After a contentious confirmation process, Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, withdrew her name from consideration for the position on Tuesday evening. Tanden, a former advisor to Hillary Clinton and the president of left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress, was one of the Biden administration’s most controversial nominees—primarily because of her proclivity for fighting on Twitter.
During her first confirmation hearing, Tanden said that she had deleted over 1,000 of her old tweets prior to being nominated for the position in November, and went on to apologize for some of the language she’d used in past social media posts. Although Tanden often focused her tweets on criticizing Republican lawmakers, she had also turned her attention to progressives, including Bernie Sanders, which ultimately came back to haunt her during the confirmation process.
Despite Democrats holding a narrow majority in the Senate, Tanden’s nomination to the OMB was in jeopardy after centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said that he wouldn’t support her confirmation. “I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” said Manchin, who has a history of voting with Republicans. Although Republican Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney have supported other Biden nominees, they also stated that they would oppose Tanden’s confirmation, citing her past criticism of Republican politicians on Twitter.
How funny, that this is the moment when Republicans decide that actually, people should be held responsible for what they say on Twitter! What a curious moment to find a backbone.
Unsurprisingly, in the desperate scramble to protect their egos, senators overlooked the more legitimate criticisms and concerns about Tanden’s nomination. During her time as the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, Tanden allegedly outed an anonymous victim of sexual harassment in a company meeting. Under Tanden, the center also shut down ThinkProgress, the progressive news site funded by CAP, soon after workers unionized—and proceeded to continue running the publication with non-union workers. In addition, Tanden has been accused of censoring ThinkProgress’s coverage of Israel because of her own relationship with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And, of course, that’s not even getting into the time when Tanden allegedly punched former top editor of ThinkProgress Faiz Shakir in 2008 after he asked then-Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a question about her past support for the Iraq War—an incident that is allegedly just one of many instances in which Tanden attempted to intimidate reporters.
But instead, the Senate hesitated on approving Tanden’s nomination because one time she tweeted that “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz,” a statement that is simply just true.