Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders the future of the GOP?

In Arkansas, speculation about Sanders is already “shaking up” a Republican race that is expected to be crowded and expensive. The idea of a Sanders bid is enticing to Democrats, some of whom told the Associated Press that she “would draw national attention and money to a race that otherwise would be written off.”

A governorship would put Sanders within reach, once again, of national politics. (Arkansas has already launched one President.) In 2022, she will be only forty. As a government official in her own right, would she be another Trump? Another Mike Huckabee? If so, which Mike Huckabee? The Huckabee who used to urge bipartisan unity appears no longer to exist. He now hosts a variety show on a Christian TV network, performs punditry on Fox News, and spews hatefulness and nonsense on Twitter. Last month, he tweeted about the “DEEP STATE,” and told a critic who called him irrelevant, “Thanks. You’re making me rich.”

How does an aspiring governor come back from a legacy of having lied, repeatedly, to the public that she purports to serve? In the Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan noted that Sanders “misled reporters or tried to, and through them, misled the American people.” Megan Garber, in The Atlantic, wrote that Sanders leaves behind a “political Darwinism—an environment in which everything is a competition, with the winner determined by who can shout the loudest, who can distract the most effectively, who can get in the best insult before the time for questioning is over.” The press secretary, she said, treated her public duty as a “battle to be won.”