Tag Archive: Mike Huckabee

How would you like to hold a thankless job in which your boss loathes the media, the media in turn hates your boss, and you’re stuck in between?

To top it off, the White House press secretary is never good enough to satisfy all of the internal and external critics. There is also one “critic,” who is the most equal of all and demonstrates all the signs of being insatiable.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. July 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer just did Sarah Huckabee Sanders and by extension the entire nation a huge favor. He quit.

Please don’t let the door hit you too hard on the backside, Sean. You were overmatched for the job from day one. The only one who is crying is Melissa McCarthy of SNL.

As a former press secretary, albeit for a mere state (California), the author of Almost DailyBrett understands the pressure associated with being a message developer and voice for the administration, simultaneously charged with the caring, comforting and nurturing of the Capital Press Corps.

One of the major surprises in your author’s three-decade career in public relations is the inconvenient fact the majority of communications practitioners – particularly at PR firms — never come in contact with a living, breathing reporter/editor/correspondent.

These august professionals may talk a great game, but they literally run for cover when it comes time for on-the-record, stakes-are-high dialogue. Gasp … they  actually may be quoted/misquoted.

Standing Behind the White House Media Podium

Still remember sitting in the White House media center watching Ronald Reagan’s deputy press secretary Larry Speakes conduct the morning briefing with elite media — Helen Thomas (UPI), Sam Donaldson (ABC), Lesley Stahl (CBS) and Chris Wallace (NBC) — all sitting in the first row.

Serving as press secretary for the nation’s chief executive with a target on his or her back is the pinnacle of public relations. You have to be offensive without being offensive. Humor is a huge plus. Institutional knowledge is vital. Most of all you must instinctively know when to punt (e.g., “I don’t know”), buy time, and come back with a winning answer, which separates the enduring press secretaries with those who hide in the bushes.

Presidential press secretaries used to be an old boys club: Pierre Salinger, Ron Ziegler, Jody Powell, Speakes, Marlin Fitzwater, George Stephanopoulos …

Huckabee Sanders is now the third woman to hold the title of White House Press Secretary, serving as a lead on message development and delivering the daily briefings to the carnivorous media. Dee Dee Myers (Clinton, 1993-1994) was the first, Dana Perino (W. Bush, 2007-2009) was the second, and now Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Perino in her open-advice-to-Sarah-Huckabee-Sanders column implored her to embrace and enjoy the job, actually being thankful for the opportunity to serve.

As a woman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, 34, has already been viciously attacked for her appearance by Daily Beast columnist Ira Madison III. Madison tweeted that Sanders was a “butch queen first in drags at the ball.” Madison the Third later retracted the tweet and apologized, but his misogynist and homophobic digs have already left their mark.

To her credit, Huckabee Sanders has not overreacted to this insult. She knows more of the same, if not worse are in the offing. Think of it this way: she seems to be a natural for the job. After all she is the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and the contact sport of politics is not new to her.

Huckabee Sanders also understands that more heavy lifting is required for a Republican press secretary than those holding the same job for a Democratic incumbent. The media tilts heavily to the left, and appears in most cases to be incapable of being fair and objective to President Trump.

Life is not fair. Translated; the magnified challenges of this awesome responsibility under fire on an uneven playing field also provide tremendous opportunities for Sarah to distinguish herself as a good/great press secretary.

If Huckabee Sanders can turn the temperature down even just a hair, introduce a greater sense of professionalism to the White House briefings (e.g., turn the cameras back on) while at the same time, serving as an impassioned advocate for her boss and the administration, she will have done a great service to the nation.

More power to you, Sarah.













“Believe in the Power of the Run.” – Legendary University of Oregon and U.S. Olympic Team track coach Bill Bowerman

“Food is the enemy.” – Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

“Drive-throughs are killing more people than the drive-bys.” — LA Gangsta Community Gardener Ron Finley

Went to the big-box store looking for a men’s reversible belt. Supposedly, you are supposed to buy one size larger than your actual waistline.DSC02471

Let’s see: There is size 38, size 42, size 46, size 50 …

Where the heck is size 34? Do they still make size 34 belts, let alone anything smaller?

Your Almost DailyBrett author may be vertically challenged. There is no doubt he is follicly challenged. Damn it, he will not be horizontally challenged.

No convulations over my size 34 belt.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 34.9 percent of American adults or 78.6 million are obese. The added medical costs nationwide amount to $147 billion or about $1,429 in additional doctor visits for each obese adult.

Day-in, day-out millions of Americans are literally eating, smoking and/or drinking themselves into infirmary. Wheel chairs, scooters, canes and walkers are just waiting to be purchased (an unfortunate growth industry) and the kidney dialysis centers are popping up like Starbucks.

This trend has to stop.

When you think about people in wheelchairs you feel sorry and sad particularly for what they can’t do in their lives any longer. There world is literally getting smaller and more restricted with each and every day.

For some, this state of affairs was unavoidable and unfortunate. They deserve our sympathy and support.

For others …

And then, there are the 400,000 Americans who die each other because of smoking-related diseases. Can’t they read the warning labels? Ah, yes it is the nicotine talking; it is always the nicotine talking.

Without Limits

More than a few don’t want to hear anything about running. There is a commitment to a level of pain when it comes to getting into shape.

Some correctly believe that it’s near-insanity to wake up early in order to run in 16-degrees (ski cap, gloves, thermal undies); others may see this commitment as dedication.

And some may be concerned about running in 90+ degree heat; better make sure that plenty of water is available.

Why should we even consider running? How about because we want to not only live, but live well?

Literally hundreds of thousands of people outrun little ole me on a daily basis. They have the 13.1 or even better, 26.2 decals on the backs of their cars. These stickers are tributes to themselves and to Pheidippides, who according to myth immediately died after  running 26.2 miles to deliver the good news of “Victory” after the Battle of Marathon.marathon

In My Time of Dying

“I see the smiling faces; I know I must have left some traces; And I see them in the streets; And I see them in the field; And I hear them shouting under my feet … “– Robert Plant and Jimmy Page

At 11 minutes and 6 seconds, “In My Time of Dying” is the longest Led Zeppelin song ever recorded. For some reason, it seems to be an apt title for a run of almost two miles. There are times when you actually believe: This run is really In My Time of Dying.

The question that needs to be asked, besides the obvious bout against overweight/obesity, why take the time and effort (particularly in extreme temperatures) to make a commitment to fitness and staying in shape?

The answer is multi-fold, but one of them revolves around having clothes you wore 20 years ago still fitting. Another is the little extra bounce in your step that arises from increased stamina. And how about the prospect of living longer, doing more, being sharper and enjoying life to the fullest?

If one needs further stimulation consider a mobile device with Nike+ software. The little tyrant actually awards you video game-style “medals” just to make sure that you run more than 30 miles each month.stonescuba

When the author of Almost DailyBrett contemplates the Rolling Stones are still bringing it on the road, even visiting Cuba for the first time just last month, in their collective seventh or eighth decades (i.e., Ronnie Wood, 68; Keith Richards, 72; Mick Jagger, 72 and Charlie Watts, 74), one needs to rebel against a lethal sedentary lifestyle.

Watching Jagger dance and perform in his 70s for upwards of two hours with a reported waist line around 30 inches-or -so is simply awesome.

momsledPondering how my mumsy at 97-years young has kept her slender build, just renewed her driver’s license for FIVE MORE YEARS, and still goes to Curves three days a week is motivation enough for me, and maybe it should be inspirational for others as well.

Yes, I am a tad biased on this subject.

Her father, an avid fitness kind of guy, made it to 100-years-young with all of his personal transmission running just fine.

Happy Birthday mumsy. You are still ready to hit the sled and drive the nose guard off the ball.

Something tells me, she will see the century mark and then some.
















Former Republican Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, is not exactly an Occupy Wall Street kind of guy.

If you talked to the honorable governor, he would certainly declare his unfettered support for capitalism and free-and-fair global markets.

So it is tad notable to hear the governor on his syndicated radio show Wednesday morning blasting (putting it mildly) Spirit Airlines for being ruthless, resolute and stubborn over a measly $197, and causing literally millions of dollars of damage to the 48-year-old airline’s reputation and brand.

If you have not already heard this pathetic story, a 76-year-old ex-Vietnam War Marine, Jerry Meekins, paid $197 for a roundtrip ticket from Clearwater, Florida to Atlantic City, NJ to see his daughter after her surgery. Meekins’ cardinal sin was that he did not purchase trip insurance.


Two weeks later, Meekins’ found out that he has terminal esophageal cancer and his doctor ordered him not to fly. He asked for a refund from Spirit. No dice. Non-refundable tickets are non-refundable tickets. The Spirit lawyers did not want to set a “dangerous precedent” by allowing a terminally ill vet with a bonafied doctor’s note from being refunded the gigantic sum of $197.

In “defense” of Spirit Airlines, they offered him a $197 credit for a future flight.

Hello Spirit Airlines. Is anyone home?

The man is dying. He has no future. His oncologist told him that he can’t fly…and you are offering him a $197 future flight credit?

They also promised a “partial” refund, if he passed before or during the flight. What will a deceased person do with his or her partial refund? I am not making this up.

Checking out Spirit’s website (NASDAQ: SAVE), we learned just yesterday that the airline earned $23.8 million in the first quarter, causing the stock to advance nearly 5 percent to $24.11 in today’s trading. And the airline that makes a nearly $24 million quarterly profit can’t refund $197 (a rounding error) to a dying man, who served his country?

Meekins was a guest on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning complete with on-air graphics: “Mean Spirit’ed,” “Spiritually Inept” and “A Plane Shame.” Veterans have organized a “Boycott Spirit Airlines” Facebook page with nearly 20,000 “likes” and counting. Spirit’s brand and reputation are being permanently mauled in cyberspace and conventional media right before our very eyes, even prompting Governor Huckabee to implore the company to practice some basic public relations.

Meekins even suggested this morning on national television that Spirit should take appeals to its non-refundable ticket policy on a case-by-case basis. Seems like the ex-Marine has more public relations sense than the Miramar, Florida airline.

What has happened is that Spirit Airlines for being so obstinate and doctrinaire has generated a self-inflicted crisis communications drill. If the airline’s chief executive officer, Ben Baldanza, will not overrule his flat-earth lawyers, then Misty Pinson, the airline’s director of Corporate Communications needs to resign sending yet another message to management, and at the same time protecting her own reputation and brand. Remember: the most important public relations are personal public relations.

Dropping the hydrogen bomb on an employer should only be used in extreme cases, particularly in our long-term depressed economy. I opine that this incredible caper constitutes an extreme case. By staying, Ms. Pinson runs the risk of being permanently labeled in the PR Community as being the overseer of the Spirit Airlines PR debacle.


There is a growing trend for perspective employers to ask job candidates if there was ever a time that she or he considered resigning from a job because of moral or ethical concerns. This is a tricky question and it was posed to me.

I responded in the affirmative because it was the truth. My employer for 10 years was about to lay off 600 employees on September 12, 2001. As we all know, something very significant occurred on September 11, 2001. I wrote about this close call in Almost DailyBrett’s “Going to the Mat?” Fortunately, our management made the correct decision and postponed the 8 percent Reduction in Force (RIF) for a week. Whew.

There are times when the lawyers dig in their heels, arguing legal perfection to management. Sometimes these evil spirits win the battle, while a company’s reputation and brand lose the PR war.

Thursday update: Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza dismissed as “irrelevant” statistics showing that Spirit has the highest rate of customer complaints, and blamed cancer victim Jerry Meekins for not buying insurance. Meanwhile, the number of “likes” on the Boycott Spirit Airlines Facebook page now exceeds 26,000. The number of “likes” was 700 just 48 hours ago.











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