Opinion | What America Needs Next: A Biden National Unity Cabinet – By Thomas L. Friedman – The New York Times

By 

Opinion Columnist

Credit…Hannah Yoon for The New York Times

“In the last Democratic debate, Joe Biden declared that he would nominate a woman as his vice-presidential running mate. That felt right at the time. But times have changed. Biden needs to go much, much further: At the Democratic convention he needs to name not just his vice president, but his entire cabinet. And it needs to be a totally different kind of cabinet — a national unity cabinet — from Democrats on the Bernie Sanders left to Republicans on the Mitt Romney right. Why?

Because while most people are playing nice right now managing this virus, the wreckage, pain and anger it will leave behind will require megadoses of solidarity and healing from the top.

And even if we get to the other side of this crisis by January, there are going to be a set of wrenching debates around who got bailed out and who didn’t and around how much civil liberty we should sacrifice to track and quarantine Covid-19 carriers until there is a vaccine. If handled on a partisan basis, those issues will rip our country apart.

In short, if this isn’t the time to leave behind the hyperpartisanship that has made it nearly impossible for us to do anything big and hard for two decades, then when?

Considering all the people who have come together in this crisis to tend to neighbors, contribute to hospitals, share scarce resources and learn from one another how to combat Covid-19, would it be asking too much for our political system to mirror the best in us rather than to continue to exacerbate the worst? Americans today deserve the government they need more than ever. It has literally become a matter of life and death.

Biden, because he doesn’t run anything right now, has had a hard time demonstrating leadership. The one giant contrast that he could draw with President Trump, though, is the approach he would take to governing.

Americans are not focused on this now — but they will be. And when they are, Biden needs to show that he isn’t running to be president of the 48 percent (or less), as Trump is; he’s not trying to suppress the vote, as Trump is; he’s not running to squeak by in the Electoral College, as Trump is. He needs to show he’s running to be a majority president, a unity president — but not just unity for unity’s sake, but unity of purpose based on a set of shared values for rebuilding America.

Biden should enlist people ready to embrace these values:

1) They have to believe in science — and not just around the coronavirus but around climate change, which is the next train coming at us.

2) If they were in power during this crisis, they have to have led their city, state or business in a way that took the science of this epidemic seriously from the start and cared for those under them.”

David Lindsay: This not my favorite Friedman piece. Pete Buttigieg was my choice for VP. I think saying the VP has to be female, was Biden’s first really big mistake. He mentions three women, but they are unknowns to most of us. We know that Buttigieg can speak, and think like a president.

The comments are interesting, and here is my favorite so far:

Drew
San Jose, Costa Rica
Times Pick

A good start but a few adjustments are needed. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is far the best person for Ambassador to the UN. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez should stay put for now. And perhaps Andrew Yang should be Secretary of Energy over Karsner. But the big flaw in this line-up, there has to be some role for Sen. Sanders. Something important. Some office with real authority. Something worthy of the man. Not sure what it could be but for certain VP Biden must bring in Sanders in a visible way, address his concerns and gain his cooperation. The appearance of exclusion was Secretary Clinton’s biggest mistake.

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