Sam Sanders

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

Twitter seems simple — just type in 140 characters and hit enter, right? But Twitter can be tough. Building an audience. Keeping that audience. Finding a voice. Cutting through all the chatter. It's a lot, especially if you're a busy elected official.

Well, elected officials, fear not! Twitter itself is here to help. NPR recently discovered that the social media giant has a very special handbook just for people running for elected office. And it's 136 pages long.

There's getting a little choked up. There's shedding a few tears. There's full-on crying. And then, there's John Boehner, American politics' crier-in-chief.

This week, (soon to be former) Speaker of the House Boehner's tear ducts stole the show yet again, definitely upstaging the Pope's little black Fiat and newly-named baby panda Bei Bei to become our #MemeOfTheWeek.

So, what happened?

Sometimes on the campaign trail candidates will say a thing that reveals something not just about them, but about the nation. One of those moments seems to have come over the issue of faith in presidential politics, after Ben Carson and Donald Trump each spoke about Muslims in America.

Sunday on NBC's Meet The Press, Carson was asked by host Chuck Todd what could have been a pretty innocuous question: Should your faith matter to voters?

Carson began his response, "Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is."

We knew going into this week that any meme we picked would be associated with this Wednesday's GOP debates at the Reagan Library. And because the Internet is consistently awesome, we weren't disappointed. This week, the meme we loved most was Vine-ification of this week's debates.

How'd We Pick This One?

Here's a riddle: Two senators and two governors walk into a presidential library. Where are they seated once they arrive?

Answer: The kids' table. Well, the kids' table DEBATE. That's what a lot of people have taken to calling the second-tier Republican presidential debates, those held for GOP contenders who haven't cracked the Top 10 in polls.

Last week, we highlighted the Internet's highjacking of the #StandWithRand selfie. It was an example, we pointed out, of the Internet being the place "where things go to go wrong."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



And NPR's Sam Sanders is at that rally on the Capitol that Mara just talked about. He joins me now. Hey there, Sam.


CORNISH: So tell us. What's the scene like out there?

In his appearance on the first Late Show to feature new host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday night, Jeb Bush seemingly had an opportunity to finally generate some much-needed energy. But for the most part, he did not.

The Internet is already having a field day with the 2016 presidential campaign. Whether it was conservatives calling out stereotypical #HillaryMen, criticizing Bobby Jindal's racial politics with #BobbyJindalSoWhite, and pretty much everything Donald Trump does, the Web, particularly Twitter, has been taking politicians' best intentions, and with dizzying speed, tearing them all to shreds. We plan to highlight those memes throughout the campaign. This week's entry: the failure of the Rand Paul selfie app.

What Is The "Stand With Rand" Meme?

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For some time now, Donald Trump has been attacking Jeb Bush, mostly in media appearances or on Twitter. But, over the last few weeks, Trump has been using Instagram in his fight.

Trump has been posting campaign-style short videos to his Instagram feed, attacking Bush's record of support for the Iraq War and even posting a video of Jeb's mother, Barbara, urging him not to run for president.

In a unanimous decision, the National Labor Relations Board has rejected Northwestern University football players' petition to form a union by declining to assert jurisdiction in the case.

The decision effectively overturns a 2014 ruling by an NLRB regional director that found the athletes meet the broad definitions of employees under federal law and thereby could form what would have been the nation's first student-athlete union.

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Civil rights icon and former NAACP chairman Julian Bond has died at the age of 75. Bond passed away Saturday night in Florida after a brief illness. For decades, he was involved in a broad struggle for equal rights. NPR's Sam Sanders has this remembrance.

Ferguson, Mo., officials said Wednesday that the state of emergency in the town will continue at least one more day. Demonstrations that marked the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown along with gunfire that erupted Sunday night led to the emergency declaration. Police say a suspected gunman, who was shot by police, was not part of the protest rallies.

Jimmy Carter revealed Wednesday that he has cancer. Carter, 90 released a short statement with the news:

"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

Set your alarm clocks. The Perseid meteor shower, the annual celestial lightshow that com calls the most widely observed and dependable meteor display of the year, will peak tonight and early tomorrow morning.

The list of celebrities-turned-politicians grows longer.

Former child actor Melissa Gilbert is running as a Democrat in Michigan's 8th congressional district against first-term Republican Mike Bishop.

The district covers Lansing and some northern Detroit suburbs, and it's a competitive one. President Obama won it in 2008, but Republican Mitt Romney carried it in 2012.

On Monday, Google CEO Larry Page announced the formation of a new parent company for Google called Alphabet. Page describes Alphabet as a collection of companies including Google, Life Sciences (which focuses on medicine and health issues), and Calico (a company that claims to tackle aging), among others.