You and I have talked a lot over the last six or seven months about the Democratic Party process and who could be, might be, should be, the nominee. This week it’s officially official that Joe Biden is our guy. With that in mind, I have been doing some thinking about how I would advise him to run. Pretty arrogant, but pretty fun. We have agreed that the party had no ideal candidate this year, but I believe we agree that Joe is the only one to talk seriously about continuing to reach (now elbow bump) across the aisle. He still believes in collaboration and playing nicely in the sandbox. None of us could imagine that the pandemic would be the table setter for this election. Despite its awfulness, it could provide Joe with wonderful opportunities. I would counsel Joe to concentrate on recharging and rebuilding the economy – likely through 2022 or 2023. Nothing could be more important now and nothing could bring more diverse groups together than a visionary, cohesive plan for recovery. Biden has the benefit of no competition here. Trump has no plan for anything – only reactions and self-aggrandizement. Sadly, he is capable of nothing else. My advice would be not to engage Trump on any head-to-head basis. I’d ask Obama, Bloomberg and former Democratic contenders to do that as well, and solely and frequently refer to Trump as “The Man Without a Plan.” I would compare post 2008 (and Biden’s unmatchable experience during that recovery) with the current situation and build the plan around an unparalleled collaboration among the federal government, the states and the private sector. I’d call it a “Dream for a New America.” The plan would include creating jobs and opportunities. There may be 5,000,000 jobs lost when this pandemic is over, and it will take massive efforts and collaboration to solve replacement. We can create new infrastructure jobs including dams, electrical grids, forest fire prevention, air and water quality – all leading to the reality of the “Dream” and a new sense of American pride. Trump can ridicule it, demean it, deny it and Twitter it, but he cannot compete with it. I’d enlist all Republicans willing to join and share credit with them. I would enlist the incredible talent and resources of Wall Street to help design new financing mechanisms, backed by federal credit enhancement to build out the “Dream.” Bloomberg could be an invaluable resource here. I’d have Joe reach out to all governors, and ask them, what resources they need; what resources they have; and how to tailor the plan for their states. If Biden can get some strong gubernatorial support, along with some key mayors, he may be able to suck the air right out of Trumps rantings and Twitterings. To Trump’s supporters, I’d have Joe say, if you believe that Trump has made America a stronger and more cohesive, compassionate country; if you believe that he’s protected and grown your retirement plan; if you believe he’s created new industry to provide jobs for your children; then vote for him. If not, join our dream and make it a reality. This is A Dream for a New America!
Stephen G. Gehring
Photo courtesy of marketwatch.com.