I swear, there are days when I watch the evening news and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is standing at the podium, trying to answer questions from the assembled reporters, and trying to give answers that reflect our President’s position on life, the universe and everything.
And it took me a while to figure out … it’s not what Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that matters.
It’s how she says it.
It’s the phrases she uses.
And it’s the various intonations in her phrases.
Those are clues. Big fat clues.
For example. If Sarah Huckabee Sanders is asked a question, and she doesn’t have a good answer to it, she will say “aaaah.”
“Aaaah” – just like “er” or “um” or “you know” – is the sign of a brain stuck in neutral and trying to lurch forward. And if she’s saying “Aaaah” as many times in a response to a question – especially when she’s making up answers as she goes along, so as to seem more intelligent than she really is – it’s not working.
For example … listen to this clip in which Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a reporter’s question about the new citizenship question that will appear in the 2020 census.
Wow. Eight “Aaaah”‘s in that one response. That brain’s not just stuck in neutral, it’s spinning its wheels in the snowbank.
Another clue about when Sarah Huckabee Sanders does not want to answer a question. She will say, “I would refer you to,” as in, “You’d get a better answer if you asked someone else, because if you keep asking me,I’m just going to stick my fingers in my ears and say la la la la la la la la…”
Example. If you played that clip above, you would hear her deflect a question by saying, “I would refer you to the Department of Commerce.”
Fair enough. But you can hear her use the “I would refer you to” excuse in other clips.
For example, when asked about the Stormy Daniels affair, the press secretary first gave new life to the story by saying “we have won in arbitration” – then kept deflecting by saying “I would refer you to” at least three times to the question.
Look, I get it. Being a press secretary for Donald Trump is like trying to claim that burlap is Irish tweed. That being said, if you watch and listen to a Sarah Huckabee Sanders press conference, you can pick up subtle clues – when she wants to spew out the Presidential message, when she would rather talk about a cure for bunions, and whether she gets ready to rip a reporter’s head off.
Case in point. She does not like CNN’s Jim Acosta. Seriously. Every time she has to answer a question from Jim Acosta, it’s like she’d rather have a Maalox cocktail and chase it down with a shooter of Pepto-Bismol.
Just some things to keep in mind when one watches a Sarah Huckabee Sanders press conference.
They’re fun. If you know what to look for.
Believe me, you’re not going to get any truth or actual facts out of these conferences…
But you can get a ton of laughs out of them.
Trust me on this.