Mere weeks from now Donald Trump, in essence, will be elected the next governor of Arkansas.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, like virtually all Republicans in this state and nationwide, has supplicated herself to the great orange one like vendors calling on the Walmart Home Office.
Two of Sanders’ frequent TV spots show her ensconced in her own Mar-a-Lago. While not as palatial as that spread in Florida, her home in these ads — whether in Arkansas or some leafy Virginia or Maryland D.C. suburb — represents a disconnect from most folk in the state except for those in certain Northwest Arkansas subdivisions or the reaches of west Little Rock.
In my least favorite of these homebody spots, Sanders professes to have had plenty of practice saying “no” as a mom, which prepared her for her post in the White House press briefing room. A vignette of life in Sandersville ensues. Her three absolutely cute kids have stacked dozens of wine glasses pyramid style in an HGTV-worthy kitchen and family room space. Antics approach cataclysm till Mom steps in. The boys are then interrupted mid-clip in do-it-yourself haircuts. Then the worst offense demanding the firmest “No” — the boys are watching CNN, not Fox.
But mercy me! What is a Ouachita Baptist University alum and daughter of an ordained Baptist minister doing with all those wine glasses in the first place?
A “No” theme has no place in Arkansas. It took a lot of positivity to create the Land of Opportunity in general and the piping-hot economy of Northwest Arkansas specifically. Thank goodness for “Yes!”
In her other “We’re just like you” commercial, it’s 7-year-old George alone. Seriously, he has a future in dramatic arts.
This time “Biden’s inflation” is the ill to be cured by electing Sanders; never mind this financial plight is mirrored across the globe. To illustrate, earnest, hard-working George completes his assigned chores about the estate. Filling the dog bowls — actually overly so. Mowing a backyard the size of a football field with a push mower no less. And something akin to composting the clippings. Yet all that sweat of his brow earns a meager $2. My grandparents paid me twice that much in 1960 for lawns seemingly half the size.
Nevertheless, even with such low pay, George offers a cheery “Thank you, Mommy” and heads to the store for his favorite box of Little Debbie oatmeal cakes. How apropos since a quarter of the world supply of Little Debbie cakes is baked right here in Arkansas, in Gentry.
Sadly, the $2 couldn’t cover the inflated retail. By my reckoning from recent visits to Walmart and Harp’s, George needed about 50 cents more for his reward. Or a trip instead to the outlet store in Gentry. Inflation’s not the only problem. He and Mom need a session at the dining room bargaining table over higher wages and a riding mower.
These commercials with such lovely children support the tried, true axiom of advertising: babies and puppies sell stuff.
A later spot is not cute. It’s full of national Republican vs. Democrat buzzwords — the liberal Biden agenda alone has created a national drug problem (and therefore one in Arkansas). Because of Sleepy Joe, Little Rock is the most crime-ridden of all state capitals. Gee, Sarah, I bet the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau is pleased with that plug. If Little Rock is that unsafe, then how is it Biden’s fault? Our governor has been a Republican for the last two terms. Also in this one, Sanders blows that old dog whistle “Defund the Police,” promising, of course, that she’s a law-and-order candidate. But was such ever a real issue in Arkansas? Not even in the most recent and egregious example of police erring at the convenience store in Mulberry has that defund motto gained traction here.
Democrat Chris Jones is a viable, absolutely worthy gubernatorial candidate. He offers a refreshing alternative. But to paraphrase the colorfully cocky and outrageous former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, the only way Sanders can lose is if she’s found in a tryst with a dead man or a live woman. Given continued right-wing support for such as Herschel Walker, I’m not sure even that would doom a win for Trump’s former press secretary.
Thus, my hope is that state has budgeted extra for oatmeal cakes and replacement wine glasses in the Governor’s Mansion. The Sanders young’uns are on their way.
Ted Talley is a resident of Bentonville who has lived in the Ozarks more than 25 years. His email is [email protected] aol.com .