If you only read one thing: Good morning from Philadelphia, where there is a new boss of the Democratic Party. The moment the baton was passed was not when President Obama implored his faithful to secure his legacy by voting for Hillary Clinton. Nor was it the moment that spurred the GIF spread far and wide of the two trading pointed fingers as she emerged on stage after his speech. That moment was the 30-seconds that the charismatic first black president, whose poll numbers are undergoing a renaissance, was forced to wait to continue his speech after the Wells Fargo Center erupted in chants of his would-be successor’s first name. Obama seemed amused, and maybe a little bemused, by the display of affection for someone in Democratic politics other than himself. With fewer than six months left on the job, Obama recognized that his political career was in its twilight and his old rival’s day in the sun was just beginning.
The first two days of the Democratic convention were focused on displays of party unity, as Bernie Sanders supporters protested the end of his campaign on the convention floor. But on Wednesday it was all about Donald Trump, as speaker after speaker began executing the Clinton campaign’s playbook on how to destroy the Republican nominee. He’s a fraud and a con, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued. He’d be dangerous around the world, said former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. He’ll be a danger at home too, asserted Vice President Joe Biden. Obama himself twisted the knife, comparing Trump’s self-styled “only he can fix it” approach to that of dictators and kings, saying of America, “We don’t look to be ruled.” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, weaved his personal narrative into his Trump attacks, displaying his hokey style with an attempt at a Donald Trump impression that sounded more like Bernie Sanders.
Why Democrats put guns front at center in Philadelphia. Democratic protestors are united by anger, not an agenda. And the impact of Russia’s alleged attempt to impact U.S. politics.
We’ll have more from Philadelphia later this evening. In the meantime, here are your must reads:
Barack Obama Calls on Country to Pass Hillary Clinton the Baton
Obama returns the favor, TIME’s Maya Rhodan writes
The Gentleman from Virginia
TIME’s Alex Altman and Philip Elliott on how Tim Kaine undercut Donald Trump
How Donald Trump Made the U.S. a Target For Russia’s New Brand Of Warfare
TIME’s Simon Shuster on the spread of “hybrid warfare”
Donald Trump Plays Starring Role at the Democratic Convention
An attempt to return the favor after Republican Convention [TIME]
How Donald Trump Spent Day Three of the Democratic Convention
A fiery press conference and rallies as he hunted for a piece of the limelight [CBS]
How Democrats Embraced Gun Control at Their Convention
Democrats hunt for a mandate on guns, TIME’s Alex Altman and Philip Elliott write
“The American Dream is something no wall will ever contain.” — President Obama in his keynote speech Wednesday night
“I trust Hillary Clinton with our son’s life. You know who I don’t trust? Donald Trump.”
— Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, on his son serving in the Marine Corps
Bits and Bites