Biden’s Coalition: A Modern Team of Rivals

By Kyle Ruempler

As much as the current President might think the world revolves around him, he is not the only one to blame for the state of our nation. It has become increasingly clear over the past four years that the rest of the administration — those with whom the President chooses to surround himself — plays a critical role in this country’s progress, or lack thereof.

When you think of the rollbacks of environmental safety regulations, you think of Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler of the EPA. When you hear of the continued corruption in the White House and those who defend it, your mind turns to Attorney General William Barr. And when we consider that our students and teachers are being instructed to put themselves in harm’s way this fall semester, we know it’s because Betsy DeVos’ first foray into education is as the Secretary of Education itself.

The tone may be set by Donald Trump, but these and other cabinet officials are also wreaking havoc on America, politicizing our safety and stomping on the values we hold dear.

Joe Biden is Different.

Back in May, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders created a set of unity task forces to take broader stances on policy and get down to the nitty gritty. Areas such as immigration, health care, criminal justice reform, and beyond are being addressed by experts who run the (Democratic) ideological gamut. Union leaders, college professors, former Obama advisors, a co-author of the Green New Deal, you name it.

This collaboration means Joe Biden is willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. This is not an empty promise — Biden’s campaign is already working alongside people who represent the diversity of the American people. The wheels are already in motion, and we can begin to see what a Biden presidency would look like. Not just in terms of its people, but also the governing and decision-making style of the administration.

From Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s former campaign manager: “Biden’s team has been very ‘amenable and open’ to working with progressives throughout the process. He has some room to run in terms of building a more fleshed-out policy agenda to campaign upon. Because he hasn’t fleshed it out as deeply as some other candidates over the course of the primary, that’s an opportunity.”

It may be too much conjecture to say that the Biden campaign intentionally left a little wiggle room so that he could build his plans up with the advice of more progressive allies. But it is clear that Biden is not straying away from these associations, quite regularly organizing events co-hosted by his former opponents. This goes well beyond a typical endorsement at the Convention. Virtual fundraisers with Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren netted $1M, $3.5M, and $6.5M respectively for the Biden campaign.

Perhaps part of this is timing — we had our presumptive nominee earlier in the cycle compared to other elections, thus giving more runway for surrogates to take a leading role. Still, this collaboration truly speaks to the values that the Biden campaign espouses, among them Inclusion and Humility. Biden is taking a play from Lincoln’s book, assembling his own “team of rivals,” drawing on the merits of the very people he ran against.

But that’s just it — Biden didn’t really run against people in the primary. Yes, he had to debate them, and there were differences in opinion. Did you see Biden making personal attacks? No. He stayed above the fray, keeping the focus of his campaign on the American people.

Joe Biden is not the most progressive politician in U.S. history. That’s clear, we can say it out loud without argument. But his presidency would be marked not by narcissism, but by empathy. A Biden administration would be one that listens to the American people, listens to science and reason, and listens to cabinet members and other executive officials. There would be no fear of saying “I don’t know” or “I can’t do this alone,” but an excitement at saying “We will figure this out together.”

In Biden’s Administration, You Matter.

So when you vote for Joe Biden, know that your voice, your concerns, will be heard through the voices of the primary candidates you grew to love. When Biden became the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, that may have signaled the end of the primary race. But in turn, it became the start of a new era. One where every idea presented during these historic campaigns has a place at the table.

Your trust is in the right hands, and America will know progress once again.

#BidenCoalition #TeamofRivals #BidenLeadership