Outrage Sparks Over Joe Biden Choosing Neera Tanden To Run Office Of Management And Budget
Longtime Hillary Clinton ally and known tweeter Neera Tanden is causing a stir amongst progressives who are upset over President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to have her lead the Office of Management and Budget.
The president of the Center for American Progress still has to get Senate approval for the title which may be problematic for the Democrat party even if it gains the majority, the New York Post reports.
Georgia’s two upcoming run-offs will determine if the chamber will be split 50-50, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will break the tie. With this being the case, Tanden must win every Democratic vote, which may be difficult since she’s had past tension with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The conflict between the two formed during the 2016 Democratic Presidential primary, Tandem was a senior official in the former secretary of state’s campaign, the Post reports. Emails went public on WikiLeaks showing Tanden calling the staffers at the progressive news website ThinkProgress “crazy leftists.” The divide between the two deepened after Sanders sought the 2020 Democratic nomination while Tanden ran for CAP.
Sanders accused the organization, along with Tanden of maligning his staff and supporters, as well as “belittling progressive ideas.”
But then things took a turn for the worse when Tanden was accused of punching Sanders’ campaign leader Faiz Shakir in the chest after an interview with Hillary Clinton. At the time Shakir was the chief editor of ThinkProgress’ website. Apparently, things got heated after Shakir question Clinton about her advocacy for the Iraq War. Purportedly, it was after the interview that Tanden punched him, an allegation she denies while admitting things did get physical.
“I didn’t slug him, I pushed him,” Tanden said.
“I don’t know anyone personally in Bernie world who is happy about this choice. We’re talking about a woman who’s notorious for assaulting Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager,” Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders’ 2020 campaign press secretary, told Politico of Biden’s choice.
Kurt Ehrenberg, Sanders’ political strategist also weighed in, saying “It’s like putting Chelsea Clinton in the office. She’s clearly not a friend of the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party.”
Now Tanden and Sanders will have to meet again, face to face. Sanders is currently the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee. The committee will oversee Tanden’s upcoming hearings.
As for the Republicans, some would call Biden’s nominee “radioactive,’ including Rep. Sen. John Cornyn. Tanden is known for using her platform to spread bombastic criticism of lawmakers. According to Politico, she has deleted over 1,000 tweets, while some remain, many reference GOP lawmakers by name and call them out for supporting Trump.
“It’s pretty crazy to me to think that she can go back and … eliminate all the tweets that she’s sent out over the last, whatever, months, years. And I think it’s really a misstep by the administration,” said Cornyn, who also occasionally does battle on Twitter. “I really am a little surprised, particularly on the OMB nominee that there hadn’t been at least some consultation. I mean some of these problems can be avoided. And people, you know, saved from the embarrassment.” The deletion of tweets has further fueled Republican acrimony.
“She’s been pretty partisan in some of her previous positions. And in many cases, with respect to Republican senators who would have to vote on her potential nomination,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the GOP whip stated. He was vague about whether Tanden would get a floor vote under Republican control and a Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Tanden doesn’t need to win united support from the GOP — far from it. Even if Democrats lose both of the Georgia run-offs and are stuck with a 52-48 Republican majority, they’d just need two Republicans to vote for Tanden if all Democrats support her.