A selective retelling

Balance of Power
Bloomberg

The American dream versus socialism.

That's how Donald Trump framed the choice between granting him a second term as president or picking his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, during a Republican nomination acceptance speech strewn with misstatements and exaggerations about Biden's record and his own.

An uncharacteristically low-energy Trump signaled a desire to make the rest of the campaign a referendum on Biden — who leads in national and key swing state polls — rather than on himself, Justin Sink reports.

Over 71 minutes, he largely sidestepped the chief concern for many Americans — how he plans to fight a deadly virus that has left more than 180,000 Americans dead. He promised a vaccine before the end of the year — "maybe even sooner!" — a boast none of the medical professionals around him is prepared to guarantee.

The televised images of the gathering reinforced Trump's wishful words about the coronavirus: Almost none of the around 1,500 supporters seated nearly shoulder-to-shoulder outside the White House wore masks.

Trump, who has cast himself as the "law and order" president, made only a glancing reference to protests this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.

He warned that "if the left gains power, they will demolish the suburbs" and "confiscate your guns" and said Biden can't be trusted to heal the nation's racial divisions.

Trump, the reality television star turned president whose top aide coined the term "alternative facts," has had past success constructing the reality his supporters ascribe to.

How well that strategy works now could determine his fate on Nov. 3.

Kathleen Hunter

Trump speaks at the White House last night. The president cast his first term was an unqualified success and Biden as a "Trojan horse for socialism."

Photographer: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Click here for more of Bloomberg's most compelling political images from the past week.

Global Headlines

Stepping down | Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned to undergo treatment for the return of a chronic illness, ending his run as Japan's longest-serving premier. He'll stay on until the ruling party elects a new leader, and it's unclear when that might happen. Abe, who will remain a lawmaker, is best known for "Abenomics," his effort to revive the economy through unprecedented monetary easing and regulatory reform.

  • Abe's most likely successors may only tweak Tokyo's approach to everything from China ties to monetary policy. Click here to read about the main contenders.

Abe at a press conference in Tokyo today. 

Photographer: Franck Robichon/EPA/Bloomberg

Street skirmish | Protesters confronted those leaving the White House after Trump's convention speech, with chaotic scenes on the streets of the nation's capital. In one incident, they surrounded Senator Rand Paul and his wife, some chanting the name of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in Paul's home state of Kentucky. A demonstrator was seen shoving one of the officers guarding Paul, who then stumbled back into the senator.

Campaign 2020

There are 67 days until the election. Here's the latest on the race for control of the White House and Congress.

A federal judge has ordered Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to start handing over evidence sought by 14 states suing over recent U.S. Postal Service changes they fear will undermine mail-in voting.

Other developments:

Sign up to receive daily election updates as a direct mobile notification on Twitter. Simply click on this link and like the tweet.

Tricky ties | Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned Norway against giving a Nobel Peace Prize to Hong Kong protesters during a visit to Olso, underscoring the limitations of Beijing's new diplomatic charm offensive targeted at Europe. Relations between the two countries have been turbulent following a 2010 decision to award the Peace Prize to then-jailed — and now deceased — Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo. The Norwegian government doesn't have any say in who is awarded the prize.

  • Microsoft has teamed up with Walmart in a contest with Oracle to buy the U.S. assets of the popular video-sharing app TikTok from China's ByteDance.

Work from home? | U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urging people to have the confidence to return to their workplaces, as the government tries to coax workers back into town and city centers to help kick-start the virus-devastated economy. So he's unlikely to have welcomed comments by his health minister, Matt Hancock, that officials are performing well working from home. A key test of the public's willingness to heed the government's advice comes next week when schools in England return.

  • The British government has begun researching a new post-Brexit customs IT system, with four months to go before it's set to go live.

What to Watch

  • Chancellor Angela Merkel said today during her annual summer press conference that Germany continues to take the coronavirus seriously and won't change its policy toward Russia.
  • EU foreign ministers are due to discuss Turkey's dispute with Greece and the bloc's relations with Russia on the second day of their meeting in Berlin today.
  • The United Nations Security Council is set today to cut its peacekeeping mission in Lebanon following U.S. pressure to either change its mandate or reduce its numbers.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the typhoon that struck his country this week did less damage than expected, indicating his state avoided a devastating blow to its already struggling agricultural sector.

Pop quiz, readers (no cheating!). Secretary of State Michael Pompeo this week became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit which country in more than a decade? Send us your answers and tell us how we're doing or what we're missing at balancepower@bloomberg.net.

And finally ... Hurricane Laura, one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S. Gulf region in more than a century, prompted the evacuation of more than 750,000 residents. CityLab's Linda Poon reports that those relocations could lead to thousands, if not tens of thousands, of new coronavirus cases, depending on how well emergency planners strategically direct evacuees on where to seek shelter.

A U.S. flag flies on a boat parked in front of a damaged building after Hurricane Laura made landfall in Lake Charles, Louisiana, yesterday.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

 

 

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