Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Sanders Will Give Republican SOTU Response

No, not that Sanders, although we would pay good money to see Bernie do his impression of a Republican responding to the State of the Union. In fact, the Sanders chosen to deliver the response to Joe Biden's address next week is Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AR).

This is a pretty savvy choice. She's still in Donald Trump's good graces, and so the selection won't set him and the Trumpy elements of the party off, the way that Ron DeSantis would. But she's also somewhat reserved, and so not likely to say something absolutely bonkers that could haunt the Republican Party. She's a woman, and of course the GOP is trying to make itself woman-friendly. And while she's not a presidential candidate (by all indications), she might plausibly be on the VP shortlist next year. So, the Party might just get some 2024 mileage out of this.

In short, the folks who make these decisions—primarily Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell—managed to find a suitable choice and to avoid any serious controversy. Though it would have been interesting to see dueling SOTU responses, one from a MAGA House member and one from a more sane Republican senator. (Z)

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