“If you’ve been watching television lately, you’ve now seen the Biden Ad. It concludes — “Joe Biden — he brings everyone to the table to get things done.”
*Editor’s Note: Martin O’Malley is former governor of Maryland and a presidential contender
Inclusion. Collaboration. Delivering Results.
Change the name of the office and the candidate, and the ad could well be the ad of a young candidate for mayor. But it Is an ad for President of the United States. And it is the opposite of what we’ve seen in four years of the oxymoron we sometimes call the Trump Administration.
It’s also the early morning song of a whole new way of governing. A new way that Joe Biden — for all of his years of experience — is already a leader in bringing forward.
I know, because I’ve seen Joe Biden in action.
This new way of governing isn’t about dominance. It’s about collaboration. It’s about sharing the latest emerging truth of what’s happening where. It’s about using modern technology to model, measure, map, and drive performance in ways all can see.
Openness. Transparency. Trust. The ability for everyone to see what’s happening where — and when — so we can all do something about it.
In the face of this Pandemic, we have already heard a new language of cooperation rising up around the world. “We are all in this together,... Individual actions affect the whole,... Together we can bend the curve.” This Covid vocabulary is also the vernacular of a new way of governing — a new way that Biden knows well. But the effectiveness of this new way of governing — it’s ability to deliver better results — depends not so much on command and control, as it does on shared understanding.
I grant you, the practice of this new way of governing is still very new. And its examples are still more the exception than the norm. In fact, the scarcity of effective democratic responses to the Covid pandemic makes many of us wonder if democracy even works anymore. As the insightful Fareed Zakaria observes, “Covid has become a stress test for governments all around the world — and there aren’t many governments that are passing the test...”
But there is a better way forward. And it is the way Joe Biden “operated” as Vice President when he was put in charge of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
As one of those governors who worked with Joe Biden week in and week out to implement the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, I was witness to and beneficiary of his talent, his vision, and his effectiveness as a collaborative leader.
As I hear Biden commit to convening a War Cabinet to combat Covid, and when I hear Biden talk about bringing people together to get things done on climate, I know exactly what he means. I know because I was there at his side when he took charge of making the Recovery and Reinvestment Act work.
At the time, it seemed the whole world was predicting failure, waste, fraud and abuse. Instead, Joe Biden delivered for people. And he delivered with a degree of openness and transparency never before achieved on the face of this planet.
Using geographic information systems and the power of the Internet, he made it possible for Americans to see — for the very first time, real-time, on an interactive map — exactly where those precious federal dollars were being invested in their own state, own county, own zip codes.
Whether it was shovel ready transportation projects, clean water projects, extended unemployment benefits for people who were unemployed, or keeping teachers on the job in our classrooms, every Governor and every American Citizen could actually see where every dollar was going in real-time.
The Technology that made it possible — geographic information systems and the Internet — had been around for years. But never before had a person with Executive power brought them together as a common platform: a common platform for everyone to see, for everyone to know, for everyone to be held accountable — accountable for delivering actions that delivered better results. And by “everyone to see”, I do not mean only the Governors of the Fifty United States and Territories; by “everyone” I mean, by every Citizen of the United States.
This is the new way of governing that Joe Biden will use to combat Covid and get all of our people back to work. It is the new way of governing he will use to reverse global warming by moving America to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050.
Model, measure, and map. Set benchmarks, milestones, and deadlines. Bring people together to get things done. Lift up the leaders. Find better ways to make it work. Better ways to build back better.
We are Americans. We need not be the victims of history or bad leadership.
We make our own events.
Our concern is today and tomorrow.
And the life-giving business of the United States of America is a better tomorrow for all of our kids.
Vote for Joe Biden.