If you thought the name “Sarah Huckabee Sanders” sounded familiar, you’re right. The woman who has taken over the White House press briefings for Sean Spicer is the daughter of Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate and Arkansas governor.
She’s referred to her dad as her hero.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been subbing for Spicer since the firing of FBI Director James Comey. That has a lot of people asking “Where is Sean Spicer?” It turns out that Spicer is undergoing previously scheduled Naval duties at the Pentagon (He’s in the U.S. Naval Reserve). However, his absence has a lot of people wondering whether Huckabee Sanders could take his place.
She is currently the deputy press secretary for Donald Trump. Although her father ran against Trump in the primary, Huckabee Sanders did join Trump’s campaign after Mike Huckabee dropped out of the race. Oh, and by the way, she is not related to Bernie Sanders.
The Sanders name comes from her husband, a political operative named Bryan Sanders, with whom she has three children.
Huckabee Sanders has been involved in her father’s campaigns for years. She told The Hill that she was 9 when her dad first ran for elected office.
“He didn’t really have much of a staff, so our family has always been very engaged and very supportive of my dad,” Huckabee Sanders told The Hill.
“I was stuffing envelopes, I was knocking on doors, I was putting up yard signs. I’m absolutely my dad’s biggest fan, and anything he wanted to do, I wanted to be a part of.”
A 2007 profile in Time Magazine described her as Mike Huckabee’s “field general.” Father and daughter appear very close based on their published comments and social media posts.
Before joining her father’s 2007 campaign, Sarah Huckabee Sanders worked “as a regional liaison with the Education Department in Washington,” reports Time. She directed field operations for the Huckabee campaign and worked on her father’s 2016 campaign in a prominent role too. She’s also been involved in the campaigns of numerous other candidates for office.
Sarah is the only daughter of Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet. She has two other brothers.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders has described her dad as her “hero.”
“I got to work for my hero and travel with him on a regular basis,” she told the Hill of her campaign work for him. “It doesn’t get much batter than that for a job.”
Janet Huckabee worked for the Little Rock Red Cross. The other Huckabee children are David and John Mark. David is a mortgage broker who worked on his father’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Huckabee Sanders hired her eventual husband to work on her father’s campaign. According to The Hill, “Sanders had been with Sen. Sam Brownback’s (R-Kan.) presidential campaign until it folded, so she hired him and one of his colleagues.”
Huckabee Sanders, who is age 34, posts about her family fairly frequently on social media.
According to The Washington Post, Huckabee Sanders and her husband also have two other children.
As to whether she might replace Spicer for good, that’s unclear.
Spicer could find his job on the line after what many felt was a bizarre press conference over the James Comey firing, a CNN report claims.
The highlight – or lowlight, depending on your perspective – came when Spicer allegedly hid behind bushes to dodge the television cameras as the media pressured him for answers on the FBI director’s controversial termination. That account came from the Washington Post, which later wrote that it had updated its story “to more precisely describe Spicer’s location near White House bushes on Tuesday night.”
The updated story claimed that, “White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrapped up his brief interview with Fox Business from the White House grounds late Tuesday night and then disappeared into the shadows, huddling with his staff near a clump of bushes and then behind a tall hedge.” The story also said that Spicer “was soon standing in near darkness between two tall hedges, with more than a dozen reporters closely gathered around him.”
Spicer was notably absent from the podium on May 10 as reporters demanded answers about the FBI director’s dramatic ouster. Taking his place was Huckabee Sanders, whose handling of the high-pressure briefing and one the next day sparked intense Twitter debate.
Jim Acosta, senior White House correspondent for CNN, put the speculation into overdrive when he tweeted, “WH sources: Highest levels incl. POTUS evaluating Sanders subbing for Spicer in briefing room. Last night an ’embarrassment.. disaster.'”
Sanders herself denounced the rumors that she might replace Spicer, saying they were not true, telling The New York Post, “That’s ridiculous. No changes here.”