Biden’s controversial OMB pick could be sacrificial lamb

A Democrat operative since high school, Tanden has been president and CEO of the left-wing Center for American Progress nearly a decade.

Neera Tanden/Center for American Progress

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Neera Tanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Tanden, 50, stands out from most of Biden’s fairly conventional picks, who are lefties, but not divisive radicals with enemies on both sides of Capitol Hill.

A Democrat operative since high school, Tanden has been president and CEO of the left-wing Center for American Progress nearly a decade. She also served as a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s disastrous Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Her past criticism of Senate Republicans could lead to a confirmation battle if Republicans retain control of the upper chamber. The OMB director must be confirmed by Congress.

A spokesperson for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Sunday that Tanden has “zero chance” of being confirmed by the Senate should the GOP remain in control next year. Drew Brandewie claimed Tanden’s history of “disparaging comments about the Republican Senators’ whose votes she’ll need” make her confirmation unlikely.

If Sens. Kelly Loeffler or David Perdue defeat their challengers in the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff elections, the GOP keeps their majority and stops Tanden.

Most recently, Tanden was irate after Republicans advanced Justice Amy Coney Barrett, claiming, “This rushed and illegitimate process is an insult to the American people and fundamentally changes the nature of the Supreme Court from one of fairness and justice to an arm of the Republican political agenda.”

She also has personality shortcomings, to put it mildly.

Tanden once blurted out the name of an anonymous sexual-harassment victim in an all-staff meeting and physically pushed someone for asking her about the Iraq War.

She is also known for her Twitter fights, and believes conspiracies like Russian hackers changing votes for Hillary Clinton to President Donald Trump.

A left-leaning journalist who once worked for Tanden said on Monday she was a “very bad organizational leader,” accusing her of lacking “leadership and moral courage.”

National Review’s Jim Geraghty mused today, “Is it possible Biden or someone on his team is shrewd enough to nominate Tanden as a lightning rod, and to ensure Republican senators focus their attention on an OMB director nominee, instead of other cabinet nominees?”