Biden makes good on his promise, failed nominee gets position that doesn’t require confirmation

Neera Tanden, a controversial leftist who failed to secure enough support to head the Office of Management and Budget after President Joe Biden nominated her for the post earlier this year, has landed a choice White House job anyway — and one that doesn’t require Senate confirmation.

The New York Times reported Friday that Tanden, whose caustic, anti-conservative remarks on social media led to her failed nomination, was appointed as White House staff secretary, a “little known but influential West Wing post.”

In February, after her nomination appeared on the verge of collapsing, White House officials said that if she failed to win confirmation the president would appoint her to a posting “that doesn’t require Senate confirmation.”

“For the last several months, Ms. Tanden has been a senior adviser to the president, working quietly behind the scenes to build support among interest groups for his social spending agenda and overseeing a government reform agenda with officials at the budget office,” the Time reported.

Before her nomination was pulled, Tanden had been serving as the CEO of the Center for American Progress, a far-left organization from which she often singled out Republicans for especially vitriolic criticism, especially on social media.

“Tanden’s at times inflammatory tweets have created controversy and elicited responses from political figures on both sides of the aisle over the past few years,” the Washington Examiner noted at the time, adding that she appeared to have deleted upwards of 1,000 tweets prior to her confirmation hearings.

It became evident her nomination was in jeopardy in the latter part of February after centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced he could not support it. In the evenly divided chamber, all 50 Democrats would have had to do so in order for Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote to put Tanden over the top.

“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator [Bernie] Sanders to Senator [Mitch] McConnell and others,” Manchin said at the time.

“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. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination,” he added.

The Times, quoting a White House official who asked not to be named, said Tanden’s new role would be as “the central nervous system of the White House,” assisting in presidential decisions.

“But the official said that Ms. Tanden would retain the title of senior adviser and would continue to offer advice to the president and other senior White House officials on a range of topics,” the Times added.

“The president nominated her because he believed she’d be a stellar OMB director,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said ahead of Manchin’s announcement. “She has two committee votes this week, and we’re working toward that and we’ll continue to work in supporting her nomination.”

Tandem’s GOP targets in the past have included Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah.

In 2017, for instance, after Murkowski announced she would support then-President Donald Trump’s corporate tax reduction, Tandem tweeted: “No offense but this sounds like you’re high on your own supply. You know, we know, and everyone knows this is all garbage. Just stop.”

In February, a Romney spokesman said that it was going to be “hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets.”

Jon Dougherty

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