If you only read one thing: Sometimes the worst times bring out the best in people, and on Wednesday two comforters-in-chief did just that. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, their terms each marked by moments of public mourning, delivered some of the best speeches of their times in public life at a memorial for the five Dallas police officers killed last week. “I’ve seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change,” Obama said somberly. “I’ve seen how inadequate my own words have been.” The pair appealed for unity and understanding, in a political climate where there’s been little of either. Their tone contrasted with Donald Trump’s, who on the campaign trail seemed to try to exploit those divisions for political gain.
Donald Trump’s The Apprentice: Vice President edition will be holding its series finale this week—likely on Friday, according to Republicans familiar with the campaign’s plans. Trump held a joint rally with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Tuesday, in which Pence was clearly auditioning for the job by restating his support for Trump and gleefully attacking Hillary Clinton. Other finalists are former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Pence seems to be the clear favorite of Trump’s team, and Pence confidants haven’t been shy about saying he wants the job, but the mercurial billionaire hasn’t let any sign of his thinking slip.
Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has lost the New York Times and the Washington Post, whose editorial boards each criticized her comments critical of Donald Trump. Taking aim against a presumptive party nominee in such political terms is unprecedented in the modern era, and has drawn across-the-spectrum critics who fear it will only increase the politicization of the Supreme Court.
The Republican Party platform confirmed its conservative shift Tuesday, as it rejected every positive reference to LGBT issues, including specific mention of last month’s Pulse nightclub shooting and ISIS violence against gays in the Middle East. But the convention floor may see some last-minute drama on the LGBT front as backers of removing anti-same-sex-marriage provisions of the platform signed onto a minority report that would completely replace the platform for a shortened version that doesn’t have any language about marriage. But the conservative sponsors of that alternate platform are balking at their efforts being hijacked. Either way, Democrats are set to turn the issue into a wedge to win over younger voters come the fall.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus praises Trump’s evolving campaign. Trump will skip the NAACP convention. And Republicans want another Clinton email investigation.
Here are your must-reads:
GOP Wrestles With Change on LGBT Positions Before Convention
And Democrats are itching to draw comparisons [TIME]
RNC Chairman Doesn’t Know Donald Trump’s Running Mate
Praises Trump’s transformation into more presidential candidate [TIME]
Obama Tells Mourning Dallas, ‘We Are Not as Divided as We Seem’
Bush and Obama try to heal city [New York Times]
Justice Ginsburg doesn’t let up on Trump, who fires back
An unusual and unprecedented war of words [Washington Post]
Donald Trump Wants an Attack Dog as His Running Mate
The candidate calls Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie his top picks [Wall Street Journal]
Trump paints apocalyptic picture of racial tensions in U.S.
Rather than uniting, Trump sees divisions as an opening [CBS]
“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions, and this has strained our bonds of understanding and common purpose.” — Former President George W. Bush at the memorial for the slain Dallas Police officers
“I’ve been saying even against me the system is rigged. When I ran for President, I could see what was going on with the system and the system is rigged. I can relate it really very much to myself.” — Donald Trump to Bill O’Reilly on whether American society is rigged against people who are black
Bits and Bites
Historians on Donald Trump [Facebook]
Trump seeks to block release of Trump University testimony [Associated Press]