Politics Tanden’s Nomination Won’t Make or Break the Biden Presidency
Neera Tanden's outreach to senators continues next week as confirmation in jeopardy
President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget Neera Tanden will carry on with her outreach to senators next week after her confirmation was jeopardized Friday when Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin revealed he would vote against her. © Alex Wong/Getty Images Director of the Office of Management and Budget nominee Neera Tanden speaks during an event to name President-elect Joe Biden's economic team at the Queen Theater on December 1, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. So far, Tanden has met with 35 senators on both sides of the aisle, according to a source involved with the confirmation process.
Okay, folks, this is getting ridiculous. When a vote in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the nomination of Neera Tanden to Office of Management and Budget director was postponed earlier this week, you would have thought it presented an existential threat to the Biden presidency. “Scrutiny over Tanden’s selection has continued to build as the story over her uneven reception on Capitol Hill stretched through the week,”one Washington Post story. Politico Playbook that if Tanden didn’t recover, the brouhaha “has the potential to be what Biden might call a BFD.” There’s been all sorts of about whether the White House is playing some sort of “three-dimensional chess” in its handling of the confirmation, disguising a nefarious plan B or C.
Neera Tanden’s nomination to head White House budget office in peril as Collins, Romney say they will vote against her
The nomination of Neera Tanden to head the powerful Office of Budget and Management appears increasingly imperiled, with Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney and Utah, both Republicans, announcing on Monday morning that they would vote against the nominee. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a centrist Democrat, had earlier indicated that he, too, would vote against Tanden. At issue is Tanden’s storied legacy of incendiary tweets, which have frequently criticized and mocked Trump, congressional Republicans and progressives like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Perhaps it reflects the law of supply and demand, which requires the inflation of any bit of trouble for Biden into a crisis. After all, his Cabinet nominees have been approved by the Senate with a minimum of 56 votes; the second-lowest level of support was 64 votes. One nominee who was the subject of all sorts of, Tom Vilsack, was with 92 Senate votes. Meanwhile, Congress is on track to approve the moved by any president since at least the Reagan budget of 1981, with a lot of the work on it being conducted quietly in both chambers. Maybe if the bill hits some sort of roadblock, or if Republican fury at HHS nominee Xavier Becerra (whose confirmation has predictably become the big fundraising and mobilization vehicle for the GOP’s very loud anti-abortion constituency) reaches a certain decibel level, Tanden can get out of the spotlight for a bit.
Susan Collins Deals (Likely) Death Blow to Tanden Nomination
Senate moderates are poised to sacrifice Biden’s OMB pick on the altar of civility — but the White House isn’t relinquishing Tanden just yet.During the Trump era, Joe Manchin repeatedly bucked his party on high-profile votes, but in almost all of these cases, his vote was not decisive. For example, the West Virginia Democrat backed Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court — but only after enough Republican moderates had declared their support for Trump’s nominee to ensure his ascension. Meanwhile, Manchin toed the party line on the Trump Tax Cuts and Obamacare repeal.
I don’t mean to understate the importance of OMB; as a veteran budget wonk, I’d never do that. Nor do I minimize the; it really does smack of racism and sexism that the kind of social-media nastiness that white bullyboys (most notably the 45th president of the United States, his son, and many of his allies) indulge in so regularly somehow becomes disqualifying for an Asian American woman. And that’s aside from the highly risible idea that Tanden might disturb the Elysian atmosphere of civility for which today’s Washington is so rightly renowned.
But what’s really unfair — and beyond that, surreal — is the extent to which this confirmation is being treated as more important than all the others combined, or indeed, as a make-or-break moment for a presidency that has barely begun. It’s not. If Tanden cannot get confirmed, the Biden administration won’t miss a beat, and I am reasonably sure she will still have a distinguished future in public affairs (though perhaps one without much of a social-media presence). And if she is confirmed, we’ll all forget about the brouhaha and begin focusing on how she does the job, which she is, by all accounts, qualified to perform.
Snarky Tweets Shouldn’t Override Smarts. But They Did for Neera Tanden .
Snarky Tweets Shouldn’t Override Smarts. But They Did for Neera TandenIn the end, it wasn’t any one tweet that disqualified Neera Tanden from joining President Joe Biden’s Cabinet. It was the entire platform that is punishing the seasoned Washington player.