President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Neera Tanden to be the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget when he takes office, and many supporters are not happy. Tanden is the president of a liberal think-tank called the Center for American Progress, and her actions as a public figure have been questionable over the years. Seeing Tanden take a cabinet position in the Biden-Harris administration has many of their supporters upset.
Tanden is a controversial choice for Biden's cabinet on many levels, from the personal to the professional. While she works for a liberal organization, Tanden is considered a "fiscal conservative" by many, and her job will now be to oversee the administration's spending and policy plans. According to a report by Refinery 29, Tanden has advocated for making significant cuts to social security and other social safety nets — referring to them generally as "entitlement programs." Given the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession, many are outraged at these stances.
Tanden has also been accused of hypocrisy during her time in the public eye. Shortly after taking over CAP, she shut down its online publication ThinkProgress when its workers formed a union. At the same time, she has attacked Bernie Sanders and progressive politicians like him in the media.
Perhaps most dramatically of all, Tanden is accused of punching ThinkProgress' chief editor, Faiz Shakir, after he interviewed Hillary Clinton and asked her about the Iraq War. When asked about this later by The New York Times, Tanden only said: "I didn't slug him, I pushed him."
Other scandals and drama have plagued 50-year-old Tanden for years, and many voters are perplexed that Biden would appoint her to an important cabinet position after all of these issues. Her appointment drew heavy criticism on social media. Here is a look at how the outrage played out.
LOL, Neera Tanden removed “progressive” from her bio and replaced it with “liberal.” pic.twitter.com/OnjIWbEoi3— Red Ryan (@queeralamode) November 30, 2020
Tanden pointedly removed the term "progressive" from her Twitter bio on Monday, perhaps noting that it no longer matched with the current connotation of the term. Tanden is generally seen as an enemy of the political faction now being called "progressives" in the U.S., including Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.prevnext
“A lot of Senate Republicans, who for some reason never seem to manage to see President Trump and his tweets, are highlighting a lot of Neera Tanden’s tweets” pic.twitter.com/BFPI4HSPab— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) November 30, 2020
I find it laughable that @neeratanden is being held to a much different Twitter standard than #Trump by Republicans. Gimme a break... she is too partisan for OMB?!? When they installed criminals at every lever of power?!? Have a seat! #WokeAF— Danielle Moodie (@DeeTwoCents) November 30, 2020
Tanden is prolific on Twitter, and many Republican critics called her out for this after her appointment was announced. Others called this ironic given the way President Donald Trump uses social media.prevnext
Biden nominated Neera Tanden and now her record is all out there for everyone to see. This is the Democratic Party, everyone pic.twitter.com/UccL5w0UlN— 😍 Official RON KLAIN Fan Club 😍 (@Fishbones2020) November 30, 2020
Critics also brought up Tanden's history of accepting money an gifts from lobbying groups and individuals, arguing that this was tantamount to accepting bribes.prevnext
While self-described provessive voters were put off by Tanden, not all politicians who fall into that group were. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams and others endorsed her on Monday.prevnext
Imagine that- the chief executive of a liberal think tank criticizing GOP senators. What a shocker.
I'd say if the far left and GOP senators are warry of @neeratanden for OMB Director- then she's obviously the perfect pick.— Rachel "The Doc" Bitecofer 📈🔭🍌 (@RachelBitecofer) November 30, 2020
Tanden's supporters argued that she has only done what one needs to do in order to make their way in a political career, and that it is actually a good sign that both Republicans and progressives do not like her. This framed the Democratic party in the U.S. as the political center, rather than the left.prevnext
You proposed cutting CHIP so we could afford to invade countries in the middle east and plunder their oil— Michael Onwenu 10 time All-Pro (@MichaelOnwenu) November 30, 2020
On Monday, Tanden tweeted about how much it meant to her to take over the OMB so that she could oversee assistance programs she once relied on. Critics responded with comments about her past disdain for such programs during her career.prevnext
The GOP effort to block @neeratanden as the head of OMB is absurd. She's obviously qualified. She's been naming what it will take to address both the unemployment crisis and the care crisis long before we had them. And she will not fall for false austerity narratives. (1/2)— Fatima Goss Graves (@FGossGraves) November 30, 2020
While Tanden's critics on both sides complained, her supporters grew concerned about whether she would be confirmed to her office at all. The Senate is required to confirm the president's cabinet appointments, and if Republicans refuse to do so with Tanden, it could set a bad tone for Biden's presidency.prev