Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

Depending on whom you ask, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's State of the Union response this week was either going to save the modern Republican Party or kill conservatism.

This week, those differing responses evoked two different hashtags. Both, in some ways, were about Haley's heritage, and they bring to light the tricky way she'll have to navigate race should she take on a more prominent role in the 2016 election.

#DeportNikkiHaley

Phil Robertson, patriarch of the hit A&E reality show Duck Dynasty, has endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president. The announcement was made with a YouTube video showing Robertson and Cruz in full camo gear and face paint, hunting ducks.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is responsible for this week's meme. During a town hall in Bridgton, Maine, Wednesday night, he spoke about Maine's drug problem, positing a theory on how some of the narcotics in the state make it in. He said the following:

Everyone agrees that Hillary Clinton is a grandmother. But some aren't so sure she's an abuela.

In a wide-ranging interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, President Obama had some advice for college protesters across the country.

It seems everybody loves Beyoncé. But not everyone can say her name.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked about the performer Wednesday by an audience member at a town hall in Iowa: "If you could choose, would you rather be the president or Beyoncé?"

A day before the last Republican presidential debate of the year, two Republican candidates held rallies near the Las Vegas strip, less than a mile apart. In spite of their proximity, the events had almost nothing in common.

Marco Rubio was in a medium-size hotel ballroom, with a few hundred people in attendance. It seemed, at first, that Rubio might struggle to fill the room, as supporters came in slowly. But fill it did.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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As soon as Donald Trump announced that he'd gained the endorsement of 100 black ministers from across the country on Monday, there were skeptics.

The claim came just days after the presidential candidate said of an African-American Black Lives Matter protester who was beaten up at a Trump event, "Maybe he deserved to be roughed up."

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Socialism can mean different things to different people, and as NPR's Sam Sanders reports, that perception depends a lot on your age.

There are certain weeks when one thing, one moment, one meme takes over the entire Internet. Like the week Beyonce's surprise album dropped. Or when Kim Kardashian and her derriere covered Paper Mag. Or when Alex From Target happened, whatever that was.

So far, Jeb Bush's presidential campaign has had some interesting — if not downright awkward — moments, multiple instances in which Bush was close to something exciting, or funny, or powerful, but then it just didn't work.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a mega-church near Dallas invited every presidential candidate, Democrat and Republican, to a forum on faith and politics yesterday. Six showed up. NPR's Sam Sanders was there too and has this report.

A few hours before the start of this week's Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, the tweets started to pour in.

They all had the same, strange hashtag: #FeelTheChafe, a reference to the #FeelTheBern Bernie Sanders supporters were using to rally around their candidate. But it had a snarky twist for Lincoln Chafee, the former Rhode Island governor and senator, who's been, so far, a much less popular presidential candidate.

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