On Monday, former Vice President Joe Biden announced he had selected Neera Tanden, the president of The Center for American Progress and a close friend of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as his choice to head the White House Office of Management and Budget, eliciting criticism from both sides of the political aisle.
Sen. John Cornyn, (R-TX) said Tanden “stands zero chance of being confirmed.”
USA Today noted that Tanden has issued 87,000 tweets since joining Twitter in March 2010. Garrett Ventry, who served as a communications aide to the committee chaired by Sen. Charles Grassley,(R-IA), noted, “Watching @neeratanden delete all her negative tweets about Republican Senators is hilarious. Her nomination is already a funeral.”
Watching @neeratanden delete all her negative tweets about Republican Senators is hilarious. Her nomination is already a funeral.
— Garrett Ventry (@GarrettVentry) November 30, 2020
Brianna Joy Gray, the former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, said Tanden was “a woman who is openly disdainful of Bernie Sanders and his coalition, but who is friendly with extreme bigots online.” She added, “Everything toxic about the corporate Democratic Party is embodied in Neera Tanden.”
Other criticisms abounded: It was noted that Tanden supported the Jill Stein recount fundraiser after the 2016 election, tweeting, “Nothing has made me like this recount more than the response it has elicited from Trump.”
Nothing has made me like this recount more than the response it has elicited from Trump. https://t.co/GljkNYdATj
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) November 26, 2016
Political pundit Stephen Miller noted that Tanden contributed to spreading the conspiracy theory that Russia had “hacked” the 2016 election in favor of President Trump and confirmed she had sent the tweets later:
She confirms the tweets in an exchange with Glenn Greenwald pic.twitter.com/OKFnUFl3yl
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) November 30, 2020
Tanden also wasn’t shy about insisting the infamous Democrat-funded Steele dossier attacking candidate Donald Trump was true:
Even if this is true, hasn’t the dossier been mostly proven to be true? It’s amazing how comfortable the likes of @ByronYork are happy to run interference for Russians intervening in our elections. https://t.co/zbRORm2f0Q
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) February 2, 2018
Tanden has also come under fire for her handling of sexual harassment claims at the Center for American Progress. Buzzfeed News reported in 2018 that two days after they had revealed allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation at the Center for American Progress, where Tanden served as president, Tanden “met with staff to restore confidence in the organization’s ability to handle the issue and ensure that employees feel safe. But during the meeting Wednesday afternoon, Tanden named the anonymous victim at the center that story — a revelation that a CAP spokesperson said was unintentional — and what began as a tense meeting became what three staffers in the room described as a textbook example of the organization’s failures to appropriately handle sexual harassment cases.”
One CAP employee told Buzzfeed News, “There is literally one thing you cannot do in this meeting and that is out the victim and Neera did it multiple times…It also destroys whatever small level of confidence in the system remained. As a manager I don’t know how I can tell staff to trust the system when the head of the organization just outed the victim in front of the entire organization. It is impossible to trust her.”
Another CAP employee echoed, “Neera lost the organization today.”
“There was so much angst in that room,” the employee said. “She outed the victim, and the subtext of every question was a lack of confidence in her leadership and ability to create trust within the organization.”
Tanden apologized after the incident.