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The Daily 202: Michelle Obama is the Democrats’ best weapon against Donald Trump

First lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)


PHILADELPHIA — Michelle Obama never said Donald Trump’s name during her speech at the convention last night, yet she offered a more effective rebuttal of the Republican nominee and the mantra that animates his campaign than any other Democrat has been able to so far in 2016.

One week after Melania Trump plagiarized her speech from the Denver convention eight summers ago, the first lady stole the show at the Wells Fargo Center by poignantly delving into the sensitive subjects of race and gender.

Reflecting on raising two daughters under the glare that comes with living in the White House, Michelle Obama explained: "We challenge them to ignore those who challenge their father's citizenship or faith. We insist that the hateful language from public figures on television does not represent the true nature of this country. We explain when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to that level. No. Our motto is: When they go low, we go high."

It was a speech for the ages, overshadowing both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who followed her in the 10 p.m. hour.

“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” the first lady said. “And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.”

The 52-year-old’s voice cracked with genuine emotion as she reached a crescendo: "Don't ever let anybody tell you our country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again. This country is the greatest country on Earth!" The hall erupted.

-- She didn’t need to dignify Trump by naming him. No one had any doubt exactly who she was talking about with these five soundbites:

  • "The issues we face are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters."
  • "When you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips, and the military in your command, you can't make snap decisions, you can't have thin skin and a tendency to lash out."
  • "I want a president with a record of public service, someone whose life's work shows our children that we don't chase fame and fortune for ourselves."
  • "I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters. A president who truly believes in the vision that our founders put forth all those years ago, that we are all created equal."
  • "And when crisis hits, we don't turn against each other. No, we listen to each other.”

-- The speech reflects a remarkable transformation in Michelle’s brand from 2008, when she at times caused headaches for her husband’s campaign. “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she famously gaffed in February of that year. That June, she fist-bumped her husband.

-- It also highlights a Democratic strength that the GOP lacked last week in Cleveland: a star big enough to change the narrative of intra-party discord. At the end of a day that showed how angry and recalcitrant some Sanders supporters remain, the first lady’s speech went a long way toward wiping away the storyline of bitterness and disenchantment. “Collectively, Obama, Sanders, Warren and the night’s other main speaker, Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), projected the kind of high voltage a political party needs when it is in danger of losing its focus,” Dan Balz writes in his column.

Just how captivating was it?

The New York Daily News even tore up its front page — which had emphasized discord —  to lead with Michelle.

Here’s the first edition:

Here's the final edition:

-- Michelle Obama came in with more credibility than Bill Clinton will tonight because she doesn’t share blood with the Democratic Party’s nominee. The Obamas, of course, waged a nasty internecine battle with the Clintons in 2008 that left a lot of bad blood. They’ll never be besties. But she plainly believes her husband’s legacy is at stake in November, and she has come to genuinely respect his former secretary of state. (Michelle and Hillary are also both members of an exclusive sorority: Only 13 women in U.S. history have served two full terms as first lady.)

The speech was actually the first time Michelle Obama publicly offered support for Hillary Clinton. “In this election, I’m with her,” she said.

-- One of the reasons the Trump family speeches fell flat in Cleveland last week is that none of the brood had a meaningful anecdote to humanize their dad or husband. Tiffany referred briefly to her father calling her after a friend died. Donald Jr. reminisced about accompanying him to job sites, learning how to use a chainsaw and drive a tractor. By and large, though, they all wanted us to take their word for it that the billionaire is a stand-up guy.

-- FLOTUS, known for being relatively private and reserved as a political spouse, offered heartfelt vignettes to show, not tell, why America is great. The most memorable: “Our words and actions matter not just to our girls, but to children across this country. Kids like the little black boy who looked up at my husband, his eyes wide open. He wondered, ‘Is my hair like yours?’”

Here's an iconic photo of that moment:

-- Notably, Michelle also twice vouched for Hillary’s trustworthiness. That comes as a fresh Gallup poll shows 57 percent of Americans view HRC unfavorably, largely because they do not see her as honest.

-- The first lady’s speech, with its warnings against complacency, may wind up activating the Obama coalition to a greater degree than President Obama’s will on Wednesday night. “In this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best,” she said. “We cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical. No. Hear me: Between now and November, we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago.”

-- The performance will only increase pressure on the White House from Clinton World to deploy Mrs. Obama into swing states this fall. She’s been a reluctant campaigner in the past, and a Clinton campaign spokesman says they’re eager to have her on the trail “as her schedule permits.

The Clinton campaign’s path to victory is contingent upon running up the score with African Americans and women, especially educated professionals. In that regard, Michelle is the perfect surrogate: She went to Princeton for undergrad, Harvard for law school and then met Barack when she was assigned to be his “mentor” at a Chicago firm. She was an executive in the University of Chicago hospital system before he became president.

-- Expect buzz — but don’t believe it —  about her running for office. If Michelle had wanted to, she could have crushed vulnerable Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) this year and walked into his seat. She would have had an easier time than Hillary did in New York in 2000. But people close to her insist she has absolutely no interest in ever being on the ballot for anything and that nothing will change that.

-- FLOTUS generated more buzz online than any other speaker. Our analytics partners at Zignal Labs tracked 2.4 million mentions of the DNC on social media Monday, significantly more than the 1.6 million during the first day of the RNC. Michelle got 50,000 more mentions than second-place Bernie, followed by Booker, Warren and comedian Sarah Silverman. 

You can sense the positive sentiment of Michelle-related mentions by looking at this cloud of the emojis used most often in connection with her name:

-- While Trump tweeted a stream of invective at Warren, whom he calls “Pocahontas,” and Sanders, he posted nothing about Obama.

-- Here’s a sampling of what REPUBLICAN commentators are saying:

From Marco Rubio's faith outreach director:

The chief strategist on George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign:

— Among the mainstream media, the overnight reaction is even more effusive:

James Fallows, who was chief speechwriter in Jimmy Carter’s White House and now writes for The Atlantic, thinks the First Lady’s performance was strong enough to enter the pantheon of great DNC speeches, in league with Bill Clinton in 2012, Barack Obama in 2004, Ann Richards in 1988, Mario Cuomo in 1984, Ted Kennedy in 1980, Barbara Jordan in 1976 and Hubert Humphrey in 1948.

-- Non-traditional outlets like Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Gawker are giving good play to video of the speech this morning – ensuring it has much wider reach in the next few hours.

-- The backstory: Sarah Hurwitz wrote it. “The 38-year-old Harvard Law School grad is an Obama original, one of the few remaining staff members who joined the White House straight from the 2008 campaign,” our Krissah Thompson wrote in a profile of her last month. “She started that cycle, though, as Hillary Clinton’s chief speechwriter. Two days after Clinton conceded defeat with a memorable speech hailing ‘18 million cracks’ in the ‘highest, hardest glass ceiling,’ the Obama team called to offer Hurwitz a job. A Wayland, Mass., native who got her start as a speechwriting intern for Vice President Al Gore, Hurwitz has kept a relatively low profile … The first lady’s lawyerly sense of organization has made the job easier. Michelle Obama has been known to practice big speeches word for word, weeks in advance, and rarely orders up last-minute changes.”

-- If you missed it, watch the full 14-minute speech here:

First lady Michelle Obama addressed the crowd on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 25. (Video: Video: The Washington Post/Photo: Toni L. Sandys/TWP)

-- HAPPENING TODAY: For the next installment of “The 202 Live,” I will interview California Gov. Jerry Brown at The Post’s headquarters in Philadelphia at 12:30 p.m. We have a cool space at City Tap House in Logan Square. Our conversation will livestream on and Facebook Live. If you’d like to come by for the event, RSVP here. If you have a suggestion for a question to ask, email me at

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
Written with Breanne Deppisch (@breanne_dep) and Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck)

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-- Two Islamic State attackers stormed a village church during Mass in Normandy, “taking hostages and slitting the throat of an 86-year-old priest before police commandos shot and killed the assailants,” James McAuley and Brian Murphy report. “An official at the Archdiocese of Rouen identified the slain priest as Jacques Hamel. Another person held by the hostage-takers suffered life-threatening injuries, said Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet.” The barbarous attack comes as France remains under an extended state of emergency, following the Bastille Day truck rampage in the Rivera city of Nice that killed at least 84 people.

-- In Tokyo, a knife-wielding attacker broke into a facility for disabled people, killing 19 and injuring at least 28 others before driving to a police station to turn himself in. The suspect, a 26-year-old ex-employee of the center, told police “it’s better that disabled people disappear.” (Anna Fifield)


  1. Colombian health officials declared its Zika epidemic is “over,” becoming the first South American nation to have slowed the rampant spread of the mosquito-borne virus. Officials claim the number of infections has been falling by some 600 cases a week. (Nick Miroff)
  2. Michael Jordan decried both the killing of African Americans by police and the targeted assassinations of cops. The basketball legend, whose father was shot to death in 1993, announced he will donate several million dollars to help improve relations between the two communities. (Cindy Boren)
  3. An Ohio defense attorney was held in contempt of court and sentenced to five days in prison after wearing a “Black Lives Matter” pin to work. Her plight has sparked a nationwide debate over whether the pin constitutes freedom of expression or political speech unfitting of a court official. (Cleve R. Wootson Jr.)
  4. Florida police are continuing to search for suspects in a Monday morning nightclub shooting that killed at least two teenagers and left 20 others injured in Fort Myers. Authorities said the shooting was “not terrorism related” but have not released any details on potential motives. (Wall Street Journal)
  5. A security official accused the French government of attempting to orchestrate a cover-up in the wake of the Nice attack, saying she was pressured to falsely report that there had been a police presence in “at least two points” on the promenade. (James McAuley)
  6. The Turkish government issued warrants for the detention of 42 journalists it claims have links to the recent coup attempt, intensifying concerns that a sweeping crackdown on alleged plotters would eventually target media organizations who provide critical coverage of Recep Erdogan. (AP)
  7. Marijuana-related hospital visits have more than doubled AMONG CHILDREN in Colorado since the drug was legalized. In particular, researchers are warning parents to be vigilant about hiding weed-laced “edibles” such as brownies that can be enticing for a tot. (Ben Guarino)
  8. Police in Kentucky are looking to charge a man who pulled a gun on a little boy who was kicking his seat during a screening of "Star Trek" at a Cinemark theater. (Sarah Larimer)
  9. A Beijing woman was killed while trying to rescue her daughter from a Siberian tiger at a drive-through wildlife safari. The woman had exited the vehicle, believing the exhibit was over, when the giant wildcat pounced and dragged her away. Park officials released terrifying video footage of the incident. (Shayla Love
  10. Eight in 10 Americans say they feel guilty about throwing away their food, according to a national survey, but 42 percent said they are too busy to care. (Bloomberg)

-- “Sanders struggles to hand his ‘revolution’ to Clinton," by David Weigel: “Sanders came to Philadelphia with the primary campaign behind him, hoping to unify millions of skeptical voters behind the Democratic ticket, starting with his delegates. He gathered all of them, numbering nearly 1,900, in a crowded ballroom Monday and told them point-blank that ‘we’ve got to elect Hillary Clinton.’ What he heard back was a chorus of boos, from delegates still not ready to support the likely Democratic nominee — not even at the risk of electing Trump. … Taken aback, Sanders and what remains of his campaign spent Monday trying to heal wounds that opened during the lengthy primary race and festered after the release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. … ‘I fear Hillary more than I fear Trump,” said John Deebus, 66 … ‘If Trump wins, he’s in for four years. If Hillary wins, she’s in there for eight. That’s not how we stop the corporate parties.’"

“Our credibility as a movement will be damaged by booing, turning of backs, walking out or other similar displays," Bernie told his floor managers in a text message. “That’s not what will expand the progressive movement in this country … I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor. It is of utmost importance you explain this to your delegations.”

-- The die-hard Berniecrats were unmoved by this plea for unity. Elijah Cummings, Marcia Fudge, Steny Hoyer and several other distinguished Democrats were booed whenever they mentioned Clinton by name during afternoon proceedings on the floor. The Bernie Bros even booed during the invocation when Clinton’s name was mentioned. Yes, in the midst of prayer. “Hell no, DNC, we won't vote for Hillary,” protestors chanted outside the Wells Fargo Center.

“Bernie basically fed us a bunch of Mountain Dew and now he wants us to go to bed. It’s not going to happen,” Iowa delegate Chris Laursen told the Des Moines Register, adamant that he will not vote for Clinton in November.

-- Thousands protested in the streets: “The Revolutionary Communists chanted that Clinton should be in prison. Other protesters planned a mock trial of the Democratic candidate. Another group prepared to erect ‘tombstones for democracy’ in a park," Wesley Lowery, Louisa Loveluck and Joel Achenbach report. "Although police braced for clashes between supporters and detractors of Trump … in Cleveland, the confrontations never materialized. Philadelphia is another story: The crowds are here — and far larger than the ones in Cleveland. Some activists hope to disrupt the convention. Others plan to be arrested.”

-- To be clear: Despite the aforementioned drama, new polling suggests an overwhelming majority of Sanders supporters will, in fact, coalesce behind Clinton in the fall. Nearly 90 percent of “consistent” supporters of the Vermont senator said they plan on voting for Clinton over Trump in November, according to a Pew Research Center survey. (Philip Bump explains the phenomenon.)

Among them is comedian Sarah Silverman, a prominent Sanders supporter during the primaries who made the case for Clinton during last night’s program. “This past year, I’ve been feeling the bern,” she said from the dais. The Sanders people cheered. Relax, I put some cream on it,” she quipped. Silverman noted all of Sanders’s successes but then said Clinton is the only way to make it happen at this point. That got her booed loudly. This irked Silverman, who went off the teleprompter. “Can I just say to the Bernie or Bust people,” she said, “you’re being ridiculous!!!” The Clintonites in the crowd loved the unscripted rawness of the moment.

Comedian Sarah Silverman called Bernie Sanders supporters at the 2016 Democratic National Convention who refused to back Hillary Clinton“ridiculous.” (Video: The Washington Post)

-- This did not assuage the “Bernie or Bust” people either: “We are united behind the most progressive platform in history,” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said as he introduced Sanders. “A $15-an-hour minimum wage, banning private prisons, expanding Social Security, the public option and debt-free college tuition: that’s the platform that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton wrote together. And that’s the platform we can make the law of the land if we stand together … and vote together on Nov. 8. … Bernie sparked the beginning of a revolution, y’all!”

-- And the infighting is NOT OVER. Today a roll call vote is scheduled so that Sanders delegates can officially voice their support for him, even though the outcome is pre-determined.

-- When he finally took the main convention stage at 10:50 p.m., Sanders was greeted by three minutes of sustained applause. “Election days come and go,” Sanders said, in reference to his revolution on behalf of the poor and marginalized. “That struggle continues.” During his speech, the Vermont senator expressed disappointment but not bitterness. And he ended the night with a full-throated endorsement of his former rival:

-- Recycled: Last night’s big speech was almost a total rehash of the one he gave endorsing Clinton in New Hampshire two weeks ago. “The five paragraphs preceding the conclusion were all copied nearly verbatim,” Philip Bump observes. “Even Sanders's story about the working mother he met in Nevada was told two weeks prior. The priorities he listed were mostly the same, and the language he used to list them was, too." He added a little fresh language about the decline of the middle class and income inequality, but beyond that, he even followed the same outline.


-- “What was supposed to be a morning of personal triumph for Debbie Wasserman Schultz — rallying her home-state delegation before opening the Democratic National Convention she had orchestrated — suddenly became one of humiliation,” Robert Costa, Philip Rucker and Ed O'Keefe report. “’Shame!’ people in the room jeered as the congresswoman addressed a Monday breakfast of the Florida delegation. ‘Shame!’ It was a cringe-worthy, nationally-televised spectacle that exposed deep divisions within the Democratic Party and reopened raw wounds from the Clinton-Sanders primary battles. By the afternoon, Wasserman Schultz had disappeared in Philadelphia, after also giving up her speaking slot and her ceremonial role gaveling the convention to order.”

-- Donna Brazile, the incoming interim party chair, emailed a formal apology for the leaked emails and “inexcusable remarks” made by DNC staffers. “On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email,” Brazile, Al Gore's 2000 manager, wrote. “The DNC does not -- and will not -- tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates. Individual staffers have also rightfully apologized for their comments, and the DNC is taking appropriate action to ensure it never happens again." But there was no news of additional terminations.

-- The FBI formally acknowledged it is investigating the DNC email dump. Authorities believe the Wikileaks dump may be a Russian intelligence operation, though U.S. officials cautioned that they have reached no conclusions. “The FBI is focusing on the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU, and investigating whether it was responsible for passing the emails to WikiLeaks," Tom Hamburger and Ellen Nakashima report. “A big question looming over the investigation is what, if anything, should be done if it is shown that Russian intelligence is responsible ... The email releases continued to cause anxiety among Democratic officials ... Most unnerving is the uncertainty over what may come next."

-- Russia trying to tilt the outcome of our presidential election would represent an act of aggression and an outrageous assault on American sovereignty, BUT it's not at all unprecedented. Historian Tim Naftali writes for CNN: “In 1940-41, London directed its intelligence services to help Franklin Roosevelt make the case for U.S. intervention. With Prime Minister Winston Churchill's approval, British spies and intelligence officers spread rumors to discredit [isolationist leader] Charles A. Lindbergh. ... They also broke into the embassies of enemy countries in Washington, tapped their telephone lines and provided information of their activities to Roosevelt and to U.S. newspapers.”

The most disturbing instance of a foreign government messing with our politics came during the Cold War: In the final weeks of the 1968 presidential campaign, the government of South Vietnam colluded with Republicans to kill a peace deal that could have saved the lives of many thousand American G.I.'s. "Republican activists [who presented themselves as representatives of the Nixon campaign] ultimately convinced Saigon to decline participating in Paris peace talks, saying Richard Nixon would better defend South Vietnam than the Democrats. U.S. intelligence later overheard Saigon's assistant armed forces aide in Washington say the South Vietnamese decision to veto participation in peace talks was designed "to help Nixon" because, "had Saigon gone to the conference table,” Hubert Humphrey probably would have become president. (Read Naftali's piece here.) 

-- Reince Priebus was somewhat flip about Vladimir Putin possibly meddling in the U.S. election during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I don’t know who has the emails of the DNC,” the RNC chairman said. “I mean, I don’t know if we can definitively say who has them and who’s taken them. But the point is, the Russians didn’t write the emails. And neither did whoever else, the Wikileaks people didn’t write the emails. The DNC wrote those emails. So they have to answer for what those emails say and why paid staff and donors to the DNC were adding an arm to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the primary season.”

-- In Virginia, Trump seized upon the fracas -- simultaneously arguing that Wasserman Schultz was incompetent while accusing Clinton of being disloyal by not keeping her on. (This messaging seems a little contradictory.) From Jenna Johnson and Jose A. DelReal: “So Debbie was totally loyal to Hillary. And Hillary threw her under a bus. And it didn’t take her more than five minutes to make that decision,” Trump said in Roanoke. The Republican portrayed Wasserman Schultz as “highly overrated” but someone who has put “her life on the line” and “worked very, very hard” to make sure Clinton won the nomination. Politicians are very disloyal, he said, “except for Mike Pence.”

-- Trump’s campaign later released a YouTube video accusing the DNC of “rigging” the election for Clinton: It depicts a fake “Team Hillary” job application, with a picture of DWS next to boxes that say “experience in rigging elections,” “well-versed in colluding with media,” “proficient in lying and conspiring,” and “capable of stealing votes.”


-- While Warren urged support for Clinton, she largely used her keynote to eviscerate Trump, calling him a “man who must never be president." Trump, she said, is seeking to win by “turning neighbor against neighbor, by persuading you that the real problem in America is your fellow Americans, people who don’t look like you or don’t talk like you or don’t worship like you.” The speech is getting mixed reviews. (The Post Fact Checkers reviewed eight claims made on stage last night. See the breakdown here.)

-- The speakers were remarkably open about their struggles.

“My name is Marty Walsh and I'm an alcoholic,” the mayor of Boston said. He spoke about hitting “rock bottom” in 1995 and how his brothers in organized labor helped him through.

“Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness,” singer Demi Lovato told the crowd before performing. “But I am lucky. I had the resources and support to get treatment at a top facility. Unfortunately, too many Americans from all walks of life don’t get help, whether they fear the stigma or cannot afford treatment.”

“Before I came out to the world on the cover of Sports illustrated, I came out privately to the Clinton family,” said former NBA player Jason Collins, who was friends with Chelsea at Stanford, accompanied on stage by his brother. “I have known their family for almost 20 years. I knew that they would accept me for who I was; and that they would help pave a path for others to do the same. I am forever grateful for their words of wisdom back then and their unconditional support. They know that my sexual orientation made no difference in my ability to play basketball, just as someone’s gender makes no difference in his or HER ability to lead our nation.”

-- Several speakers, including an undocumented immigrant, broke into Spanish. Quite a contrast to the chants of “Build the wall” last week.

-- While the program mainly focused on ginning up the liberal base last night (similar to the RNC on its first night), we saw a protean effort to thwart Trump’s outreach to working-class whites. “Donald Trump says he stands for workers and they he’ll put America first, but that’s not how he conducted himself in business,” said Bob Casey, Pennsylvania’s senior senator. “Where are his ‘tremendous’ Trump products made? Dress shirts – Bangladesh. Furniture – Turkey. Picture frames – India. Wine glasses- Slovenia. Neck ties – China. Why would Trump make his products in every corner of the globe but not in Altoona, Erie or here in Philadelphia?”

A separate video showing how Trump products were made overseas starred the unlikely duo of Austan Goolsbee, the former head of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Ken Jeong, from “Hangover.”

-- Democrats have much more A-list talent than Republicans: Paul Simon, Demi Lovato, Sarah Silverman, Eva Longoria, Boyz II Men, Nelly, Joe Walsh, Connie Britton, Alicia Keys, J.J. Abrams, Rosario Dawson, Susan Sarandon, and more. (Fair enough, some of those names belong on the B-list. But still…) The Philly Daily News gossip columnist is trying to keep a list of famous people in town here.

-- Al Gore is skipping the convention, but he finally endorsed Clinton. “I am not able to attend ... but I will be voting for Hillary,” the former vice president said in a Monday tweet. “Given her qualifications and experience -- and given the significant challenges facing our nation and the world, including, especially, the global climate crisis, I encourage everyone else to do the same.”

-- Tim Kaine vowed that a Clinton administration would begin work on comprehensive immigration reform “in the first 100 days,” reiterating previous campaign promises of the presumptive Democratic nominee as he embarks on a Spanish-language media tour. From Ed O'Keefe and Mary Jordan: "Hillary is going to do that in the first 100 days of her administration," Kaine said in Spanish, as part of several taped interviews with Univision and Telemundo. "She is going to make a big effort in Congress to get reform passed, and with my experience in the Senate, with bipartisan colleagues, I am going to work hard — especially in Congress — to help this effort, and other issues, too." Kaine, who learned Spanish while serving as a missionary in Honduras, lamented that the country is suffering "a lot of violence right now." "I hope I could help work with the governments there to support their efforts at economic development, to combat the violence. Our nations should work together to end this situation," he said.


-- If you read one story about the GOP nominee today --> “Trump’s long history of clashes with Native Americans,” by Shawn Boburg: “Trump claimed that Indian reservations had fallen under mob control. He secretly paid for more than $1 million in ads that portrayed members of a tribe in Upstate New York as cocaine traffickers and career criminals. And he suggested in testimony and in media appearances that dark-skinned Native Americans in Connecticut were faking their ancestry. ‘I think I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians,’ Trump said [in 1993] … Trump’s harsh rhetoric on Native Americans was part of his aggressive war on the expanding Native American casino industry during the 1990s, which posed a threat to his gambling empire. The racially-tinged remarks and broad-brush characterizations that Trump employed against Indian tribes for over a decade provided an early glimpse of the kind of incendiary language that he would use about racial and ethnic groups in the 2016. ... His battles with Indian casinos also reveal Trump’s contradictions: Even as he was bashing the industry publicly, Trump was quietly trying to strike partnerships with some tribes."

-- Trump "senior foreign policy adviser" Michael Flynn apologized after sharing an anti-Semitic post on Twitter. The retired lieutenant general (who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency!) tweeted about the “corrupt Democratic machine,” sharing a link to a tweet from a user named Saint Bibiana who wrote “Cnn implicated. ‘The USSR is to blame!’ … Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore.” Flynn removed the tweet a few hours later, explaining that he only meant to share the CNN video it linked to. (TPM)

-- Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke told supporters that Trump has “left the door open” to supporting his Senate candidacy, noting that the Republican nominee “didn’t rule out” supporting him on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “You know, Trump basically said he could possibly vote, he could vote for [me] if he was running against a liberal Democrat,” Duke said on his radio show Monday. “So he did something, I think he felt like he did as much as he could do.” In fact, Trump was much firmer Sunday than he was when asked about Duke earlier this year during a Sunday show appearance. (Buzzfeed)

-- Mike Pence is considering bailing on the upcoming Koch summit: The Indiana governor is “reevaluating his commitment” to attending the national donor summit hosted by his longtime pals, Politico’s Ken Vogel reports. Sources say the move is a reflection of his new and busy veep schedule. 


-- Loretta Sanchez didn’t have a speaking slot in Philadelphia, but that didn’t stop her from crashing the stage last night: “The Orange County congresswoman stood silently on stage as her sister, Rep. Linda Sanchez, addressed the raucous crowd,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “The two clasped their hands in triumph when Linda Sanchez reminded everyone that they are the only sisters in history to serve in Congress together. Linda also gave her sister Loretta a nice plug for her Senate campaign. ‘We will elect a Latina to the U.S. Senate,’ Linda Sanchez declared. Neither Loretta Sanchez nor her rival in California’s Senate race, Attorney General Kamala Harris, were scheduled to address the convention.” President Obama endorses Harris last week, and Sanchez seemed to suggest in a Spanish-language interview that it was because they are both black.

-- First look: The Koch network is launching a $1 million ad campaign against Evan Bayh over his vote for TARP.  Freedom Partners Action Fund will go on the air tomorrow, though Aug. 9, with 30-second spot that notes the ex-Democratic senator, trying to win back his old seat, voted for “the Wall Street bailout” and then, after leaving office, joined the board of directors for Fifth Third Bancorp, which received money as part of the rescue. “He made nearly a million—and left Indiana behind,” the narrator says. There’s even a picture of Bayh’s “$2.3 million D.C. home.” Watch here:

-- Democrat Katie McGinty called her opponent, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, an “a**hole” during a press conference. Chiding him for not wanting to raise the minimum wage, she embraced a comment made by a union leader. "I might borrow from Chris' speech there in terms of Pat Toomey -- he's an a**hole, dammit," McGinty said. It was ironic because she’s been attacking Trump for his divisive rhetoric in recent days. “I regret the language I used and apologize to Senator Toomey,” McGinty said in a statement later. “Apology accepted,” Toomey said in a tweet. Watch the video:

-- “Are Republicans trying to pull a Todd Akin in the Florida Senate race?” by Mike DeBonis: “A little more than a month ago, Rep. Patrick Murphy was exceedingly well-positioned in the closely watched Florida Senate race: The Republicans running to replace the thought-to-be-retiring Marco Rubio faced a messy primary, while Murphy had consolidated his party establishment’s support against fellow Democratic congressman Alan Grayson. Since then, the race has been transformed. Rubio has decided to seek reelection after all, a series of media reports have raised pointed questions about Murphy, and, in recent weeks, outside groups have financed more than $4 million in negative ads targeting him. The ferocity of the attacks have raised questions among some Democrats about whether Republicans are making an overt effort to take out Murphy … thus sidelining a well-financed, centrist candidate in favor of Grayson, a liberal firebrand thought to have less appeal to general election voters.”

-- Grayson's ex-wife claimed domestic abuse over two decades: “Rep. Alan Grayson's ex-wife repeatedly went to police with accusations of domestic abuse over a two-decade period … revelations that come as the Florida congressman enters the final weeks of his Democratic primary campaign for Senate,” Politico reports this morning. “Lolita Grayson called police on her husband at least two times in Virginia and two more times in Florida, sought medical attention on at least two occasions and said that, in one instance, he had threatened to kill her, according to a police report. The congressman, who also asserted Lolita Grayson battered him in 2014, vehemently denies he engaged in any abuse during their 25-year marriage, which ended last year in a bitter annulment that she is now appealing.” Through his lawyer, Mark NeJame, Grayson denied ever striking or abusing Lolita Grayson, calling her a “disturbed woman.”

-- The Ohio Teamsters union endorsed Republican Sen. Rob Portman over former Gov. Ted Strickland, his Democratic challenger who had won its support in previous elections. "The union, which represents more than 50,000 members across Ohio and nearly always supports Democrats, had endorsed Strickland in 2006 and 2010. But in the tight 2016 Senate race, they chose his competitor,” the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jessie Balmert reports. “Rob is fighting for middle-class jobs and higher wages for the people of Ohio, and he has fought with us to protect our pensions,” Ohio Teamsters president Pat Darrow said a statement. The endorsement comes after Portman authored legislation to protect the pensions of retired workers. He also won the support of the United Mine Workers of America in June.


Trump went on a Twitter rant against  Warren:

This was Bernie's response:

A social media look at the colorful and sometimes nasty last stand of the Bernie die-hards:

Some perspective on the DNC emails controversy, from a former George W. Bush speechwriter:

Metaphor? A storm during rush hour last night caused many to get soaked:

Reporters had to flee our tents/work spaces outside the arena:

The convention really is a mess -- logistically. It's a nightmare to get around -- so much less convenient than Cleveland, and the DNC also does not seem to be as together on some of the back-end stuff, like distributing transcripts.

From the Editor in Chief of Yahoo News:

Paul Simon rehearsed on stage:

Shailene Woodley and Rosario Dawson turned up for Sanders:

Everywhere you look, there are lawmakers:

Everyone is getting their Bill Clinton photo:

This 102-year-old traveled from Arizona:

Flashback to the GOP convention in Philadelphia in 1948:


“#BlackLivesMatter leader launches ‘I Ain’t Voting’ campaign against Democrats,” from Red Alert: “Hawk Newsome, an activist from the Bronx has unveiled a campaign aimed at getting Democrats and Republicans to pay attention called 'I Ain’t Voting.’ ‘Black Americans have a chance right now collectively to say to the Democrats,’ said Newsome. ‘Hey, if you don’t give us criminal justice reform, we’ll give the country to Donald Trump.’ That’ll send the Democrats into a frenzy. Black lives will matter then, I guarantee you.’”



“DNC Emails: Common Core A ‘Third Rail’ To Ignore,” from The Federalist: “The email trove … shows deputy communications director Eric Walker instructing colleagues to not mention Common Core because it’s a third rail. No surprise, then, that the Democratic National Committee’s new education platform doesn’t mention Common Core. Regarding a video his team was developing that aimed to tar Republicans as anti-teacher, Walker wrote: ‘Common Core is a political third rail that we should not be touching at all. Get rid of it.’”


On the campaign trail: Bill Clinton and the mothers of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and others speak at the Democratic convention.

At the White House: Obama has no public events scheduled. Biden is in Philadelphia to speak at an LGBT brunch hosted by the DNC, attend a reception hosted in his honor hosted by Comcast and participate in a discussion on education.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are out.


“I’m Al Franken, Minnesota Senator and world-renowned expert on right-wing megalomaniacs: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and now, Donald Trump.”


-- Another hot and humid day is ahead, and you may want to pack an umbrella. The Capital Weather Gang delivers the latest heat-dome forecast: “Skies are partly cloudy for most of the day, but don’t be surprised to see overcast periods. Both humidity and temperatures drop slightly from Monday with highs in the middle 90s and dew points slightly lower than yesterday. Nevertheless, heat indices are still quite hot. Afternoon thunderstorm chances are mainly for the southern half of the region the potential for heavy downpours. Winds are from the northwest at around 5 mph, but gusty in thunderstorms."

-- Stunning: The D.C. man charged in last week’s fatal carjacking of a 68-year-old man in Southeast was on pre-trial release from jail in connection with another carjacking! 24-year-old Demarko Wheeler was arrested Sunday and charged with first-and second-degree murder. (Keith L. Alexander)

-- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, speaking at the DNC, vowed to individually restore voting rights to hundreds of thousands of nonviolent felons within the next two weeks. McAuliffe said he plans to use an “autopen” to sign the orders, sidestepping a State Supreme Court ruling that invalidated his clemency order as unconstitutional because it was too sweeping. (Jenna Portnoy)

-- A Virginia driver died after crashing his vehicle into the garage of a Gainesville home, causing both the car and the house to catch on fire. Police said the driver, whose identity has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene. (Dana Hedgpeth)


If you didn't catch any of last night's speeches, here's a 3.5-minute summary of the highlights:

Watch protesters confront DWS:

Sanders supporters booed and chanted during the convention invocation:

Some audience members booed and chanted Bernie Sanders's name when Hillary Clinton was mentioned during the opening invocation at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 25. (Video: Video: The Washington Post/Photo: Michael Robinson-Chavez/TWP)

Boyz II Men performed Motownphilly:

R&B super group Boyz II Men performed '90s hit "Motownphilly" during the first day of the Democratic National Convention. (Video: The Washington Post)

Franken and Sarah Silverman did a comedy sketch:

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and comedian Sarah Silverman spoke together at the Democratic National Convention on July 25. (Video: Video: The Washington Post/Photo: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

This Sanders supporter invoked Dumbledore in her speech:

Sanders supporter and Maine state Rep. Diane Russell invokes Dumbledore in her Democratic convention speech (Video: Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)


Prince Harry said he regrets not talking about Diana's death:

Prince Harry chats to sports stars at a 'Heads Together BBQ' at Kensington Palace regarding challenges they have faced during their lives. (Video: Reuters)

Captain Make America Great Again joined Conan O'Brien at Comic Con to talk about his alliance with villains:

John Oliver walked through the tradition of campaigns using unlicensed music -- and was joined by Usher, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Cyndi Lauper and other artists performing the song, "Don't Use Our Song":

Watch this "Bad Lip Reading" of Ted Cruz's convention speech:

Watch ice cream melt in D.C.'s heat wave:

Watch us do the unthinkable and melt ice cream to prove how hot it is. (Video: Jhaan Elker, Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)