be brought better to heel. Enter Sarah, scowling.
She wasn’t just tougher than Spicer, she lied better too, way better. No sheepish grin for Sarah. No sweaty brow, or quavering tone as the worst of it spewed out. Her only peer in the straight-faced preposterous fib department was Trump himself – nobody else, not even Kellyanne Conway, could touch her. Day in, day out, it was one Big Fat Lie after another, most of them merely repetitions of the ones her boss was telling, but some apparently improvised, like her smears of Jim Comey, which demonstrated both imagination and an entirely guiltless knack for character assassination also on display when she was attacking the many women who alleged sexual assault against Donald. There was a certain wonder to it, the way creativity, shamelessness, scorn, and audacity combined with her soulless, deadpan delivery to create what wasn’t so much a spokesperson as the perfect bullshit extrusion system, firing on all cylinders and just pumping the stuff out. She’d lie about anything! She even denied things that Trump himself had publicly admitted, like making the payoffs to Stormy Daniels.
It didn’t matter in the slightest that everyone in the room knew she was lying, and she knew they knew it; this was for the rubes out there in TV land, who could be trusted to take her word for it. Thus, having admitted to Mueller that she made up that bullshit about Comey, the stuff about getting jubilant calls from “countless” FBI personnel to congratulate them for firing the Director, she marched right back out to the podium and lied about it all over again, even while the flummoxed reporters quoted her own confession at her from Mueller’s report. That makes the hi-lite reel, but wasn’t even her best moment, which was probably when she offered up a doctored video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta purportedly pulling a microphone out of the hands of a female White House intern, sourced, it turned out, from the Alex Jones fever swamp Info Wars. Think of it: the White House was promulgating the raving, pop-eyed, flailing, flop-sweating allegations of the internet’s most notorious alt-right lunatic! With fake evidence they knew to be fake! Wow!
It stopped being fun, though, if it ever was. Maybe she was irritated, maybe she was merely bored, but after a while the daily briefing became weekly, then monthly, then stopped altogether. It’s not clear what she was doing for the administration after that – presumably she filled in as some sort of “advisor”, which in today’s West Wing is a sort of playmate for Donald who’ll listen to him rant and strenuously agree. Not a bad gig, if you don’t mind the racket, but maybe Sarah minded. Anyway, she’s leaving, apparently of her own volition, which in Trumpistan is no small thing.
One wonders, now that she’s going, if Trump will even bother to appoint a successor. Why would he find that necessary at this point? Who would take the job if he did? Who knows, there may never be a White House Press Secretary again, even if Trump leaves office some day, which, let’s be honest with ourselves, he might not.
What will she do? Where will she go? Donald suggests she run for Governor of her native Arkansas, and what do you bet she’d win? Why sure she would, just like her dad, Mike Huckabee, did back in the day. They like them some Huckabees down that way. Then, nepotism being all the rage these days, she could appoint Pops as Secretary of State, so he could suppress votes, purge voter rolls, and rig elections for her. If public office has lost its allure, I guess she could sidle on over to Fox News, which would be almost like not leaving the White House at all, and helm one of their Sixty Minute Hates. They could call it “Foxy Sarah”, or something like that, something snappy – something better than what they concocted for Laura Ingraham, “The Ingraham Angle”, which sounds like a manuscript they found half-finished amid Robert Ludlum’s personal effects. Sarah could bring the snide, angry Bill O’Reilly mojo back to the Fox line-up, never really recaptured by the likes of Hannity and Carlson, who too often simply look and sound clueless. She could be the Fox News prime time tentpole.
Or maybe she runs for the Senate. Somebody’s got to fill Mitch’s shoes one of these days. One way or another, though, I doubt we’re through with Sarah. She’s not done messing with us yet. Nope. Our luck doesn’t break that way.