Neera Tanden has history of feud with both Democratic and GOP leaders, even her mother called her 'aggressive'
Joe Biden's pick for the OMB has started facing criticism of the GOP, which if maintains control of the Senate, could block her confirmation
Neera Tanden, who president-elect Joe Biden has picked to run the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has a controversial history of firing off tweets and emails that have not impressed the Democratic Party’s liberal minds, besides the conservatives and the Senate’s most-known centrist face. If the GOP goes on to gain control of the Senate after the key battles in Georgia in January, this could pose a threat to the Massachusetts-born Tanden’s nomination. Even a narrow victory for the Democrats could thwart her career progress.
Tanden-Sanders feud is not new
The centrist-progressive rift in the Democratic Party could be widened over Tanden’s nomination, especially with those loyal to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders getting upset. Tanden is known to be a longtime ally of Hillary Clinton, who Sanders unsuccessfully challenged in the primaries of the 2016 election, and heads the Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank based in DC.
That the Sanders campaign was not happy with Tanden is evident from the tweet that the former’s former campaign press secretary Brianna Joy Gray fired off on Monday, November 30.
Everything toxic about the corporate Democratic Party is embodied in Neera Tanden. https://t.co/kWHcUK2VZ5— BJG 👑 (@briebriejoy) November 30, 2020
In another post on the social media platform, she wrote: “To foster unity, Biden taps Republicans and Neera Tanden, a woman who is openly disdainful of Bernie Sanders and his coalition, but who is friendly with extreme bigots online.” She cited in her tweet screenshots of other tweets giving an idea about Tanden’s dislike for Sanders.
To foster unity, Biden taps Republicans and Neera Tanden, a woman who is openly disdainful of Bernie Sanders and his coalition, but who is friendly with extreme bigots online. pic.twitter.com/PhoETbzYGn— BJG 👑 (@briebriejoy) November 29, 2020
Sanders himself was yet to make a comment on Tanden’s pick. Last year, the veteran lawmaker shot off a letter to the board of Center for American Progress and CAP Action Fund slamming the body for playing what he defined as a “destructive role” in the mission to defeat incumbent President Donald Trump, the New York Times reported first.
Tanden slammed moderate GOP Senator Susan Collins
In case the GOP ends up controlling the Senate, Tanden could be facing a backlash over her controversial words on Maine Senator Susan Collins, known to be the most prominent centrist remaining in the chamber. Tanden, 50, once called Collings “the worst”.
Maine, who is serving as a senator since 1997, backed Trump on impeachment and hearing of Brett Kavanaugh but not the selection of Amy Coney Barrett as a judge to the Supreme Court bench following the demise of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is one of the few moderates who survived a scare in this year’s re-election and could be one of the few moderates key to Biden’s nominations. Tanden’s criticism for Collins came after the 67-year-old voted to confirm Kavanaugh despite allegations of sexual crimes against him.
“Sen. Susan Collins stepped forward as the chief advocate for Judge Kavanaugh, offering a pathetically bad faith argument as cover for President Trump's vicious attacks on survivors of sexual assault,” Tanden wrote. She added: “Collins also revealed herself as a fake defender of Roe v. Wade, parroting ridiculous and debunked talking points.”
Arkansas GOP Senator Tom Cotton on Saturday, November 29, mentioned the past in a tweet while taking a dig at members of the Biden administration, including Tanden. “Biden said he wanted to unify the country. But he's picked a national security team that is weak on China, a DHS nominee who sold visas for powerful political friends, and a partisan hack who called Susan Collins "the worst" for OMB. So much for unity,” he said.
Biden said he wanted to unify the country.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) November 30, 2020
But he’s picked a national security team that is weak on China, a DHS nominee who sold visas for powerful political friends, and a partisan hack who called Susan Collins “the worst” for OMB.
So much for unity.
GOP conservatives are not impressed with Tanden either. Drew Brandewie, communications director for Texas Senator John Cornyn, said in a tweet on Sunday night: “Neera Tanden, who has an endless stream of disparaging comments about the Republican Senators’ whose votes she’ll need, stands zero chance of being confirmed.” He also said that Tanden has little chance of getting the Senate’s confirmation.
Neera Tanden, who has an endless stream of disparaging comments about the Republican Senators’ whose votes she’ll need, stands zero chance of being confirmed. https://t.co/f6Ewi6OMQR— Drew Brandewie (@DBrandewie) November 30, 2020
Last month, Tanden took a strong dig at Trump over his refusal to concede the 2020 presidential race to Biden, saying it was an “attack on democracy”.
A lot of people worked really hard to counter Trump’s attacks on democracy before, during and after the elections while some people sat on the sidelines. Because defenders of democracy won out does not mean there was no battle. https://t.co/QjJQkbUsPk— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) November 24, 2020
Tanden even had dismissed Biden once when he was considered a possible candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. She said in 2015 that the good thing about Biden running for the top office is that it would make Hillary's candidature even better. She considered the former secretary of state "the strongest person on the planet". Tanden's mother also described her once as "aggressive", according to another report in the NYT.