July 13, 2024
The outgoing press secretary was a breath of fresh air
Outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks alongside President Trump during a second chance hiring and criminal justice reform event in the East Room of the White House.
Outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks alongside President Trump during a second chance hiring and criminal justice reform event in the East Room of the White House.

Donald Trump, the president of the United Statesannounced yesterday on Twitter that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary, would be departing her job at the end of the month. He later, at a press conference about a new program to help felons reenter the work force, praised her as a ‘magnificent person’ who has done ‘an incredible job.’ Taking the podium, Ms Sanders expressed her admiration for the president and his agenda and said, tears in her eyes, that working for him had been ‘the honor of a lifetime.’

Pretty straight forward, right?

Wrong. The press hates Sarah Sanders. Like its hatred for Donald Trump, the detestation is reflexive, visceral, and in the deepest sense aesthetic, a matter of immediate feeling. I’d say that it was rooted in a difference of personal style, but, though true, that designation does not express the almost physical revulsion that both people inspire in the preening mandarins of the press and their bureaucratic enablers among the self-appointed guardians of the administrative state.

I greatly admire Sarah Sanders. I think she is a breath of fresh air. Obviously loyal to the president and enthusiastically supportive of his agenda, she did what any good press secretary does: she was an effective ambassador of the president and his agenda to a hostile country, the media. She was there partly to explain policy but also, and just as important, to smooth ruffled feathers, cater to feelings of self importance, and spin questions and objections in a direction favored by the president. She helped to provide the most flattering light for his policies and pronouncements. That’s what press secretaries do.

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