Monday, 18 Jan 2021

Neera Tanden deletes over a thousand tweets amid Biden OMB nomination

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Biden’s pick to run the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, appears to have deleted over 1,000 tweets since Nov. 1, after posts targeting lawmakers whose vote she will need for confirmation resurfaced.

Tanden, a longtime Clinton advisor and president of the Center for American Progress, is an avid tweeter. She has used the platform to issue bombastic criticisms of lawmakers — as well as voters — who identify to her right and left.

The tweets, some deleted and some still live, reference GOP lawmakers by name, tagging them, and blasting them for supporting President Trump, or in some cases, attacking them personally.

In March, for example, as the country was forced indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tanden tweeted, “I’m glad [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell is fiddling, while the markets burn.” That tweet has since been deleted.

The 50-year-old Clinton loyalist also attacked a fellow moderate, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), calling her “the worst.”

Tanden has over 87,500 tweets still up on her profile as of Tuesday, but The Daily Beast found that on Nov. 1, the Democrat had 88,639 tweets on the social media platform.

It is not clear if Team Biden was involved in Tanden’s decision to take down some of the offensive tweets, or when specifically they were removed.

Those working on the 46th president’s transition team were “well aware” that Tanden would be a difficult nominee to push through, according to CNN.

John Podesta, a fellow Clinton loyalist, told Politico that Tanden had “drawn a bit more fire from some quarters” than Biden’s other nominees thus far.

The fire he is referring to involves anger from both Republicans and progressives over Tanden being chosen.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx.), also a known tweeter, slammed the move as Biden’s “worst nominee so far.”

“I think, in light of her combative and insulting comments about many members of the Senate, mainly on our side of the aisle, that it creates certainly a problematic path,” Cornyn, who is a member of Senate leadership, said in his initial reaction to the pick.

Cornyn doubled down after learning that Tanden was doing damage control and deleting her tweets, expressing astonishment that the Biden transition team did not consult Senate Republicans.

“It’s pretty crazy to me to think that she can go back and…eliminate all the tweets that she’s sent out over the last, whatever, months, years. And I think it’s really a misstep by the administration. I really am a little surprised, particularly on the OMB nominee that there hadn’t been at least some consultation. I mean some of these problems can be avoided. And people, you know, saved from the embarrassment,” he told reporters.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) echoed Cornyn’s views, “She’s been pretty partisan in some of her previous positions. And in many cases, with respect to Republican senators who would have to vote on her potential nomination.”

He refused to commit when pressed whether the nominee would receive a floor vote if Republicans kept control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Speaking to the New York Times, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that while he understood that this particular agency was known for the occasional partisan pick, Tanden went beyond that.

“OMB seems to attract ideological folks, but she’s not just a liberal ideologue, she’s a partisan activist who’s gone after senators of the majority party. She seems to have chosen a path that doesn’t lead to a senate confirmed office,” the North Dakota senator said.

In a tweet, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) slammed Tanden as “a partisan hack who called Susan Collins ‘the worst’ for OMB.”

“Biden said he wanted to unify the country…So much for unity,” he added.

Collins, meanwhile, demurred when asked about Tanden and her social media use, saying to reporters, “I did not know her, much about her, but I’ve heard that she’s a very prolific user of Twitter. I really don’t have anything further to say.”

Even a Democrat, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) expressed doubt that a GOP-led Senate could push Tanden’s nomination through.

“If we don’t take back the Senate that might be a challenge. But let’s see what happens. I don’t know how many Republicans are really going to go after someone that has the kind of background and experience she has to deal with all the policy implementation that OMB does,” the Hawaii Democrat remarked.

With Post Wires

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