If you only read one thing: With both conventions in the book and 101 days until Election Day, the general election is fully upon us. Judging by the displays in Philadelphia and Cleveland it is set to be a contest as much about where the nation is now as where voters want to take it next. Republican doom and gloom was countered by Democratic rosiness. The party in power is always burdened with having to defend the current White House occupant, and speaker after speaker at the DNC tried to convince the majority of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track are themselves wrong. Economic data released early Friday provided another boost to the other side of the argument. As for the path forward, it is a choice between the ultimate insider and the ultimate outsider, two polar opposites who see America differently now and have visions for the country that are divergent. Ultimately it will be up to voters to decide, but until then, both campaigns face a tough challenge: trying to convince Americans to change how they view themselves.
Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech was textbook, hitting all the familiar notes of personal narrative, positive vision, and a heaping of attack lines. But Clinton did little to put a dent in her core vulnerability—that she's untrustworthy. Thursday night's address was an opportunity to reveal more of herself and her motivations to the American people in trying to reverse her underwater numbers. At one point she acknowledged that she's misunderstood, but did little to correct it. Instead of talking about her own motivations, she talked about the influence of family—a far safer subject. It avoided a gamble on stage, but come November, she may regret it as a missed opportunity.
A father's emotional Trump rebuke. Chelsea Clinton's star turn. And a Sanders last stand fizzles.
Here are your must reads:
How Hillary Clinton Made Her Case to America
TIME's Philip Elliott on Clinton's call for unity]
Bernie Sanders Delegates Abandon Plans to Walk Out of Hillary Clinton’s Speech
The faithful's final protest [TIME]
In Two Clashing Conventions, a Clear Choice for the Nation
TIME's Alex Altman on the clash between two visions of America
Chelsea Clinton Introduces Her Mom to the Democratic Convention
A powerful testimonial for the former first daughter [TIME]
Khizr Khan, Father of Fallen Muslim American Soldier, Rebukes Trump at Convention
"You sacrificed nothing," father says to Trump [New York Times]
"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons" — Hillary Clinton in her acceptance speech
"We’re going to have those conversations internally." — Mike Pence telling Hugh Hewitt he will advocate for the lifting of journalist bans at Donald Trump events
Bits and Bites
With Degree Debunked, Melania Trump Website Is Taken Down [New York Times]