Everyone in the world of politics and everyone interested in it spent yesterday absorbing a new reality: Donald Trump, after his powerful victory in New York, is now far likelier to be the Republican nominee than he had been 24 hours earlier. A President Trump still looks extremely unlikely – latest polling shows that two-thirds of Americans regard him unfavorably, a truly remarkable statistic – but then he was also an unlikely Republican candidate 10 months ago. So here’s your reading list for understanding Trump more deeply and for gauging what’s likely to happen at the convention in July.
-First and foremost, check Fortune’s comprehensive new article, out today, called “Business the Trump Way.” Months in the making, it examines Trump’s career and in the process conveys much about his character. It also investigates exhaustively his net worth. Conclusion: He’s a billionaire but not nearly as rich as he loudly claims. Unsurprisingly, he strongly disputes Fortune’s numbers, though he has so far not made good on his promise to release his tax returns.
-In conjunction with the article, read Stephen Gandel’s interview with Trump, the full text of which was also posted this morning. What comes through, at least to me, is how utterly unprepared he is to answer basic questions about important policy issues. Pressed on his stunningly unrealistic pledge to eliminate the federal debt in eight years, he essentially withdraws the pledge entirely. Asked about Janet Yellen and interest rate policy, he is clearly winging it; he offers no clue as to what he might actually favor.
-As attention focuses even more intensely on delegate counts at the Republican convention, the New York Times’ Nate Cohn points out a potentially significant fact that most other analysts are missing: 54 of Pennsylvania’s 71 delegates will go to the election unpledged, and the voters who elect them next Tuesday won’t even know which candidate each one favors. Those 54 delegates, Cohn calculates, could make the difference in whether Trump gets 1,237 votes on the first ballot for a clear majority.
-But other analysts, including party insiders, now believe Trump won’t need 1,237 pledged delegates. They figure that some 200 delegates will be unpledged on the first ballot, and if Trump arrives in Cleveland within 100 votes of a majority, he might well be able to persuade enough of the unpledged to support him and thus win on the first ballot. This Politico article explains.
-And Republican strategist Steve Schmidt believes Trump won’t have to bother. He argues that after the June 7 California primary, Trump will have accumulated at least 50 more pledged delegates than he needs. There will be no second ballot, Schmidt believes.
Maybe you were thinking – hoping – that you wouldn’t really have to study up on Trump. Well, it’s time to confront reality. Let’s get started.
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What We’re Reading Today
VW emissions deal agreed to
Volkswagen has agreed in principal with regulators to buy back 85% of the 600,000 cars at the center of its emissions scandal. Matthias Müller‘s company will buy back all 2.0 liter vehicles; 3.0 liter vehicles are expected to receive a mechanical fix. The agreement comes as U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer set a deadline for today for VW to come up with a sufficient plan to address the cheating software. He must first approve the deal. Fortune
Japan raids Mitsubishi’s offices
The investigation comes after Mitsubishi Motors President Tetsuro Aikawa announced that the company had found instances where employees provided false data to improve vehicle mileage rates and cheat emissions tests. Japanese authorities raided Mitsubishi’s second largest plant in Okazaki. The cheating efforts affected 157,000 Mitsubishi vehicles and 468,000 Nissan cars. BBC
Big changes ahead for the Trump campaign
Donald Trump is taking steps to overhaul his campaign, including using teleprompters and hiring a speechwriter. He will also give a speech on foreign affairs on April 27 and reach out to Washington GOP leaders. The evolution of the campaign comes as Trump must walk a tightrope to win enough delegates before the Republican National Convention in July. WSJ
Obama heads to England
President Barack Obama is flying to London today, after his visit in Saudi Arabia. He will meet with Queen Elizabeth, other members of the Royal Family, and Prime Minister David Cameron. Most interesting will be whether Obama will discuss Brexit on English soil. He’s been vocal in his opposition to the idea of the U.K. breaking away from the European Union. USA Today
Building a Better Leader
The threat of men making less than their female spouse…
…makes them act differently, even doing less work around the house. Harvard Business Review
One reason lying on resumes has increased…
We have more jobs and take on more roles in the office. And some believe that hiring managers won’t do any resume fact checks. Fortune
When facing a crisis…
…it’s best to tell your story, and tell it fast. You become the storyteller-in-chief to help your team understand what happened. SmartBrief
Apple postpones reporting results…
…by one day, due to a memorial service for legendary Silicon Valley mentor Bill Campbell. Campbell was a well known advisor to the late Steve Jobs, and an instrumental figure in Silicon Valley. Fortune
Three charged in Flint crisis
A Flint employee and two state workers tasked with testing water quality were charged in covering up lead contamination in the water that flowed to Flint. They’re the first to be charged. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said that more charges would come, but would not say if that would include Gov. Rick Snyder. NYT
Drama unfolds at ‘Live’
Host of Live! With Kelly and Michael Kelly Ripa has reportedly left the show until at least Tuesday. According to reports, she is unhappy about how she learned of fellow host Michael Strahan‘s decision to decamp to Good Morning America. She’s threatening not to come back to work until Strahan leaves the show for good, as he fulfills his contract. Yahoo
Up or Out
Yelp hired Charles “Lanny” Baker as its CFO. WSJ
Fortune Reads and Videos
UnitedHealth isn’t totally dropping out of the insurance exchanges
It will still offer plans in New York, Nevada, and Atlanta (even though it’s leaving Georgia’s exchange), among others. Fortune
Google and Apple employees really like…
…Bernie Sanders. And they’re not thrilled with Donald Trump. Fortune
Business travelers keep ordering more Ubers and Lyfts
The car sharing services make up nearly half of all rides that business travelers expense. Fortune
McDonald’s is testing out a bigger Big Mac
And a smaller version, too. Fortune