If you only read one thing: It’s veepstakes season, as both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go about the final selection of their running mates. While names abound, the clear favorite on the Democratic side is Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a former governor who would double-down on Clinton’s message of core competency. (He’s also the only Senator on the short list with a Democratic home state governor—important for the control of the Senate.) The Republican side will be far more interesting, and the timing all the more uncertain. Trump had promised to wait until the convention in Cleveland to name his Veep in order to heighten the suspense and get the most out of it, but that timeline could shift, aides say. But the overall guiding principle of Trump and his senior advisors when it comes to selecting the running mate appears to be ‘drama.’ From mere moments after securing the GOP nomination in early May, Trump aides and the candidate himself have leaked details about the search, commented on the size and make-up of the short-list, and suggested contradictory names as favorites. The focus on the process of the decision—who is involved and who wasn’t—betrayed the campaign’s desire to heighten the interest in the ‘how,’ not just the ‘who.’ The former reality television star is taking a playbook from his past career, knowing that a simple selection is nowhere near as interesting as a drawn-out competition. Names like Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, Mary Fallin, Jan Brewer, and Tom Cotton are certainly being discussed—and the timing may well be in flux. So a word of caution about GOP VP stories—the campaign’s interest is about ginning up drama over facts. Take a top Trump aide previewing the Veep discussion over the coming two weeks, teasing “a lot of excitement and suspense in run up to convention.”
Donald Trump is once again under scrutiny for his use of a charity he runs for potentially personal uses, in this case using his own charity to purchase sports memorabilia from another. President Barack Obama revealed his blindspot to populism Wednesday in his remarks in Canada, TIME’s David Von Drehle writes. And Congress is playing chicken over responding to yet another public health crisis.
Bernie Sanders is still pretending he’s not endorsing Hillary Clinton, correcting Vice President Joe Biden for saying an endorsement was forthcoming, even though he’s pledged to vote for her. And Clinton will earn to powerful surrogates next week as Obama and Biden will join her on the trail for the first time.
The Navy’s expensive cello. Trump splits with his new digital strategist after 48 hours. And Donald Trump’s influence on Bridge contracts.
Here are your must-reads:
Never mind dire health warnings as the disease spreads, Congress has politics to play, TIME’s Jay Newton-Small writes
Transition chair and possible veep wields influence [New York Times]
Almost no money spent on digital ads [Open Secrets]
Maybe the wrong message weeks before the Democratic convention [Washington Post]
After a rocky first few months as speaker, he secured a rescue package despite early claims of a bailout and GOP resistance [Politico]
After drawing fire for Bill Clinton meeting [Washington Post]
TIME’s David Von Drehle on a misreading of history from the presidential podium
More questions about charitable giving [Washington Post]
“Oh, I’ve talked to Bernie. Bernie’s going to endorse her. This is going to work out.” —Vice President Joe Biden to NPR.
“We are working with the Clinton campaign, trying to be able to come forward to my supporters and say: You know what, here’s the progress we have made. Here’s what Secretary Clinton is saying on this issue and that issue.” —Bernie Sanders to MSNBC on his non-endorsement support of Clinton.
Bits and Bites
Refugees Encounter a Foreign Word: Welcome [New York Times]