With assist from Allie Bice
Welcome to POLITICO’s 2021 Transition Playbook, your information to the primary 100 days of the Biden administration
It’s the tip of an period.
Since the 2016 Democratic major, NEERA TANDEN, JOE BIDEN’s decide to guide the Office of Management and Budget, has been some of the prolific and combative tweeters in American politics.
She has sparred with Bernie bros and MAGA hats, and racked up greater than 368,000 followers within the course of.
She as soon as referred to as Senate Minority Leader MITCH McCONNELL “Voldemort.” When NBC News reported in 2017 that RUPERT MURDOCH’s home had caught hearth, she tweeted, “There’s a God. And she’s unhappy,” earlier than deleting it. Her on-line battles with Sen. BERNIE SANDERS and his supporters had been so legendary that Sen. JOHN KENNEDY (R-La.) advised Tanden at her affirmation listening to immediately, “You called Sanders everything but an ignorant slut.” (she disputed that characterization).
She joined Twitter a 12 months after DONALD TRUMP, however has tweeted 30,000-plus occasions greater than the previous president (about 88,000 to 57,000).
But Tanden testified earlier than the Senate Budget Committee immediately that her fights with school college students on Twitter at 1:40 a.m. are behind her. She has reformed, she says. She is a tweeter, born once more.
“We don’t need to make personal attacks, no matter what views somebody may hold,” Sanders, the committee’s new chairman, chided Tanden. “Can we assume that as the director of the OMB we’re going to see a different approach if you are appointed than you have taken at [The Center for American Progress]?”
“Absolutely,” she replied. “And I would say social media does lead to too many personal comments, and my approach will be radically different.”
But a few of her fiercest opponents are unhappy (kind of) to see her go.
“With the suspension of @realDonaldTrump and now the temporary retirement of Neera, it does feel like the end of an era,” mentioned RYAN GRIM, the D.C. bureau chief of The Intercept who regularly jousted with Tanden (severely, try the countless search outcomes).
“It’s up to all of us to carry on their 3 a.m. arguments with bots about the 2016 primary. I’m not sure we’re up to the task.”
Of course, it’s doable that the Senate might vote towards Tanden and she’s going to fall off the Twitter wagon. But Tanden appears headed for affirmation.
People near Sanders anticipate him to vote to verify her. “It seems all but inevitable,” mentioned one. The center-right U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been making an attempt to make some bipartisan inroads recently, issued a press release Monday supporting her nomination. Republican complaints about Tanden’s imply tweets haven’t been persuasive after 4 years of pretending to disregard Trump’s Twitter feed.
Even her on-line foes agree that Twitter gained’t be the identical with out her.
“There are a lot of her adversaries who felt like Neera was a true poster and respected her for her commitment to the form,” mentioned Grim. “To see her apologize, rather than double down and tweet through it, felt like a betrayal for many. Are there no true posters left?”
Kennedy requested Tanden at the least eight occasions throughout the listening to immediately whether or not she’d meant what she mentioned in her tweets.
“Senator, I must have meant them, but I really regret them,” Tanden lastly replied.
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At the Pentagon, the place he met with Defense Secretary LLOYD AUSTIN. He additionally mentioned the measures his administration is taking in response to the coup in Myanmar earlier within the day.
In the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with JEFF ZIENTS and MARCELLA NUNEZ-SMITH, the place she met with members of the African American Mayors Association. She additionally traveled to the Pentagon with Biden this afternoon.
From particular visitor trivia host BEN JACOBS after he stored saying our questions weren’t troublesome sufficient (observe him, in the event you should).
With MERRICK GARLAND’s affirmation listening to scheduled for subsequent week, BARACK OBAMA’s erstwhile decide for the Supreme Court seems to be to be in good condition to turn out to be the nation’s subsequent lawyer basic — a comfort prize after not receiving a vote on his excessive courtroom nomination in 2016. If confirmed, Garland would truly be the third failed Supreme Court nominee to turn out to be lawyer basic. Name at the least one of many different two.
(Answer is on the backside.)
BIDEN PICKS AN ENERGY DEPUTY SECRETARY — Biden has nominated DAVID TURK to carry the No. 2 put up on the Energy Department, ZACK COLMAN reviews. Turk presently serves because the deputy government director on the International Energy Agency and likewise suggested the Biden DOE transition efforts. Turk is an Obama-era veteran, the place he labored on worldwide know-how and clear power technique within the Energy Department. Turk’s nomination would require Senate affirmation.
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THE LATEST IMPEACHMENT DODGE — Each day, White House press secretary JEN PSAKI is discovering new methods to say nothing concerning the impeachment trial.
“I’m just not going to have any more for you on weighing in on impeachment,” she mentioned on Monday in response to the seventh query about it (which was adopted by an eighth).
“Joe Biden is the president; he’s not a pundit,” she mentioned Tuesday when she obtained three questions concerning the trial. “He’s not going to opine on the back-and-forth arguments, nor is he watching them, that are taking place in the Senate.”
Today, she got here up with a brand new technique to say the identical factor.
“The American public should — should read it as his commitment to delivering on exactly what they elected him to do, which is not to be a commentator on the daily developments of an impeachment trial,” she mentioned.
Despite her efforts, the questions don’t appear prone to cease. “Indulge me,” one reporter mentioned immediately when asking an impeachment query.
Psaki’s response wasn’t fully plausible: “Sure, always happy to.”
TWEET COUNT: Chief of employees RON KLAIN: 742; President Biden: 132
GARLAND HEARING SET — The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a listening to for Garland’s nomination to be Biden’s lawyer basic, MARIANNE LeVINE reviews. The listening to, set for Feb. 22 and 23, units Garland up for a vote out of committee on March 1. The date for Garland’s nomination listening to had been in limbo, the results of protracted Senate management negotiations over the organizing decision for the evenly divided chamber.
COUNTERING CHINA — Biden introduced the institution of a China activity power throughout his first presidential go to to the Pentagon on Wednesday, LARA SELIGMAN reviews, signaling his intent to make countering Beijing’s rise a high precedence for the navy.
The transfer underscored the message that the administration is ready to counter China on the navy entrance, after some former officers expressed concern to NAHAL TOOSI and GAVIN BADE that Beijing is making the most of the White House’s deliberate strategy to Asia coverage.
HOTLINE BLING: Toosi and Bade additionally identified that whereas Biden has held calls with a couple of dozen world leaders up to now, from French President EMMANUEL MACRON to Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN, he has but to name Chinese President XI JINPING.
And Xi isn’t the one world chief getting the chilly shoulder. DANNY DANON, Israel’s former everlasting consultant to the United Nations, complained in a Tweet this morning that there’s been no readout of a name with Israeli Prime Minister BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, both. “Might it now be time to call the leader of #Israel, the closest ally of the #US?” Danon requested Biden.
Biden spoke with Netanyahu — who pleaded not responsible in his corruption trial Monday — in addition to Israeli President REUVEN RIVLIN in November, however they don’t seem to have chatted once more since his inauguration.
STRANGE BEDFELLOWS — The Biden administration is backing former Education Secretary BETSY DeVOS as she tries to keep away from testifying in a lawsuit difficult the Trump administration’s prolonged delays and sweeping denials of scholar mortgage forgiveness claims, MICHAEL STRATFORD reviews.
The Justice Department joined with DeVos on Monday to struggle a subpoena searching for her deposition as a part of a class-action lawsuit introduced on behalf of some 160,000 former for-profit school college students searching for mortgage forgiveness on the grounds that they had been defrauded.
Businesses need Biden to repeal Trump’s work visa ban (The Wall Street Journal)
Will Biden make arms management a precedence? (The New York Times)
Raimondo says Biden hasn’t barred her from talking to reporters in first interview since December (The Providence Journal)
Will BRUCE REED be the Biden administration’s ambassador to the Senate Finance Committee? Because Biden is unlikely to search out one other Democratic official who likes Sen. MIKE CRAPO (R-Idaho), the committee’s rating member, greater than Reed.
Crapo, who served with Reed on the Simpson-Bowles deficit discount fee, is “the greatest,” Reed advised McClatchy in 2010. (Another member of that fee: XAVIER BECERRA, Biden’s decide for Health and Human Services secretary.)
“If we had a Congress full of Mike Crapos, this problem would be solved already. He’s a principled conservative, a patriot, and determined to get something done,” Reed continued. “He is just a joy to work with, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by how determined he is to prove that we can do this.”
Crapo was complimentary however much less gushing in his reward of Reed, calling the Democrat “a solid guy and a solid thinker.”
JOHN CRITTENDEN was nominated to the Supreme Court by JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, however his affirmation vote was “postponed indefinitely” after ANDREW JACKSON gained in 1828. He twice served as lawyer basic after his failed nomination — the primary time below WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON and JOHN TYLER and the second below MILLARD FILLMORE.
HENRY STANBERY was nominated to the Supreme Court by ANDREW JOHNSON however, relatively than act on his nomination, Congress diminished the dimensions of the courtroom. Stanbery then was nominated and confirmed as Johnson’s lawyer basic however resigned to symbolize him in his impeachment trial.