Voters — including voters who backed Trump — deserve better than a leader who’s wrapped up in obsequiousness to her former, twice-impeached boss. “Your governor is your last line of defense,” Sanders says in her announcement. “In fact, your governor must be on the frontline.” She’s right, but would Arkansans have been able to count on her to defend their lawfully-cast votes the way governors like Georgia’s Brian Kemp (R) and Arizona’s Doug Ducey (R) were forced to when they stood up to Trump? After energetically defending one of the most dishonest politicians in American history, she has zero credibility when she touts herself as a leader “with the courage to do what’s right, not what’s politically correct or convenient.”
And then there are her lies. Though Sanders has defended her reputation, claiming she never said anything that she didn’t believe to be true at the time, the evidence overwhelms her and doesn’t check out. All White House press secretaries are admittedly in the spin business, their job being to make the president look better. But put in the impossible position of providing backing for Trump’s fire hydrant of falsehoods, Sanders offered the American public neither honesty nor transparency. “Sanders had a front row seat to what Trump was doing and she did nothing to stop him,” Kurt Bardella, a former House Oversight Committee spokesperson, wrote for NBC when Sanders left her post in 2019. “She allowed herself to become an instrument of propaganda and an amplifier of extremism. That is her legacy. She could have walked away anytime. But she didn’t.” CNN’s media correspondent Brian Stelter separately described Sanders’ legacy as “the death of the daily press briefing,” since she shortened on-camera briefings to the point that they might as well not have been called at all. “[D]uring Spicer’s six months on the job, he and his team totaled more time in briefings and gaggles than Sanders held in the year after he left,” The Washington Post wrote after Sanders’ first year; finally, she did away with on-camera briefings all together.