Speaking for Myself | Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Summary of: Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House
By: Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Introduction

In ‘Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House’, Sarah Huckabee Sanders shares her experiences as the White House Press Secretary under President Donald Trump. This summary encompasses her unexpected journey into politics, being in the frontlines of the decision-making process for the Trump administration, handling a challenging relationship with the media, and thriving in her role despite facing intolerance from liberals. Throughout her story, Sanders shines light on the inner workings of the Trump White House and her tireless dedication to serving her country.

Christmas on the Frontlines

Sanders joins Trump in Iraq to boost morale and authorize the final push against ISIS, showcasing the bold decision-making that drew her to work for him.

December 24, 2018, found the Sanders family exhausted after Sarah’s Southern feast. But as Donald Trump’s press secretary, she was always on call. Even on Christmas night, Sanders drove to a naval base in Maryland to join Trump and his advisors on Air Force One for a secret trip to the frontline of America’s war against ISIS: a military base in Anbar Province, Iraq.

Air Force One took off with its lights off, all electronic devices disabled, and headed to hostile territory. But they landed safely, and Trump joined the soldiers for a Christmas feast. Sanders was struck by how much it meant to the troops to have America’s First Family there with them.

Trump was there not just for morale-boosting but to authorize a final push against ISIS. Despite many senators back home demanding involvement in the Syrian civil war, Trump believed defeating ISIS in Iraq was more important. His decision paid off, and by March 2019, ISIS had been crushed and its caliphate eradicated, and the soldiers returned home safely. Sanders had been drawn to work for Trump because of his boldness, and this trip was a prime example of that.

The Rise of Sarah Sanders

Sarah Sanders, a former senior advisor to the Trump campaign, was born and bred into politics. Her father, Mike Huckabee, became only the second Republican governor of Arkansas in over a hundred years while Clinton was re-elected as President of the United States in 1996. Sanders followed in her father’s footsteps and worked her way up from Arkansas to eventually become the White House deputy press secretary. Her big break came when she headed her father’s campaign in 2007, which helped transform Huckabee from an also-ran into a serious contender. Despite Huckabee eventually falling short in 2015, Sanders caught Trump’s attention and he asked her to join his campaign team. Although she acknowledged that Trump was far from perfect, she believed that America would be better off under a Republican candidate and accepted the offer.

The Daily Routine of a White House Press Secretary

As the go-between for Donald Trump and the media, the role of the press secretary was managing the tricky relationship between the administration and the press. While presenting policies was the easy part, fielding questions during daily press briefings was much trickier due to the notoriously combative nature of the Q&A sessions. However, Sanders’ closeness with the president gave her a better understanding of his thinking, which in turn helped her articulate his message to the American people. The stakes were high as slip-ups during press briefings could cause scandals and distract from the administration’s positive agenda.

Press Pool Sharks

The White House press pool contains around 500 journalists, many of whom are committed to making news rather than simply reporting it. In today’s digital age, these reporters who can create a viral moment or capture a gotcha moment are the ones that can achieve real success. CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, realized the value of making a scene during press briefings and ultimately gained popularity as a fearless truth-teller. As a result, CNN’s ratings improved, and he was offered lucrative book and television deals. However, his tactics came at the cost of journalistic standards, as he even invented a story about the former president, leading to Ivanka Trump lodging a complaint with the network. The narrative reflects on the fact that not all news that is reported is grounded on facts but rather for monetary gain, resulting in the decline of media ethics.

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