Governor Hobbs Calling for Charges Against Trump? A Cautionary Tale


When it comes to the first year for Governor Katie Hobbs, it has been somewhat turbulent. It began with numerous missteps but seems to have course-corrected after the hiring of her new Chief of Staff (you can get up to date here). That said, recent actions have shown that unforced errors may be nearly impossible to avoid without keeping her entirely away from a microphone.

Governor Hobbs recently made big waves by stating that former-President Trump should have charges pressed against him for election interference in the 2020 election in Arizona. Now that Democrat Kris Mayes is our state AG, this is not outside the realm of possibility. This was in response to a question about whether Arizona should follow Georgia’s path after it pressed charges related to Trump’s interference into their election.

It should be noted that in Georgia’s case, there was a recorded phone call that clearly depicts Trump literally asking election officials to “find” enough votes for him to win the state. While there was clear evidence that Trump and his team made calls to Arizona officials related to the election, and it is likely that there was a similar request to find enough votes for him to win, as of writing there has not been the sort of smoking gun evidence as there is in Georgia.

However, more damning was the Hobbs’s administration’s response. Her Communications Director then had to do damage control and state that Governor Hobbs misheard the question. Pure crisis management due to an unforced error.

It could have been an off-the-cuff political move for Hobbs, considering that Trump fans were unlikely to support her anyway. But in reality it probably is more a representation of her thoughts and attitudes towards the former President. After all, this is directly in the wake of the revelation that she attempted to have Twitter intervene after she used the platform to call his follower base “neo-Nazi”. Such another unforced error simply seems to give more fuel to the fire that she is more engaged with a disdain for Trump than she is leading for all Arizonans.

Regardless of one’s thoughts on Trump, it is not in the jurisdiction of the governor to press charges. While certainly she is well within her rights to have an opinion, there is also wisdom to be found in not expressing your opinion whenever it is asked. While we all say that we want straight-talking politicians, in reality that is often not the case. The best politicians know when to properly dodge a question and when to answer one.

Now we perhaps see why her campaign handlers avoided a debate during her successful campaign; that they can’t trust her to say something that won’t make the rest of the team do damage control. Now that there is some blood in the water, we may see news outlets more aggressively pushing for answers to awkward questions. The Hobbs Team would be well advised to find a way to teach her the importance of silence, sooner rather than later.