The nation hardly knew ye, Sarah Hucakbee.
That’s right, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving the White House. It was first announced (as per standard procedure since January 2017) via tweet by the president, that the spokeswoman would be leaving at the end of the month. Hard to tell if this was another instance where a White House official didn’t know they were leaving until seeing it on Twitter or cable news. Huckabee Sanders would be the last person to intentionally contradict her boss. After all, she told the special counsel she knowingly lied to the news media about aspects of Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey.
Suggesting the public didn’t know Huckabee Sanders may sound crazy, at first. She’s been one of the few Trump staffers to last more than a couple of months. Consider though, that when news of her departure broke, it had been 94 days since Huckabee Sanders conducted an official White House press briefing. That’s the longest streak ever for a White House press secretary. Where does that stand compared to others? The second-longest streak is 42 days, held by Huckabee Sanders. After that? A briefing drought of 41 days racked up by, wait for it, Huckabee Sanders.
When not showing outright disdain for reporters trying to keep the nation informed on the shadiest administration since King George III, Huckabee Sanders was dodging them for a grand total of 175 days over a roughly three-year career. Good work if you can get it and still sleep at night.
Huckabee Sanders was complicit in helping misdirect the American public and spinning the narratives of the Trump administration. And that has taken its toll. As the administration seems anxious to go to war with Iran, it’s impossible to take anything from the White House at face value.
Meanwhile, Huckabee Sanders will probably land a cable news job or a spot on the ballot for high office in her native Arkansas, if she wants it. Those who depart the Trump administration have found the book deals and lecture circuit that come standard with any other presidential administration less fruitful, although they seem to eventually find their niche. Even Steve Bannon has found a forum, preaching to far-right extremists in Europe.
Huckabee Sanders had that one quality that Trump values over any other: loyalty to Trump alone while not expecting that loyalty to be anywhere near reciprocal. It will be interesting to see if that holds up after she leaves the gravitational well of ego that kept her in Trump’s orbit.
She was bad for the news media and bad for the country, but who knows what the next press secretary will be like. It’s best never to use the phrase “It can’t get any worse.” Anyone remember Anthony Scaramucci?