The mass shooting in Orlando, sure to be the top news story in America for days to come, will be a test and an opportunity for leaders and for aspiring leaders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Exactly how will depend on how facts develop surrounding two factors: the gunman’s motivation, and how he got his two guns. Initial information suggests that the attacker, Omar Mateen, was motivated at least in part by Islamic radicalism, in which case the ensuing debate will center on terrorism, which is already the focus of Trump and other Republicans. Clinton and other Democrats are framing a gun-control debate with the potential extra element of anti-gay hatred, which Mateen’s family members believe motivated him. In addition, he reportedly worked in security and was fully licensed to own guns.
The test for Trump will be avoiding gaffes that would further enrage Muslims after his proposal to ban them temporarily from entering the country. Shortly after noon Sunday he tweeted “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism,” though Matteen’s motivation was far from clear at the time of his tweet. As the presumed Republican nominee, he’ll now be expected to propose a comprehensive response to terrorism. What will it be?
If Mateen was motivated in part by anti-gay prejudice, Trump’s public statements may be revealing on an issue he has largely sidestepped so far. LGBT voters favor Clinton overwhelmingly, and Trump’s core supporters are culturally conservative. But Trump has also, surprisingly, attracted a small band of gay supporters. “Donald Trump is the most pro-gay Republican nominee ever,” Chris Barron, the former national political director of the gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans, said last week. That assessment is based largely on Trump’s pre-campaign behavior – contributing to AIDS charities, attending Elton John’s wedding, and seeming to support same-sex marriage, though as a candidate he has opposed it. What will he say now?
The test and opportunity for Clinton and for all political leaders is to move these debates forward. Terrorism, gun control, anti-gay bias – these are long-established issues. Republicans and Democrats have dug their trenches, and in trench warfare there’s little movement. The Orlando incident, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, offers a chance for any leader to say something new and unexpected. That’s risky, of course. We’ll see if anyone is willing to take the risk.
One other angle. I’ve been suggesting for weeks that this year’s Libertarian Party ticket could be a surprise game-changer. Though the party has never won even 1% of the vote in a presidential election, it was attracting 10% support in polling a month ago, then 11% after it nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as its ticket, then 12% last week. While Johnson is far from a pure libertarian and Weld isn’t really a libertarian at all, party doctrine has long advocated total abolition of gun control. Johnson and Weld will have to answer very tough questions this week.
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What We’re Reading Today
Verizon, AT&T reach final round of Yahoo bidding
The two wireless competitors will offer a third-round bid in a deal that Marissa Mayer‘s Yahoo wants to finalize by end of July. Lowell McAdam‘s Verizon has long been considered the front-runner for Yahoo’s Internet business, but the company’s bid was reportedly at the low end of the $3.5-billion-to-$5-billion range of offers Yahoo received. Also making it to the final round was a consortium led by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, which is backed by Warren Buffett. Reuters
Walgreens to cut ties with Theranos
Stefano Pessina‘s company will close all 40 Theranos Wellness Centers in its Arizona stores; Walgreens had already distanced itself from the struggling blood tester. It’s the latest setback for Elizabeth Holmes‘s company, which is under federal investigation of its testing equipment and procedures. Last month the company voided two years of test results. CNBC
Bernie Sanders declines conceding the race
He reiterated Sunday that he will take his campaign to the convention yet didn’t say he would challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination. Clinton, who has wrapped up the delegates needed for the Democratic nomination, received endorsements from President Obama and other high-profile Democrats last week. Sanders’s tone signals he understands he won’t win but may be angling to advance his ideas in the party platform. NYT
Uber hires private investigators who pose as journalists…
…to gather information about opponents in lawsuits, or so say new accusations. In defending against a class action suit claiming Uber’s surge pricing is a monopolistic practice, CEO Travis Kalanick‘s company hired a P.I. firm called Ergo to investigate the plaintiffs and their lawyers. The investigators posed as journalists to gather information about the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Andrew Schmidt. Uber acknowledges that it hired the firm but denies it directed the investigators to misrepresent themselves. The judge will require Uber and the firm to release documents from the investigation. Fortune
Building a Better Leader
Leaders can take many steps to develop employees
Daily efforts, including one-on-ones, performance appraisals, and spontaneous slices of advice can help workers develop continually. SmartBrief
Avoid hiring the hotshot
People who are toxic to a team and have an air of entitlement are probably not employees you can spend much time with. Fortune
Getting less done can actually be better…
…than tackling a massive to-do list. Focus instead on the few tasks that are really important and have long-term value. Signal v. Noise
Orlando Shooting Response
FBI investigated Orlando shooter twice
The accused assailant in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Omar Mateen, was investigated by the FBI over his potential radical leanings. Both times, results were deemed inconclusive. Just before the shooting at the Orlando gay nightclub, Mateen called local authorities to proclaim his allegiance to Islamic State. WSJ
In comments Sunday night, President Obama said “we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be” while discussing gun control. Mateen used an assault rifle that’s easy to purchase in Florida. Fortune
Trump and Clinton differ widely in comments
Shortly after the shooting, Donald Trump expressed concern for the victims and then said he was right about “radical Islamic terrorism.” Hillary Clinton also focused first on the victims, then outlined her views on terrorism, gay rights, and gun control. Chicago Tribune
Up or Out
Wal-Mart will move China head Sean Clarke to CEO of its British stores, Asda. WSJ
Fortune Reads and Videos
Symantec to buy Blue Coat for $4.65 billion
The deal comes just two weeks after Blue Coat filed for its initial public offering. Fortune
AmEx and the U.S. Golf Association agree to a new deal
At the U.S. Open, which begins Thursday, they will announce an extension of a 10-year sponsorship that began in 2007. Fortune
Facebook accidentally said the Philippines was at war
The message, meant to celebrate Independence Day, was misconstrued because of the Philippine flag colors used in the post. Fortune
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda reacted to the Orlando shooting…
…while walking the red carpet at last night’s Tony Awards. “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” he said. Fortune
Quote of the Day
“Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history…[a] further reminder of how easily it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that allows them to shoot someone in a school, a house of worship, a movie theater, or a night club…We have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.” — President Obama responding to the Orlando shooting. Fortune