Sarah Huckabee Sanders' SOTU response was important not for what it said but what it didn't

The 14-minute speech was a call to arms for the Republican culture war, but was also a challenge to the party itself

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders
(Image credit: Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

Being tapped to deliver your party's official response to a president's State of the Union address is something of a mixed blessing. On one hand, it's a heartening vote of confidence from one's peers that you are the person best suited to represent them and their interests to a broad national audience. On the other, a look at the recent slate of SOTU respondees is as much an exercise in just trying to remember who some of these people even are, as it is a list of major power players in present-day American politics. The tightrope act between "impactful" and "irrelevance," between "future of the party" and "forgotten remnant of the past," is a tough one to manage for even the most adept political practitioners, making the responses to the State of the Union in many ways a more interesting, more high risk/high reward occasion than the main event. Here's everything you need to know about this year's rebuttal:

What were the main takeaways?

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