Sarah Huckabee Sanders is still reeling from a damning POLITICO profile about her apparent disinterest in governing Arkansas. But she had a chance to prove her critics wrong over the weekend, while tornadoes battered her home state, killing eight people.

Instead, she skipped town to attend a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Sanders was a guest Saturday at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, more than 755 miles from the Arkansas governor’s mansion in Little Rock. She posed for photos before the event and glad-handed with supporters.

All while declaring a state emergency and urging all Arkansas residents to follow guidance from local officials who were actually on the ground.

Unsurprisingly, her constituents weren’t pleased. Some of them aired their grievances on social media, which seems to be a focal point of Sanders’ political strategy.

“Gurl, you lost??? Eight people killed in tornadoes this morning and Huckaf*ck is in NC,” a user named “shelby” posted on X.

Though Sanders returned to Arkansas Sunday, her little vacay in the midst of severe weather invoked memories of Ted Cruz, who hopped on a flight to Cancún in early 2021 while Texas experienced a deadly cold snap. But in Cruz’s defense (words we loath to write), U.S. senators aren’t responsible for their state’s emergency management. That duty falls to the governor and her administration.

Ever since Sanders assumed office in January 2023, she’s seemingly been uninterested in the day-to-day aspects of governance. Her policies appear tailor-made for social media posts and Fox News chyrons, just like her old boss.

Sanders’ performative style is a stark difference from how her father, Mike Huckabee, and predecessor, Asa Hutchinson, governed The Natural State. With Democrats in control of the state legislature until 2013, Mike Huckabee and Hutchinson had to work cooperatively.

They also engaged with the local press. Mike Huckabee was known for returning reporters’ calls himself, while Hutchinson enjoyed a breezy rapport with reporters. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, meanwhile, holds few press conferences and seldom answers questions.

Rex Nelson, who worked as Mike Huckabee’s policy and comms director, didn’t mince words when talking about his daughter’s closed-off approach to the job.

“We are in a weird position of having a governor in this state who doesn’t seem to have much interest in governing Arkansas.”

What appears to interest Sanders is national adulation, and a possible spot in Trump’s cabinet. She’s made marginalizing the LGBTQ+ community a centerpiece of her administration, signing a bill that prohibits trans youth from using their preferred bathroom at school, and opening up the law to allow malpractice suits against doctors who administer gender-affirming care.

Teachers are also prohibited from referring to students with their preferred pronouns and a bill limiting drag performances. The word “Latinx,” and other gender-neutral terms, have been scrubbed from all state documents.

Emulating Ron “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis, Sanders hired Florida’s former education secretary, Jacob Oliva, to lead the department in Arkansas. One of her signature pieces of legislation, the LEARNS Act, bans “critical race theory” from being taught in public schools.

In a chilling example of historical symbolism, teachers and students from Little Rock Central High School are suing the state over the ban. Little Rock Central was the site of the historic 1957 racial desegregation crisis, where then-governor Orval Faubus dispatched the Arkansas National Guard to try and prevent nine Black students from entering the school.

Decades later, Sanders is using the state’s National Guard to fulfill her own hateful stunts, such as when she sent soldiers to the Texas-Mexico border. Sanders told POLITICO she wouldn’t hesitate to send the Arkansas National Guard to blue states under a second Trump administration, if asked.

The POLITICO piece juxtaposes Sanders’ cruelty with the devastation facing communities in her state. One anecdote highlights her trip to a rural town called Wynne, which she declared the state’s “Capital for a Day.” The writer mentions that roofs and trees in the town were still damaged from a tornado in 2023 that killed four people and leveled the high school.

“I don’t know how many people I’ve had say to me, had I known what [state government] was going to look like under Gov. Sanders, I wouldn’t have voted for her,” said Republican state Rep. Jim Wooten.

Sullied with a lower approval rating than her dad, Sanders has spent her first 16 months in office fending off spending scandals, ranging from her $19,029.25 podium to VIP family trip to the Super Bowl, which she says she paid for out-of-pocket on her annual salary of $158,739.

Meanwhile, Arkansas currently ranks fourth worst state in the nation when it comes to households living below the federal poverty level, second worst state in the nation when it comes to safety, and absolute worst in the nation when it comes to health.

As for LGBTQ+ people, the HRC’s State Equality Index currently categorizes it as “high priority to achieve basic equality,” the index’s lowest ranking.

Suffice to say, Sanders doesn’t have a great record. Yet, NASCAR invited her to the Coca-Cola 600. Her ex-boss, America’s most infamous criminal defendant, also enjoyed the proceedings.

Hosting Trump and Sanders days before Pride Month isn’t the best look for NASCAR, which claims it wants to diversify its audience amidst sagging TV ratings.

Showcasing Sanders, one of the most anti-LGBTQ+ governors in the country, contradicts that supposed mission.

It was just two years ago when NASCAR started Pride Month with an opaque apology to the LGBTQ+ community, pledging to be better allies. Though NASCAR didn’t further explain the statement, reporters and advocates speculated it was issued in response to the outcry over the organization hosting Greg Abbott at an event.

With June just days away, perhaps NASCAR is crafting another statement of apology. It’s a Pride tradition, after all.

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