Maybe the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, after all. Former White House press secretary and daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has landed squarely back in the midst of headlines everywhere after announcing her run for Arkansas governor in January 2021.
As reported by The Washington Post, Huckabee Sanders announced her bid in an almost eight-minute-long video wherein she touted her time as former President Donald Trump’s press secretary, famously replacing her predecessor, Sean Spicer. “I took on the media, the radical left, and their ‘cancel culture,’ and I won,” she boasted about her time at the White House. “As governor, I will be your voice, and never let them silence you,” she declared emphatically.
But has she always had her eye on the governor’s seat — the same one in which her father, Mike Huckabee, used to hold? Keep reading after the jump to learn all about the riveting transformation of Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is no stranger to political campaigning
Sarah Huckabee Sanders has long been involved in politics. As reported by The New York Times in 2017, as a child, Huckabee Sanders spent many late nights going over poll results with her famous father, Mike Huckabee, and his political consultant. “Looking back, that was probably not the most normal thing in the world,” she reminisced about that particular time in her life.
Later on, she pitched in as her father snagged a win in the 2008 Iowa caucus — definitely no small feat. She also lent her dear old dad a helping hand, serving as his manager in 2016 when he announced his bid for the presidency. Though the run proved to be short, we imagine that the experience was invaluable. “That didn’t go so well,” she joked to the Times about the defunct campaign.
While her father never made it to the White House, it is possible that all of her childhood and early life experiences helped groom her for a life in politics, and specifically a run for Arkansas governor. As they say: like father, like daughter…
Sarah Huckabee Sanders grew up a devout Christian
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is perhaps most widely known as the daughter of Baptist minister turned politician and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. And while she may have embarked on her own political career, she was careful to not leave behind the religious values and ideals that her famous father instilled in her. And at times that appeared hard to do when she took on the role of White House press secretary to Donald Trump.
As reported by The New York Times, Huckabee Sanders is adamant that she didn’t always agree with the commander-in-chief. “I certainly didn’t approve of a couple of the comments,” she confessed during an August 2017 interview. “But at the same time, we were looking for a commander-in-chief, not a pastor.”
Still, she was careful to defend her superior. “Oftentimes, people want to make politicians perfect,” she continued. “And that’s one of the actual beauties of Christianity, is understanding that no one is.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a mother of three
Sarah Huckabee Sanders made history when she became the first mother to hold the position of White House press secretary. As reported by The New York Times, Huckabee Sanders had to do some major shifting of the family calendar to accommodate her roles as mother of three young children and number-one defender of Donald Trump. It’s reported that she started her days bright and early, waking up at 5 a.m. in an effort to spend time with her three kiddos and even converse with her father about the goings-on of her day, per The New York Times. It should be noted, however, that later Huckabee Sanders cited wanting to spend more time with her children as the reason for her resignation from the same position.
During her time serving as press secretary, Huckabee Sanders often drew criticism for what some perceived as a tendency to lean on her personal anecdotes as a mother to appeal to the masses. “I don’t want to hear anymore about the chaos in her home,” White House correspondent Brian Karem famously said to the Times about his interactions with Huckabee Sanders. “If she tells me one more story about how three preschoolers can be more chaotic than a hundred and some odd reporters in the White House press office, I’ll even volunteer to babysit,” he added. YIKES.
When asked about the judgment, Huckabee Sanders just shrugged it off. “That’s just kind of who I am,” she said.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Fox News
On the heels of her departure from the White House, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, along with Fox News, announced that she would be joining the team as a contributor.
“Fox News has been the number one news organization in the country for 17 years running and I am beyond proud to join their incredible stable of on-air contributors in providing political insights and analysis,” Sanders penned in a statement released in August 2019, as reported by Deadline.
Were many surprised at the pivot in her career? Well… not exactly. In a piece for The New York Times, business reporter Niraj Chokshi wrote that Huckabee Sanders’ move to Fox News bolstered “the strong ties between the conservative cable network and the Trump administration.” He also penned that “the path from White House spokesperson to television news” was “well worn” and provided heavy-hitters George Stephanopoulos and Jay Carney as examples of his theory. So perhaps serving as a commentator on “Fox & Friends” was simply the natural next step in her career progression.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders earned Donald Trump's seal of approval
Upon resigning from her position as the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders left with only well-wishes from then commander-in-chief, Donald Trump. As reported by The New York Times, Trump applauded Huckabee Sanders for a job well done. “We’ve been through a lot together. She’s tough and she’s good,” he declared. “She’s a warrior,” he added before bestowing her with a smooch on the side of her head. Awkwarddd.
But even after sending her off with well-wishes, Trump took it one step further when he publicly encouraged her to run for Arkansas governor, per USA Today. “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job!” Trump wrote in a tweet. “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”
Now it appears she’s finally obliged the former prez, and Trump has made it clear he couldn’t be happier. As reported by The Washington Post, after Huckabee Sanders threw her hat in the ring, Trump publicly endorsed her bid for Arkansas governor. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct. Sarah is strong on Borders, tough on Crime, and fully supports the Second Amendment and our great law enforcement officers,” he penned in the statement. TBD if that endorsement actually carries any weight.
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