The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
By Zeke J Miller
July 23, 2015

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush sit down with TIME’s Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy exclusively for this week’s cover story, exploring the dynamics of two patriarchs of American politics watching loved ones compete for their old job. They tell TIME that they are not rushing to play large roles in 2016, but that they will help when and if asked, which makes sense, since both are double-edged swords for Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, respectively. Clinton’s dynamism on the road serves to highlight his wife’s discomfort with retail campaigning, while the elder Bush is still tainted from his time in office.

Donors who have given to multiple campaigns do it for a multitude of reasons, usually boiling down to helping their friends, raising questions about the role of money in politics when it’s no longer about supporting a candidate. Republican fire against Donald Trump is escalating, with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry calling him a cancer on the GOP and Lindsey Graham undeterred by Trump releasing his phone number to the masses. Trump will visit the U.S.-Mexico border today, where things are expected to get heated. And John Kasich and Hillary Clinton had an unlikely meeting in 1993 to discuss healthcare reform that colors today’s debate.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and the American Game of Thrones
TIME’s Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy talk to the two ex-presidents on the cover of this week’s magazine

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush’s Plan for 2016
The former commanders-in-chief aren’t rushing to play a big role this cycle, they tell TIME.

Here’s Why These Donors Gave to Both Hillary Clinton and a Republican
It’s about helping their friends, TIME’s Tessa Berenson explains

The On-Demand Economy Takes Workers for a Ride
TIME’s Katy Steinmetz goes behind the scenes on 2016’s newest campaign issue

Inside the Next Social Security Crisis
American women are bearing the brunt of the retirement crunch, TIME’s Haley Sweetland Edwards reports

Africa Trip Takes Obama Back to a Complex Part of Himself
Obama returns to his father’s birthplace [New York Times]

Sound Off

“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that I have woken up in cold sweats wondering how I’m going to deal with a Donald Trump who’s not listening.” — Fox News anchor and 2016 GOP debate moderator Bret Baier to TIME’s Michael Scherer on how he will keep time with Trump on stage

“He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued. Let no one be mistaken – Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry taking his criticism of Trump to the next level

Bits and Bites

Hillary Clinton Dined With John Kasich Over Healthcare Reform—In 1993 [TIME]

Donald Trump: As President, ‘I’ll Change My Tone’ [CNN]

Jeb Bush’s Reform Myth [Politico]

Why Hillary Clinton and Her Rivals Are Struggling to Grasp Black Lives Matter [Washington Post]

Can Congress Pass Criminal Justice Reform? [TIME]

Unmanned Aerial Vengeance: Drone Takes Out Terrorist Linked to Marine’s Killing [TIME]

Watch What Donald Trump Made Lindsey Graham Do to His Phone [TIME]

What Did Hillary Clinton Talk About During Those Speeches? Cookies, Cars, Camp [Wall Street Journal]

Write to Zeke J Miller at


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