The Trump Show is Back

Make America Great Again hat

President Trump, responding to sagging poll numbers nationally and in the battlegrounds, decided that the cure to the summertime blues is to reboot the daily Coronavirus briefings. The reviews so far: mixed. The media is gaga that the President has a new tone and is supporting mask-wearing, but he continues to cite misleading numbers and offered words of support for an alleged sex trafficker.

At Views, we’ve always believed that best the political path forward for the President was to lead an effective, national pandemic response. With the pandemic raging across the sunbelt and other states, it’s hard to see how the President changes hearts and minds from the Podium alone, without really doing the hard work necessary. But time will tell.

Meanwhile, the spring and summer months are typically when incumbent Presidents and their allies try to define their opponents as aloof or out of touch or in bed with special interests or the very wealthy. (See Romney, Mitt; Kerry, John; Dole, Bob.) This time around it’s clear that the Trump campaign hasn’t settled on a definition for Joe Biden. He’s at times Sleepy Joe or Creepy Joe or Not all there Joe or Puppet of the Left Joe. But as the old saying goes, if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one. In this case, if you have four strategies, you don’t have one.

The latest: The President is trying to use a cognitive test — Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV — that is used to diagnose dementia to prove that he’s all there up there and that Uncle Joe is not. Some friendly advice — don’t make a big deal of it when you pass a test that nearly every adult in the nation can pass without breaking a sweat. So net, net — we’re basically 100 days out. I think it’s fair to say that you’d rather be in Joe Biden’s shoes than the President’s. Now that the conventions are both going virtual, there are really only a few big moments to change the course of the campaign. Bidens’ VP pick; the Debates; and the approval of a potential vaccine.

Tech Takes

Friend of Views, Ahmad Thomas was named as the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. In taking on the role, Ahmad pledged to continue the great work of SVLG on housing, education and transportation, while noting rightly that tech needs fundamental change when it comes to racial justice, diversity and equity issues. We look forward to seeing the great work that Ahmad will do!

Ahmad is part of the Dianne Feinstein coaching tree, former staffers who are taking leadership roles in the tech industry and California politics. The indefatigable Annabel Chang just landed a spot as head of state government affairs for Waymo. The charismatic Amanda Renteria recently became the CEO of Code For America. And the mercurial Gil Duran is, of course, the editor of the Sacramento Bee opinion page. These are smart, talented individuals who like our favorite Senior Senator, bring a detailed, pragmatic approach to solving problems and will be forces to be reckoned within this world for years to come.


According to Politico, next week’s anti-trust hearing with the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook is “likely to be postponed because of the announcement that the late Rep. John Lewis will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol next week.” When it does happen, this hearing is likely to take center stage in Washington — as the regulatory world waits to see what will happen. Our humble advice to these tech giants: with Democrats expected to make gains in fall, it’s time to get your competition houses in order and build out a network of people willing to make the case why your platform has advanced competition, not drowned it out.

Cyber Corner

Twitter Hack Not Technical At All

As so often is the case, all the greatest cyber tools and technologies can be undermined by the behavior of one or a handful of employees. When it comes down to it, cybersecurity remains a human-intensive endeavor. As details emerge on last week’s Twitter attack, it is clear that good old-fashioned social engineering is the best way to infiltrate a hardened network.

According to Slate, the Twitter breach has been traced to a hacker’s access to an internal chat channel on Slack. “Knowledge of Twitter’s corporate structure and its employees’ roles and communication systems likely made the attack smarter and helped plan and affect the breach.”

Cyber’s biggest challenge will continue to focus on the need to create solutions that mitigate human errors. An alarm system in a house can have every bell and whistle but if the owner doesn’t turn it on or you give someone else your code, it is vaporware.

How will cyber become “people proof?”

Cyber Business Booming

One new study from Canalys shows that cybersecurity spending globally should grow by 6% this year.

The study predicts that endpoint security (8.5%), email and web security (10.3%), data security (8.5%) and vulnerability and security analytics (10%) will see the steepest spending increases this year. Network security will barely rise, but perhaps that is in direct response to an increase in cloud migration as remote workforces expand.

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