Yet another pattern being broken in this bizarre political year: Summer is not the usual sleepy news-free season when the political conventions, though little more than high-budget infomercials, are the only big thing happening. Instead, the news events of just the past few days are so significant that both parties’ conventions will have to address them directly, transforming these extravaganzas of balloon dropping into real-time leadership auditions for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and their parties. The issues demanding attention are numerous and include many that a president must confront:
-Yesterday’s police shootings in Baton Rouge, just 10 days after the Dallas shootings, require the candidates to address race relations, police behavior, deep anger across society generally, law and order, and gun control. Will Trump and Clinton speak substantively on these difficult issues, potentially chilling the celebratory atmosphere of their coronations, or will they stick with platitudes? Or will they assign surrogates to talk about the downbeat stuff earlier in the convention?
-The failed military coup in Turkey poses hard questions about foreign policy, our allies, and Middle East strategy. In the early hours of the crisis, President Obama said, “All parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government,” but now that the dust has settled, many are wondering how democratic it is. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, already under fire for dictator-like behavior, almost immediately began a purge that went well beyond the military, dismissing 2,745 judges within 24 hours. Should this person be a U.S. ally? Or is Turkey, a NATO member, so critical to the fight against ISIS in neighboring Syria and Iraq that we simply must work with its government? “We stand by the government of Turkey,” Secretary of State John Kerry said over the weekend; hours later, a Turkish government minister publicly accused the U.S. of being secretly behind the coup attempt. Do Trump and Clinton agree with Kerry?
-The Bastille Day truck attack in Nice is beginning to look less like the act of a deranged loner (though he was that) and more like an act of ISIS-inspired martyrdom, say French authorities. That brings the issue home, because the attack looks similar to the Orlando nightclub shooting last month. Will Donald Trump respond by stating some version of his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. (which his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, denounced as “unconstitutional” when Trump first made it)? Or will he repeat his proposed ban on visitors from “terrorist nations,” and if so, would those nations include France, which has been home to the perpetrators of three serious terrorist attacks in the past 19 months? Will Clinton make specific proposals to prevent terrorism in the U.S., or will she turn the focus on gun control? And if so, what about truck control?
The hardest questions of domestic and foreign policy are making bigger headlines than the presidential election. If Trump and Clinton want attention for their conclaves, they’ll have to raise their parties’ games way above their usual snore-worthy summertime standard.
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What We’re Reading Today
SoftBank to buy ARM for $32 billion
Masayoshi Son‘s company will own the world’s most important designer of processors for mobile devices; its future hinges on the Internet of Things. Softbank promises to double ARM’s headcount in its U.K. home over the next five years and to expand elsewhere as well. Fortune
Turkey continues crackdown on military
After a dramatic failed coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to show no mercy to those involved. The possibility of reimplementing the death penalty has been raised, but a European Union official says such a move would end the country’s attempt to join the E.U. Erdogan has blamed the coup on cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in voluntary exile in Pennsylvania. Turkey has called for the U.S. to arrest or extradite Gulen, but Secretary of State John Kerry says no formal request has been received. CNN
Volkswagen promises to compensate dealers
In a meeting with 150 U.S. dealers, a VW executive promised that the company will compensate them for sales lost as a result of the emissions cheating scandal. It’s the first time Matthias Müller‘s company promised such restitution to dealers, though specifics remain unknown. WSJ
Herbalife settlement ends battle…
…between activist investors Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn. Ackman had long bet against Herbalife, calling it a pyramid scheme. The FTC on Friday announced penalties against the company for misleading buyers and sellers, but the company will continue to operate. Icahn had bet the company would survive. Shares jumped over 10% after the FTC’s announcement. NYT
Building a Better Leader
Behind most great tech CEOs…
…is a No. 2 who’s highly skilled in operations. We just don’t hear much about them, unless they’re promoted to CEO (think Tim Cook at Apple or Steve Ballmer at Microsoft). Quartz
A young company’s culture…
…is driven by the presence of the founder. Ensuring your physical presence is in the office will help shape the culture the way you want it. Fortune
In order to disrupt your company before competitors do…
…set up business units with the sole purpose of competing against your existing businesses. Also find a balance between incremental upgrades and breakthroughs. Harvard Business Review
At the GOP Convention
Republican National Convention will focus on law and order
After Sunday’s shooting in Baton Rouge, which killed three police officers, the convention will begin tonight on the theme of “Make America Safe Again.” Presumptive nominee Donald Trump has vowed decisive action to end attacks on law enforcement, though he hasn’t specified how. WSJ
Meanwhile, Trump critics will line up this week…
…to attack his platform. Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick placed full-page ads in the New York Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer saying that Trump’s campaign attacks minorities and women and that it “doesn’t just seem wrong. It feels un-American.” Cleveland police are preparing for protests, which they expect to increase as the convention progresses through Thursday. CNNMoney
Bankers have a different take on Trump’s comeback
A talking point for Trump is how he bounced back from near bankruptcy in 1990. He claims his keen, proactive negotiating skills lowered his debt payments, enabling his comeback. But six of the bankers involved in the negotiations have a different take, saying Trump didn’t tell them about his problems, and restructuring discussions began only after they analyzed his books and called him in. Fortune
Fortune Reads and Videos
Comcast expands Internet Essentials program to 1.3 million more people
It will offer the program, which provides Wifi service and equipment plus free basic computer training, to everyone living in Department of Housing and Urban Development housing. The program also offers a laptop or desktop computer for under $150. Fortune
Baidu invests in a U.S. fintech company
The Chinese search giant will invest an undisclosed sum in ZestFinance, which creates credit scores based on machine learning and big data analysis. Fortune
Despite Autopilot issues, Tesla’s stock…
…has regained the losses that followed its surprise bid for SolarCity last month. Fortune
One downside to Uber’s rise…
…is that taxi drivers have less knowledge of the roads. Complete newcomers to a city are driving based on GPS guidance alongside those with years of experience, lament some drivers. Fortune
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, turns 66 today. Biography