Neera Tanden’s confirmation fight is the first morality play of post-Trump Washington

All the battling should be debilitating, truly.


The battles about her standing, over how she ran her liberal research organization. The fights with writers who distributed her taken messages. The political battles: instructing leftists in close races in the background, or marshaling powers to shield Obamacare, or that one time she purportedly punched the one who might become Bernie Sanders’ mission director (she said it was only a push). What’s more, in addition, she’d be up in the extremely early times, pushing the limit between engaging Twitter savages and turning out to be one herself.

“I kind of think there were moments where she would have been better off asleep,” said John Podesta, a close friend and ally

. “Rather than getting up in the middle of the night, responding to people attacking her.”

Then again, if there was no fighting, there would be no Neera Tanden.

Tanden, a professional Democrat and President Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, fought her way to the threshold of the White House, only to be swatted at by senators who claimed that her appetite for partisan conflict — on Twitter, specifically — disqualifies her from holding that much power. The same fighting that got her here, in other words, now threatens to sink her.

“Just to mention a few of the thousands of negative public statements,”

said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), speaking with the steady monotone of a not-mad-but-disappointed dad, “you wrote that Susan Collins is ‘the worst,’ that Tom Cotton is a ‘fraud,’ that vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz.”

It was the first of two combative and sometimes absurd affirmation hearings for Tanden, whose numerous years as top of the Middle for American Advancement made her assignment hard to kill on the grounds of expert bona fides. Henceforth the thorough conversation of Tanden’s tweets, and whether she was upset for them, and whether that was sufficient.


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