The problem for the vast Republican field is not just that Donald Trump is solidly in the lead. The problem, writes Ezra Klein for Vox, is that the 2016 Republican field was supposed to be the strongest in decades. So far, it’s just the biggest.
Trump’s debate game plan: “I’ll have to feel it out, see where everyone else is coming from. I’d prefer no conflict, no infighting, but if they hit me, I’ll hit them harder. It’s all going to depend on the moment.” Via The Washington Post.
It’s the Happy Hour debate or the Kids’ Table debate. How can the also-rans make the most of their time? Via The National Journal.
Joe Biden can’t beat Hillary Clinton, but there’s a good chance she could do that all by herself, writes Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post.
Obama makes his case for the Iran nuclear deal, saying that those who oppose it are basically the same people who voted for the Iraq war — and that once again they have their facts wrong. Via The New York Times editorial board.
Full text of the Obama speech. Via The Washington Post.
Jeffrey Goldberg interviews John Kerry on the Iran nuclear deal, in which Kerry says that no deal would be far, far worse.
A federal appeals court knocks down the Texas Voter ID law, saying it obstructs the rights of minority voters. Via The Wall Street Journal.
Why we cry
Adam Gopnik explains why we weep for Cecil the lion. He writes that it’s about the disrupted order of things and man’s place in that order. Via The New Yorker.
A Zimbabwean grad student studying at Wake Forest says that while Americans may be outraged about Cecil, no one in Zimbabwe cries when a lion dies. Via The New York Times.