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Biden promotes controversial White House official

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 6, 2023

President Joe Biden has announced that Neera Tanden will serve as his domestic policy adviser following the departure of Susan Rice, despite her controversial tweets about Republican senators.

Tanden, 52, previously nominated to head the White House budget office, faced opposition due to her inflammatory tweets that targeted Republican Senators Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, and Ted Cruz.

However, her promotion to a top domestic policy post proves that these past actions haven't derailed her political career.

Neera Tanden's Controversial Past and Failed OMB Nomination

Neera Tanden's controversial tweets played a significant role in her failed 2021 nomination as the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director.

In these tweets, she attacked both Republicans and non-establishment Democrats, which included calling Sen. Mitch McConnell "Voldemort." and Sen. Susan Collins "the worst." She also wrote that "Vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz."

Tanden deleted over 1,000 tweets during the course of her OMB nomination process.

Influential Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-WVA), was particularly bothered by Tanden's online behavior, citing her "overtly partisan statements" as a potential threat to the working relationship between Congress and the OMB director.

During her confirmation hearing, Sen. Rob Portman reminded Tanden of her various attacks on the senators whose support she needed for confirmation, mentioning her negative comments about Susan Collins, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Mitch McConnell. Ultimately, her nomination failed, with fellow Democrats playing a significant role in sinking her chances.

Tanden's Career in the White House

Despite the controversy surrounding her nomination, President Biden appointed Tanden as a senior adviser and staff secretary in 2021 because it does not require Senate confirmation.

This influential post placed her at the center of almost every major issue inside the White House. Tanden has a history of working with past presidents, having previously served as an adviser to both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

In a statement attributed to Biden, he praised Tanden's experience, saying, "She has 25 years of experience in public policy, has served three Presidents, and led one of the largest think tanks in the country for nearly a decade."

Tanden's New Role and Other Appointments

As Rice's replacement, Neera Tanden will continue to drive the formulation and implementation of President Biden's domestic policy, focusing on areas such as economic mobility, racial equity, health care, immigration, and education.

Alongside Tanden's promotion, Stefanie Feldman will fill her previous post as staff secretary, while Zayn Siddique will be promoted to the principal deputy of the Domestic Policy Council. Feldman is currently a member of the domestic policy staff.

Susan Rice's mean Streak and Departure

The departing domestic policy adviser Susan Rice also had a reputation for a mean streak. Current and former White House officials accused her of creating an "abusive" and "dehumanizing" workplace in interviews with the left-leaning American Prospect magazine last year.

Rice announced her departure after being accused of ignoring reports that young migrants who illegally crossed the US-Mexico border were released to business people who exploited them for child labor.

Rice reportedly "berated" Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, accusing him of incompetence in processing migrants at the border.

During a meeting where Biden also expressed his frustration with Becerra, Rice allegedly passed a note to a colleague that read, "Don't help him."