Because of the terrorist attack in France, Donald Trump this morning is delaying his scheduled announcement of his running mate. But let’s assume, I think safely, that it’s Indiana Governor Mike Pence. To the vast ocean of reportage and analysis the expected announcement is bringing forth, I add only a few drops, in the form of three questions:
-What overlooked facts will be revealed by the unprecedented scrutiny Pence is about to undergo? Hippocrates wrote the No. 1 rule of choosing a running mate: First, do no harm. V.p. nominees rarely help the presidential nominee much or at all but can do a world of damage. Modern campaign operations vet potential v.p.’s with extraordinary intensity, but a) Trump’s organization has shown itself to be amateurish so far, and b) even highly professional organizations are no match for a global army of reporters digging into one person’s life. The next few weeks will tell whether Pence is a liability because of embarrassments in his past, or, ideally for Trump, a competent, harmless, mostly invisible appendage to the campaign.
-How will Pence answer questions about supporting Trump’s most controversial positions? For example, does he agree that Senator and Vietnam prisoner of war John McCain was not a hero? Or that waterboarding “is great”? As a born-again Christian, does he agree with Trump’s theory that the IRS audits him every year because he’s “a strong Christian”? These and several other uncomfortable and inevitable questions for Pence are offered in this New York Times piece.
-For Pence, will accepting this role be “buying a ticket on the Titanic”? That’s how South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham described the Trump v.p. slot before Trump’s choice was known. Many prominent Republicans are refusing to board the Titanic, skipping the convention next week in order to avoid any association with Trump. Pence was in a tight re-election race in Indiana, but he had to drop that in order to run for vice president. So if Trump doesn’t win, Pence will hold no office. If he then wanted to continue in politics, the great question would be whether four months of running alongside Trump improved or diminished his prospects. Say this for Pence: He’s willing to make an enormous gamble.
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What We’re Reading Today
French president labels attack terrorism
In a late-night speech, President Francois Hollande called the attack, which killed 84, terrorism stemming from conflict in Iraq and Syria. He added that France will increase its military operations in those countries. The driver of the truck that tore through a Bastille Day celebration in Nice has been identified as 31-year-old French-Tunisian citizen Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. ABC News
Bayer raises offer for Monsanto
Werner Baumann‘s Bayer is now bidding $65 billion, a 40% premium over Monsanto’s closing price yesterday. But analysts believe Hugh Grant‘s company is unlikely to accept the higher bid, in part because of the chance that a deal wouldn’t win regulatory approval. Monsanto, which is also reportedly in talks to buy BASF’s agriculture unit, will review the offer before announcing its response. CNBC
Microsoft wins appeal on overseas data
The company had been ordered to provide a customer’s emails, stored overseas, to U.S. authorities investigating a narcotics case. But the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed the decision, saying the U.S. reach doesn’t extend to data stored on overseas servers. Satya Nadella‘s company argued that forcing Microsoft to hand over the emails could prompt other countries to do the same to U.S. citizens. Fortune
Final bids for Yahoo due Monday
Marissa Mayer‘s company is then expected to decide fairly quickly who will win the rights to Yahoo’s Internet business. Final bids are expected from Lowell McAdam‘s Verizon, Randall Stephenson‘s AT&T, Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert (backed in part by Warren Buffett), and a few private equity firms. NYT
Building a Better Leader
When businesses get political…
…it’s often because they’re forced to. Activists may attract attention by demanding that a company take a stand on a political issue. In other cases businesses judge that their customers mostly support a position, leading the NBA and Google, for example, to oppose a transgender bathroom law in North Carolina. Stanford Insights
The less vacation time you use…
…the less likely it is that you will be promoted. Those taking 10 or fewer days a year were promoted less often than those taking 11 or more. Fortune
How are you going to keep the company weird?
It’s a question Method co-founder Eric Ryan asks every job candidate because it reinforces the culture he’s trying to create, and he finds it’s a way to gauge a person’s trustworthiness. Inc.
Trump delays VP announcement
Donald Trump is delaying his scheduled announcement of his running mate because of the terrorist attack in France. By many accounts, he will name Indiana Governor Mike Pence. While staunch conservatives will likely cheer the pick, Pence is relatively unknown nationally. CBS News
Silicon Valley leaders aren’t Trump fans
In a letter published on Medium, 145 Silicon Valley leaders said “Trump would be a disaster for innovation.” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, and Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman are among signers of the letter, which criticized Trump for campaigning on “bigotry” and preying on “fear of new ideas.” Fox News
Facebook preemptively defends itself against Thiel’s GOP speech
PayPal co-founder and Facebook director Peter Thiel will speak at the Republican National Convention, but Facebook wants it known that he’s speaking for himself. Mark Zuckerberg‘s company released a statement saying Thiel is not attending as a Facebook representative. Facebook stepped into a political quagmire earlier this year when it was accused of stifling conservative news content on its site. Fortune
Fortune Reads and Videos
JPMorgan Chase has added 2,626 jobs…
…in the past three months. And it added 2,800 new employees in the first quarter. Fortune
T-Mobile jumps on the Pokemon Go bandwagon
CEO John Legere announced that gamers won’t be charged for the data they use while playing the game for a year. Fortune
Line becomes the year’s biggest U.S. IPO
The messaging app raised $1.14 billion and jumped 26% from its offering price by day’s end. It’s a bright spot in a bad year for IPOs. Fortune
Google plans to host a gaming conference
It’s for startup game makers only; no public companies are allowed to participate. Fortune
German Chancellor Angela Merkel turns 62 on Sunday. Biography