Biden's outspoken nominee to run budget office deletes 1,000 tweets
Photo: Mike Segar / Reuters
Joe Biden's candidate for a major business post deleted more than a thousand of her own tweets, some of which criticized senators who are now holding their fate in their hands.
The Daily Beast first reported on the moves of Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress (CAP) think tank, whom Biden has appointed head of the Federal Office of Administration and Budget.
"Can the people here please direct their anger at [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and the GOP Senators standing [for re-election] this cycle and empowering him," Tanden wrote in a June 2019 tweet restored by the Beast .
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Tanden called these "enablers" Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, John Cornyn, David Perdue, Thom Tillis "and many more".
A tweet entitled McConnell "#MoscowMitch", a common nickname for the liberal majority leader during the investigation into Donald Trump's ties to Russia, has also been removed.
Tanden's fate could depend on two runoff elections in Georgia in January. If Democrats win both seats - one from Perdue - they will control the Senate through Kamala Harris' vote as Vice President. That would make Tanden's confirmation attainable - if party discipline was maintained.
But Tanden, a former political advisor to Hillary Clinton, has also been a heavy critic of senators from the Democratic side of the Ganges, such as the progressive Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders.
"It's an odd choice for Biden and his 'healing' presidency to include someone so combative, especially on Twitter, that we've just finished a four-year Twitter presidency," said Josh Fox, climate activist and Sander's replacement the Beast. "It causes unnecessary trouble."
Serving in the cabinet is a disqualification for someone who has shared their opinion on Twitter. This is stupid
Fox also said the CAP "purports to be in line with progressive values, but Neera Tanden seems cynical enough that it attacks progressive strategies like banning fracking, the Green New Deal and Medicare for All".
Massachusetts progressive Elizabeth Warren was one of the prominent Democratic senators who supported Tanden.
Republicans were quick to tell reporters that if their party can help, Tanden will not be vindicated. Texas-based Cornyn told reporters on Monday he believed Tanden to be Biden's "worst candidate yet."
"Your combative and abusive comments on many Senate members, mostly on our side of the Ganges, certainly create a problematic path," he said.
The Beast said Tanden deleted at least one tweet in support of MJ Hegar, which Democrat Cornyn beat for re-election last month.
Claire McCaskill, a former Democratic Senator from Missouri, accused Republicans of "showing a whole new level of hypocrisy" on MSNBC.
"Republican senators are now suddenly concerned about tweets that hurt their feelings," she said. “That's just ridiculous.
"We had a president who used his Twitter account like a battering ram and wrongly followed not only his political opponents but also Republican senators with incredibly brutal tweets. Now it is suddenly a disqualification for someone to serve in the cabinet dealt with her own opinion on Twitter? I think that's stupid. "
In a statement emailed to the Guardian, a transition spokesman said Biden will select "the most qualified and experienced candidates to be leaders on day one" and "looks forward to working in good faith with both parties in Congress." to install qualified, experienced candidates guides.
"The president-elect is encouraged to see a number of Republican senators express their desire to work together and indicate that they believe presidents deserve leeway in building their teams."
Jen Psaki, Biden's new White House press secretary, said Tanden is “a brilliant policy expert and she knows the importance of funding [government] programs. As a child, her family relied on food stamps, Section 8 vouchers to pay rent, and social security for a while. Your fresh perspective can help you master this moment. "
Tanden did not comment on the Daily Beast report. She tweeted, "After my parents divorced when I was young, my mother relied on public food and housing programs to get by. I am now being nominated to ensure that these programs are safe and that families like mine can live with dignity. I am extremely honored. "
She also changed her Twitter bio. It now says: “Director of the OMB candidate, liberal, Indian-American, feminist, mother, woman. Not in that order. The views expressed are definitely my own. "
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