The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
By Zeke J Miller
July 18, 2016

If you only read one thing: Good morning from Cleveland, where the Republican National Convention is set to gavel to order at 1 p.m. Eastern. After some pro forma business, the convention Rules and Platform committees will hold their official meetings and start the clock on the final, final stand of the Never Trump movement. After the documents pass their committees, delegates will have precisely one hour to turn in the signatures of 28 committee-members to force a “minority report” and a floor vote on the rules or platform. Should that fail, the anti-Trump crowd is plotting to exploit another technical rule and attempt to collect the support of a majority of seven delegations to force a roll-call vote on either or both documents. In either case, there is no hope left for the movement, which is on its last gasps. Meanwhile, the primetime program will kick off this evening, featuring Melania Trump, Sen. Joni Ernst, and Rudy Giuliani. We’ll have a preview of the evening’s program in a special evening convention edition of the Time Politics newsletter tonight, continuing through both the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Despite promises of fireworks, the Republican convention is set to be a remarkably tame convention, with the usual crop of political, business and entertainment speakers, as well as a host of people named Trump. Trump’s campaign is looking to show the candidate’s private side, relying on his family to deliver testimonials to his character behind the scenes. It’s a difficult, but vital, task, as the candidate who has courted the reality television and tabloid glare his entire adult life is remarkably well defined—and most Americans don’t like what they see.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stepping up its criticism of Donald Trump in preparation for the convention. The campaign is mocking the GOP for the long list of party veterans who are skipping the convention. It also remade the classic Confessions of a Republican ad. Here’s the original.

For the third time in a week, President Obama was forced to address an incident of mass violence, in this case Sunday’s shooting of three police officers in Baton Rogue. Appealing for calm after another ambush of law enforcement, Obama said, “We need to temper our words and open our hearts—all of us.”

Donald Trump’s questionable “pivot.” Paul Ryan takes the gavel while fighting a primary challenge. And who’s paying for the GOP convention.

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