Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is a "no" on President Biden's nominee for the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden. Like Republicans, Manchin is concerned about Tanden's history of radical, partisan behavior. For just a sampling of her off-color remarks, she has likened Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) to a "fraud," she suggested that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is worse than a vampire, and she called Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) "the worst."
While Tanden told the senators she "regretted" her past tweets and deleted many of them, Manchin said he couldn't support such a divisive nominee.
"I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden's public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others," Manchin said in a statement. "I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination."
The feminist women’s advocacy group UltraViolet is not happy with the moderate Democrat. In a new statement, Bridget Todd, director of communications, argues that Manchin is essentially saying "white Republican men" can get away with controversial rhetoric, but not women of color.
“Let’s be clear, Senator Manchin’s choice to reject Neera Tanden as head of the Office of Management and Budget due to her comments on social media is a double standard. Manchin is also already signaling his refusal to vote to confirm Congresswoman Deb Haaland, the first Native American woman to serve in Congress, to head the Department of the Interior.
“Based on Manchin’s logic, white Republican men can share their personal opinions on social media and beyond without judgement, while women, especially women of color, are criticized and black listed from serving our government.
“Take Richard Grenell, who former president Trump nominated for ambassador to Germany. Grenell’s history of highly partisan inflammatory tweets is well documented. Yet Manchin had no issues voting to confirm Grenell’s nomination.
“Similarly, Manchin voted to confirm Jeff Sessions, who has a brazen history of racist behavior. When Sessions was tapped by President Regan to serve as judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in 1986, the Senate found him too racist to be confirmed. Still, Manchin voted to confirm Sessions anyway.
“Manchin also voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, even after Kavanaugh harshly lashed out at Senators during his hearing in the face of credible sexual assault allegations.
“These documented, troubling and deeply partistian attacks did not keep any of those men from confirmations, yet Senator Manchin is somehow citing Tanden’s tweets to rationalize why he cannot vote to confirm her.
“Political leaders deserve to be judged by their merits, values, and records. But right now, Neera Tanden is only being judged by tweets that she has deleted and apologized for, not the substance of her experience.
“Neera Tanden is facing a level of scrutiny that her white male peers do not face. Not only does this set a different set of rules for women of color in politics, it establishes that this line of attack is fair game to block confirmations to Biden’s cabinet, many of whom happen to be women of color.
“Make no mistake, this is only the beginning. If Manchin’s double standard successfully keeps Tanden from confirmation, she will not be the last woman of color blocked from power in this sexist, racist way.
“We must ensure that all of President Biden’s nominees are being judged on an equal playing field."
Based on their statement, UltraViolet must also think that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is also behaving in a "sexist, racist way," for she too announced she can't support Tanden.
"Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency," Collins said in a statement. "Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend."
The White House is reportedly considering a new route for their nominee.