Sarah is not smiling anymore. At least not so much. Remember when Sarah Huckabee Sanders started filling in for White House press secretary Sean Spicer? She was all grins and flashing eyes as she jested her way through the torrent of questions from the D.C. press corps. You could almost hear her internal dialogue: This is easy!
Now the party is over. Standing at the podium during her most recent on-camera briefing, the deputy press secretary kept her head down much of the time, scowling and snapping each time someone brought up the president’s inexplicably mean tweet attack on two MSNBC hosts. Then she heaved out talking points as thin as the paper on which they were written: “I think that the president is pushing back against people who attack him day after day…when the president gets hit, he’s going to hit back harder.” Yada yada yada.
To be clear: She was defending the Leader of the Free World for ridiculing a pair of talk show hosts in shockingly coarse terms – mocking their looks, their intelligence and their mental stability. I’ll grant that those TV personalities, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, have said a lot of tough things about him in recent weeks. The White House clearly considers some of their statements unfair, unfounded and below the belt.
But President Trump’s two-thumbed counterattack was so crude that it drew howls from members of his own party for being beneath the dignity of the office. And President Lyndon Johnson used to conduct policy talks while he sat on the toilet, so it’s not like the dignity bar is crazy high.
You have to wonder if Huckabee Sanders’ own dignity crumbled a bit when, toward the end of the presser, she was asked, “Are you going to tell your kids this behavior is OK?” She brought up Jesus, saying, “That’s where I tell my kids to look.” She also said, “The American people elected a fighter – they knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump.”
I’m not so sure. And I wonder if Sarah knew what she was getting when she agreed to this job. Her frowns say maybe not.