Though President Joe Biden has seen many of those he has nominated to fill top administration posts achieve relatively easy confirmation by the Senate, the doomed journey of one of those tapped for a key role just came to an official end.
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden has finalized the paperwork necessary to withdraw the nomination of controversial partisan operative Neera Tanden to serve as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Tanden’s prospects for confirmation encountered turbulence earlier this year when past social media posts that were harshly critical of Republicans came to the forefront, and they seemed all but finished when Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that they would not support her for the role, as The Wall Street Journal reported back in February.
Among Tanden’s more incendiary comments – made while leading the left-leaning Center for American Progress – included references likening Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to Harry Potter villain Voldemort, calling Sen. Collins “the worst,” and suggesting “vampires have more heart than [Texas Sen.] Ted Cruz,” as NPR reported.
Sen. Collins explained at the time that Tanden “has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency,” further opining that her prior public statements about political opponents “demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.”
When confronted about the remarks at her confirmation hearing, Tanden claimed to regret the language she used and accepted responsibility for it, and while Biden expressed continued support for the nomination, those acts were not enough to save it.
Once Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) declared his opposition to the nomination, Tanden herself withdrew from the running in a letter to Biden in which she said:
I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House has worked to win my confirmation. Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities.
Now that Biden has formally concluded the failed nomination of Tanden, he is free to move forward with alternate candidates, including OMB Deputy Director Shalanda Young, who is currently serving as interim head of the agency and is said to be under serious consideration for the role, as the Examiner noted.
Though it would be a refreshing development to see the Biden administration select a much less partisan candidate to lead OMB, the recent confirmation of far-left ideologues such as Xavier Becerra to lead the Department Health and Human Services and Deb Haaland to head the Interior Department, any such optimism is more than likely misplaced.