Neera Tanden Got the Clemenza Treatment at the Hands of the Socialist Godfather Bernie Sanders

Neera Tanden Got the Clemenza Treatment at the Hands of the Socialist Godfather Bernie Sanders
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

So Neera Tanden and the Biden White House reviewed their command of basic addition today and realized that “2 Democrat No Votes > possible GOP votes to get her confirmed.”

Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia came out last week and announced that he would be voting against the nomination of Neera Tanden to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget. That meant the Biden White House — Chief of Staff Ron Klain in particular — needed to round up one GOP vote in order to get her to 50-50, allowing VP Harris to break the tie to confirm her.  Because possible converts Mitt Romney and Susan Collins had already announced their intention to vote against confirmation, attention over the past 72 hours has been on winning the vote of noted anti-Trumper Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

I just finished listening to a secretly recorded phone call from Ron Klain’s office:

“Hello, Ron Klain.”

“Ron, this is Bernie Sanders.”

“Yes Senator Sanders, how are you?”

“Fine, fine.  How are things looking with the Murkowski vote to confirm Tanden to OMB?”

“Very good — they have met twice and spoken at length. Indications from her office are that she is leaning towards voting in favor of confirmation which means VP Harris will be able to cast the 51st vote for her.”

“Ok.  Too bad that will leave you one vote short.  Bye”.


As of this afternoon, Murkowski’s office was still describing her as “undecided”.  CNN reported the situation as follows:

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was seen as a potential swing vote and met with Tanden on Monday afternoon to discuss her nomination. Murkowski told CNN shortly before the nomination was pulled that she had still not made a decision on Tanden.

But as reported in the same story by CNN, as of Tuesday afternoon when the nomination was pulled, getting to 50 votes to confirm was impossible — even with Murkowski still undecided.

Though Tanden withdrew her nomination, the White House saw no path to her confirmation, according to an administration official.

“We exhausted every path forward,” the official said.

CNN quoted from Tanden’s statement:

“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,” Tanden wrote.

But — smiling like the cat who swallowed the canary — Sen. Sanders is quoted by CNN as follows:

Sanders, the chairman of the committee that oversaw Tanden’s confirmation hearings, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” that he did not believe Tanden had the votes to be confirmed.
“Well, right now Neera Tanden does not have the votes, so we’ll see what happens in the future,” Sanders said in an interview moments before the White House announced her nomination was being pulled.

If she has 49 votes, and Murkowski would give her 50 — then why pull the nomination before Murkowski has announced how she intends to vote??

Ohhh — she’s only got 48 because Bernie is voting “No.”

Getting Murkowski doesn’t get the job done, so there was “no path to her confirmation” since there are no other possible GOP votes to offset the loss of Sanders.

Sanders has never publicly stated that he was voting against her confirmation.

But he never said he was voting for her either.

During the 2016 battle for the Democrat Party nomination, Tanden was a key senior member of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. During the course of that fight she said the following about Sanders:

“Russia did a lot more to help Bernie than the DNC’s random internal emails did to help Hillary.”

Bernie Sanders still believes — rightfully — that the DNC and Democrat political establishment worked with the Hillary Clinton campaign in the 2016 primaries to undermine his chances of defeating her for the nomination.  Tanden was a key member of Clinton’s campaign and was certainly among the campaign officials who worked hand-in-hand with the DNC.

Further, as a long-time participant in various Democrat Party efforts to pass healthcare reform, Tanden was an outspoken opponent of the “single-payer” and “Medicare for All” models championed by Sanders and the socialist wing of the Democrat Party.  It was as part of that intra-party feud that Tanden produced many of her caustic remarks about Sanders and other Progressives on social media.

When Ron Klain and the Clintonista wing of the Democrat Party pushed Tanden forward to be the primary budget negotiator for the Biden Administration, as Senate Budget Committee Chairman, Sanders had his chance for retribution.

Tanden needed his vote.

Today she and the rest of the Biden White House learned she didn’t have it.


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