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Power Sheet: Clinton Looks to Calm Dissent

To impose some structure on your viewing of this week’s Democratic National Convention (or on your reading about it), consider tracking how party leaders – mainly Hillary Clinton, since it’s her show – manage these major challenges and opportunities:


-The inherent conflict in arguing that President Obama did a great job, but things need to change. Obama has endorsed Clinton and has already started campaigning for her; it’s in both their interests to be seen as a team. But polling shows that voters massively believe the country is “on the wrong track,” that most of them think the economy is terrible, and that most don’t like Obamacare. Clinton can’t tell voters “I feel your pain,” as her husband did so famously and successfully in 1992 (and by the way, the economy was growing far faster then than it is today). Yet she must somehow connect with people’s dissatisfaction while promising that she can fix what Obama couldn’t. A delicate assignment. She’ll presumably blame the Republicans for all problems, a nifty way of urging voters to vote Dem down the whole ballot. But while the electorate is deeply unhappy, spending too much time acknowledging their mood risks souring the optimistic, hopeful message Clinton hopes to orchestrate, in contrast to the GOP convention’s emphasis on fear and anger.

-Smoothing over disunity in the party. “Discord for the Party on Eve of Its Convention” is the lead story in this morning’s New York Times – exactly the opposite of what the Democrats wanted. The release of 19,000 Democratic National Committee emails over the weekend, apparently timed by Russian hackers for maximum embarrassment to Clinton, shows DNC staff plotting against Bernie Sanders during the primaries. His supporters are furious, and he dissed her running mate, Tim Kaine, on a Sunday morning interview show yesterday. Sanders speaks this evening. He has already endorsed Clinton; anything less than a full-throated, podium-pounding endorsement tonight will look like the Dems’ own Ted Cruz betrayal.

-Balancing support of police and support of police victims. Mothers of African-American men and women who have died at the hands of police are scheduled to appear onstage tomorrow night. Philadelphia’s police union has lambasted Clinton for not also inviting family members of slain police officers. Will the schedule be amended?


-Star power. For sheer high-wattage celebrity, this convention should far outshine the GOP shindig last week. Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, several senators, at least two governors, and the mayors of New York and Los Angeles are scheduled to speak. Entertainers Lena Dunham, Debra Messing, Demi Lovato, and several more will be on the scene; they aren’t on the official program, but don’t be surprised if some appear onstage.

-Trump bashing. As a target, he exceeds every political speechwriter’s wildest dreams. Taking full advantage of the opportunity, if the Dems can do it, could resonate for weeks or months.


Please check out Fortune’s new podcast, Fortune Unfiltered [], which features in-depth conversations with the brightest leaders in business today. Hosted by our award-winning Digital Editor, Aaron Task, Fortune Unfiltered takes audiences on a journey of discovery into how and why these important figures went from visionary to leader. Fortune Unfiltered: The Journey To Success: Untold and Unguarded. This week’s interviewees: General Electric vice chair Beth Comstock, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, and entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk.

Correction: On Friday we said Amazon would offer student loans at an interest rate of 0.5%. Rates these days are low, but not that low; the loans will be offered at an interest rate discount of 0.5%.

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What We’re Reading Today

Verizon agrees to buy Yahoo for $4.8 billion
This has been the likeliest outcome since Yahoo put its core Internet business on the block months ago. Lowell McAdam‘s Verizon plans to keep the Yahoo name, but Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is unlikely to have a prominent role or perhaps any role post-closing. Verizon’s original bid was reportedly $3 billion but was revised upward to include Yahoo’s real estate. WSJ

Ericsson ousts its CEO
Hans Vestberg resigned this morning, effective immediately. The board seemed impatient with his attempts to turn around the company, and his plan to revive Ericsson’s profitability through cost cutting wasn’t enough to save his job. CFO Jan Frykhammar will replace Vestberg on an interim basis.  Fortune

Nintendo shares plunge…
…after the company announced just one little problem with its world-conquering Pokemon Go game: It won’t make much money. Shares of Tatsumi Kimishima‘s company nearly doubled in price when the game proved a monster hit, but on Friday after the market close, Nintendo announced it would not need to revise profit forecasts because Pokemon Go would have only a “limited” impact. Bloomberg

Building a Better Leader

The size of the CEO’s executive team has doubled…
…in 30 years, according to some studies, and that creates problems. Such a large entourage can put the CEO in the role of referee, and it exposes infighting to the rest of the company, stifling collaboration. Harvard Business Review

Highest paid CEOs performed worse…
…than the lowest paid CEOs, says new research from MSCI. A $100 investment in the 20% of companies with the highest paid CEOs returned $265 over 10 years; the same investment in companies with the lowest paid CEOs returned $367. Fortune

To develop more workers with cybersecurity expertise…
…some security firms are building their own training and certification programs. Newcomers get hands-on experience rather than just learning through books. Fast Company

Ahead of the Democratic Convention

Disunity hinders the party after DNC data leaks
After a week of playing up schisms among Republicans, Hillary Clinton must now unify the Democrats in the wake of 19,000 leaked Democratic National Committee emails discussing strategies to beat Bernie Sanders in the primaries. Clinton needs his supporters on her side, and winning them over just got harder. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will step down as DNC chair after the convention and will have an honorary role in Clinton’s campaign. Los Angeles Times

Russia may be source of the leaks
Cybersecurity researchers say the DNC leak originated with two Russian intelligence agencies. If true, the revelation would suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to help Donald Trump. The Clinton campaign has already advanced that theory and will likely keep highlighting Trump’s ties with Putin. NYT

Bloomberg backs Clinton
Michael Bloomberg
, who was elected mayor of New York City in 2001 as a Republican, plans to endorse Clinton on Wednesday while speaking at the Democratic convention. Now a registered independent, Bloomberg has been outspoken in his opposition to Trump. Bloomberg had considered a third-party run but rejected it partly from concern he would steal votes from Clinton and thus help Trump.  Fortune

Fortune Reads and Videos

China bans original reporting from major sites
The Cyberspace Administration ruled that internet portals Tencent, Sina, and NetEase may post only state-sanctioned news. Fortune

Peet’s Coffee bets big on cold brew
“Cold brew coffee is to traditional iced coffee as craft beer is to mainstream beer,” said Peet’s CEO Dave Burwick while discussing the decision to launch cold brew in 400 locations.  Fortune

The best skill Beth Comstock learned from Jack Welch…
…was his directness. Naturally introverted, GE’s vice chair says she uses directness to be fair with her employees. Fortune

Starbucks eases baristas’ dress codes
Jeans are allowed so long as they’re dark. Navy, gray, and brown clothing is also okay, as is purple hair. Fortune

Quote of the Day

“I think the unique thing about baseball is the values. It sounds kind of romantic, but I do continue to believe that things like teamwork, the ability to overcome failure, that are inherent in our sport, are really important lessons for kids, whether or not they turn out to be baseball players. They’re lessons that serve them well no matter what they turn out to be.” — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.  Fortune

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Produced by Ryan Derousseau